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Tips for Jasper National Park | Roadtrip Canada (45)

Na Banff– and a little detour for Glacier- and Yoho National Park, we ended up in Jasper National Park, the second most popular national park in Canada. Like Banff, it is a beautiful area with lakes, waterfalls, mountains and glaciers, where you can take the most beautiful walks. Or as we did, can drive around. In this blog you can read everything about the park and of course, our tips!


Plan your vacation to Canada here


Our journey through the United States and Canada

This article is part of a major one-year journey that we (Chris and Malou van Wereldreizigers.nl), are currently making by the United States en Canada† We started in New York City and are through Washington DC en Baltimore (where we shipped our RV), first traveled south (Florida) and then made a full round of the country. At the end of July we crossed the border to Canada via Montana.

Organizing this trip took a lot of time and energy. So we had to US B1/B2 visa of one year and we spent weeks working on it renovating our 4×4 camper† Then we got to work on the RV to America to ship and in hindsight it turned out to be a Dutch vehicle insurance in America to be one of the biggest challenges.

When that was all over, we could finally focus on the anticipation: figuring out and planning all the beautiful places we want to visit. I built the ultimate roadtrip route through America and Canada of roughly 50.000 kilometers in Google maps and we are now making our dream come true! The interactive map can be viewed below.

More blogs from our trip through America and Canada

America

Canada

About Jasper National Park of Canada

Location and size

Jasper is the biggest national park in the province of Alberta, covering some 11.000 square kilometers. It is west of the large city of Edmonton and north of Banff National Park.

The history

In 1930 it was declared a national park and in 1984 added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The area was inhabited by the native tribes called nakoda, Cree, secwépemc en dane-zaa.

The park is named after Jasper Haws, a fur trader who worked for the North West Company. In 1815 he was given a trading post at Lake Brûlé, which came to be known as Jasper's House. The trading post was moved in 1830 to Athabasca River, north of what is now Jasper Lake hot, in the national park.

Things to do and places of interest

1.Columbia Icefield

The Columbia Icefield is a place where several glaciers are connected, with outstanding mountain peaks. Together, these are larger than one glacier, but smaller than ice caps.

On Google Maps, the difference between the Columbia Icefield (location here ) and other surrounding glaciers. Athabasca Glacier is one of six glaciers that make up the Columbia Icefield. Furthermore, there is the Castleguard Glacier, Columbia Glacier, Dome Glacier, Stutfield Glacier en Saskatchewan Glacier.

Athabasca Glacier | Tips for Jasper National Park

The Athabasca Glacier is the most accessible for tourists. You can walk to it, but you can't get on the ice because it can be dangerous. With a tour, for which they have special tour buses, it is possible.

Stutfield Glacier | Tips for Jasper National Park
Stutfield Glacier | Tips for Jasper National Park
Stutfield Glacier | Tips for Jasper National Park
Stutfield Glacier | Tips for Jasper National Park

2. Athabasca Falls

The Athabasca Falls (location here ) are waterfalls in the river of the same name. The falls are 24 meters high and 46 meters wide. Not particularly high or wide, and they are not very powerful either. What the waterfalls can do is wear down beautiful ravines and potholes in the rocks. This can be clearly seen in the photos.

Athabasca Falls | Tips for Jasper National Park
Athabasca Falls | Tips for Jasper National Park
Athabasca Falls | Tips for Jasper National Park
Athabasca Falls | Tips for Jasper National Park
Athabasca Falls | Tips for Jasper National Park
Athabasca Falls | Tips for Jasper National Park
Athabasca Falls | Tips for Jasper National Park
Athabasca Falls | Tips for Jasper National Park

3. Malignant Lake

To get to Maligne Lake (location here ), you will have to drive through the town of Jasper. From the main road you drive in XNUMX minutes, up to an hour to Maligne Lake and on the way you pass by Medicine Lake, which is also a nice place to stop.

Medicine Lake
Medicine Lake | Tips for Jasper National Park
On the way to Maligne Lake
On the way to Maligne Lake | Tips for Jasper National Park

Maligne Lake has beautiful blue water and from the lake you can see incredibly high and steep mountain peaks and glaciers. A boat tour is a popular activity on this lake. A tour costs about 65 CAD (50 euros) per person.

