7 Must-Visit Sights in Alberta’s Jasper National Park
Choosing the right vacation destination can sometimes feel like a huge task. There are some vacation destinations where a traveler sits back and waits for something to happen or takes things as they come. There are other vacation destinations however where being passive is not an option. These type of destinations may feature hard to get to attractions or a number of outdoor recreation opportunities. Alberta’s National Park is the perfect mix of both.
For the adventurous traveler looking at spending some time in a remote yet beautiful location, they could not do any better than travel north into Alberta, Canada and spend that time in gorgeous Jasper National Park. Jasper National Park sits high in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and is home to a number of different impressive physical features including hot springs, mountains, cliffs, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and most notably glaciers. There are also a number of different types of wildlife that can be seen in the park too including mule deer, grizzly bear, black bear, marmots, gray wolf, moose, elk, mountain goat, big horn sheep, caribou, beaver, mountain lion, and even wolverine. Jasper National Park is in fact filled with a great deal to see for those willing to make the trip. Here is a look at some of the best sights worth seeing on a visit to this wondrous location. To make the most of your trip in canada at a discount, use an expedia.ca coupon code.
Mount Edith Cavell
Named after a World War I nurse who helped allied soldiers escape and was later executed for it, Mount Edith Cavell is a popular destination in Jasper National Park. The mountain stands more than 11,000 feet tall and there are a number of trails that can reach it from the Tonquin Valley down below. Trails can lead up onto the mountain itself or they can also be used instead just to view the amazing scenery there. Angel Glacier is visible from the gorgeous Cavell Meadows down below and the way it hangs over the rocky cliff high above makes it perfect for some stunning photography.
Maligne Lake is found just less than 30 miles south of the town of Jasper and is a picturesque high mountain lake surrounded by rugged but beautiful peaks. Skyline Trail is one of the more popular overnight hiking trails in all of Jasper National Park and starts at Maligne Lake and leads all the way to the community of Jasper. Fishing is popular on Maligne Lake and some of the country’s largest fish have been caught there. This is also a great spot for viewing wildlife with the chance to see mule deer, wolves, moose, grizzly bear, black bear, mountain sheep, bald eagles, and golden eagles. Spirit Island is an extremely small island that sits out in Maligne Lake and provides for what some consider one of the best views of the Canadian Rockies.
Many waterfalls are known for their amazing heights or their incredible width. Athabasca Falls has a drop of only 80 feet and is measured at just 60 feet wide. The attraction to the falls though is the huge amount of water that flows over it. This powerful water flow has caved a deep but short gorge and is an impressive sight to see. Those interested in going white water rafting during their visit to Jasper National Park can participate in rafting runs that start near the base of Athabasca Falls in the beautiful Athabasca River.
Pyramid Mount is part of the Victoria Cross Range of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and sits towering over the Athabasca River Valley. It sits just eight miles northwest of the community of Jasper and is popular with outdoor enthusiasts looking to not only hike, but also to go mountain climbing. Pyramid Mountain offers climbing opportunities for both experienced and novice climbers. There is a forest service road that leads from Pyramid Lake up to some of the more easily accessible climbable slopes of the mountain itself.
The Tonquin Valley
Located adjacent to the Alberta-British Columbia border, the Tonquin Valley is a truly beautiful place to visit in Jasper National Park. Mount Edith Cavell towers above the valley and there are other peaks and ranges in the area too. Some of the popular activities available in the Tonquin Valley include horseback riding, hiking, skiing, fishing, and backpacking. This scenic valley provides for some amazing experiences for the adventurous traveler willing to go there.
One of the easiest glaciers to access in all of Jasper National Park is Athabasca Glacier which is part of the famous Columbia Icefield. The front edge of the glacier can be reached from a short walk from the adjacent parking area. There are few experiences in the world like walking across largely dry ground and being able to reach out and touch the face of a glacier. Although it is tempting, it is not recommended that visitors walk out on the glacier as there can be hidden crevices and other dangers waiting there. The best way to access the glacier itself is aboard one of the snow coaches that operate there. These bus size all terrain vehicles take visitors out on the glacier itself and give them a close up experience with this huge piece of natural beauty. Athabasca Glacier, due in large part to how easily accessible it is, is the most visited glacier in all of North America.
Marmot Basin Ski Area
One of the more popular destinations within Jasper National Park is the Marmot Basin Ski Area. Marmot Basin was established in 1961 and over the years has attracted millions of visitors looking to experience some of the finest alpine skiing available in Western Canada. The remoteness of Jasper National Park adds to the enjoyment possible at Marmot Basin because it means that it is generally less crowded than ski areas near large population centers. Marmot Basin has large expansive runs and the longest high speed quad chair in the entire Canadian Rocky Mountains. There are nearby services available for those visiting the Marmot Basin Ski Area in the town of Jasper which is just twenty minutes to the north. Other activities available in the area surrounding the ski area include horseback riding, hiking, backpacking, and whitewater rafting.
It may be a long trip that requires many miles of driving or even time spent in an airplane. It may be to a remote part of North America, an area that is not always right on the tip of the tongue of most travelers. It may also involve some at least limited physical activity to get get out and see some of the attractions there. But, to the right vacationer, Jasper National Park can be the vacation of their dreams. This beautiful park welcomes nearly two million visitors a year, all of them coming to see some of the most stunningly gorgeous views and scenic areas around. From the natural features, to the developed areas, to the wildlife that roams freely about, visiting the amazing Jasper National Park is an experience that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. For the vacationer looking for a unique and off the beaten path destination, a trip to this fantastic park in the Canadian Rockies is a must.