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Where to stay in Jasper

Exploring Jasper

Set in a river valley in the heart of the spectacular Canadian Rockies, the charming little town of Jasper is home to just over 4,000 residents and acts as the commercial centre for Jasper National Park. Originally a trading post for the Hudson Bay Company, the settlement welcomed the railroad a century ago, following the establishment of the national park. Nowadays, its sub-arctic climate and superb location draws visitors to ski or explore the pristine wilderness and its unique flora and fauna. Ice fields, hot springs, lakes, mighty canyons, waterfalls, and soaring peaks are the highlights here.

Whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, this serene location is perfect for getting away from it all and into nature at its finest. The little town can easily be explored on foot. There’s a ski resort offering downhill skiing in winter and regular tourist buses run to nearby sites of outstanding beauty. Dog sledding is popular in winter and Mount Robson towers over the region, with its magnificent forests home to moose, deer, elk, and many other species. Accommodation here is offered by a number of hotels, including the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and the quaint Astoria, and there’s a good choice of restaurants both in the hotels and the town.

Sights nearby

Jasper is the perfect destination for nature-lovers and eco-tourists, with outdoor activities the main attraction. The rivers and lakes give great kayaking and canoeing, and hiking and trekking in the forests and wilderness areas are popular during the spring and summer months.

Pyramid Lake
Frozen over in winter and great for boating and fishing in summer, Pyramid Lake is a short drive into the mountains from the town. There’s a resort here, and boat rentals in summer are the best way to enjoy the magnificent scenery. In winter, ice skating on the frozen lake is a favourite occupation for visitors, and snow shoes can be hired.

Mount Robson Provincial Park
Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at a soaring 3,954m above sea level. Cloaked in fir, balsam, and spruce forests, and home to the Fraser River and its stunning Rearguard Falls, the mountain is a beauty spot. The falls are the furthest point for the annual migration and spawning of Pacific salmon, giving an unforgettable sight in the season.

Maligne Canyon
The Athabaska River’s spring melt-waters thunder through this spectacular canyon and empty into Medicine Lake, seeming to simply disappear as the lake itself dries out in summer. Winter visitors can hike along the canyon’s bottom, which is surrounded by massive, frozen, blue-ice waterfalls - an amazing experience.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

The town’s restaurants cater for all tastes at all price levels, and are surprisingly good for the size of the community. Portions are large and, in winter, concentrate on meat-heavy, filling recipes. Eateries are found in the town’s hotels and on its streets, and include a small selection of fine dining outlets with interesting wine lists and lower prices than you might expect for the quality of the food.

Greek, Japanese, and Italian cuisine makes a change from grills, and the tasty, traditional French-Canadian dishes are well worth trying. A few friendly bars and pubs, and a sports lounge serve as the town’s nightlife, and its shopping heart is Connaught Drive with its fashion, jewellery, and souvenir stores.

Public transport

Jasper is accessed either by long-distance bus or train from Edmonton, some 350kms away. The town itself has no official public transport, although cars can be hired and a few taxis operate. In summer, bicycles can be rented, and tour buses run to the majority of the nearby attractions.

Jasper travel guides