We thought that was a bit pricey and took a short walk along the lake, which also resulted in beautiful pictures.

Maligne Lake | Tips for Jasper National Park
Maligne Lake | Tips for Jasper National Park
The blue waters of Maligne Lake | Tips for Jasper National Park
The blue waters of Maligne Lake | Tips for Jasper National Park
A bird at Maligne Lake | Tips for Jasper National Park
A bird at Maligne Lake | Tips for Jasper National Park

4. Sunwapta Falls

The water of the Sunwapta Falls (location here ), comes from the Athabasca Glacier. The waterfall is 18 meters high and 9,1 meters wide. The name means turbulent water. Most of the water falls in the spring and summer, of course because of the melting glacier. There is an upper and lower section. Both are a short walk away from a parking lot near the falls.

5. Edith Cavell Meadows

During the Edith Cavell Meadows walk (location here ), you will see high cliffs, a glacier, a glacial lake and wild flowers. While sitting by the glacier, we occasionally saw some ice fall into the lake.

Edith Cavell Meadows | Tips for Jasper National Park
Edith Cavell Meadows | Tips for Jasper National Park
Edith Cavell Meadows | Tips for Jasper National Park
Edith Cavell Meadows | Tips for Jasper National Park
Edith Cavell Meadows | Tips for Jasper National Park
Edith Cavell Meadows | Tips for Jasper National Park

We had prepared ourselves for a brisk walk and put on our walking shoes. The walk was brisk, but short. At least to get to the glacier and the lake. The entire round takes you to even greater heights, is 8,5 kilometers and is therefore very tough. Because we could already see the glacier well after the first short hike, we stuck with it… Especially because our legs were still sore from the hike a few days before!

Also read: Hiking to the Illecillewaet Glacier in Glacier National Park | Roadtrip Canada (43)

The trail doesn't take you all the way to the glacial lake and that's for a reason. If the ice melts, there is a chance that large pieces will come down. You can still see this dangerous ice on the tops and top right in the photo below. As the warnings indicate, it can land on you or in the water, causing the water level to rise rapidly. Signs or not, people found it necessary to stand on the edge…

Chris at Edith Cavell Meadows | Tips for Jasper National Park
Chris at Edith Cavell Meadows | Tips for Jasper National Park
Warnings | Tips for Jasper National Park
Warnings | Tips for Jasper National Park

6. The town of Jasper

North of the national park is the town of Jasper. A tourist town. It is the base for your stay and other practical matters, but it is above all very cozy with its shops, bars and restaurants.

7. Icefields Parkway

With Icefields Parkway drive through the national park. Along this road you will find all the sights and it is a very nice drive.

Icefields Parkway | Tips for Jasper National Park
Icefields Parkway | Tips for Jasper National Park

We drove by road, because we initially drove from Glacier National Park to the town of Jasper. We were treated for more than three hours with beautiful views of glaciers, mountains, lakes and wildlife. And that before we had the chance to really visit the park.

Icefields Parkway | Tips for Jasper National Park
Icefields Parkway | Tips for Jasper National Park
Bow Lake| Tips for Jasper National Park
Bow Lake| Tips for Jasper National Park
Bow Lake | Tips for Jasper National Park
Bow Lake | Tips for Jasper National Park
A bear along the road | Tips for Jasper National Park
A bear along the road | Tips for Jasper National Park

Also read: Taking bears and other wildlife into account (tips) | Roadtrip Canada (42)

Practical information and tips

Camping

The town of Jasper has two very large campsites, of which Whistlers Campground (Location here ) is the largest with no less than 781 places! Wapiti Campground is opposite. Both campgrounds are not far from the national park boundary and are owned by Parks Canada.

Whistlers Campground is very pretty, with spacious pitches among the trees. Also the facilities are very good and brand new. We paid less than 30 CAD (23 euros) for our place with no hook-ups and no heating license.

We were there in the month of August, when it can be very busy. Both campsites were fully booked, with the exception of one night… If you plan to camp there during this period, book a place in good time via this website.

Fortunately, Whistlers Campground has a so-called Overflow camp ground (Location here ), 20 minutes away. There are still many places here to be able to offer everyone a place. You pay about 17 CAD (13 euros) by means of self-registration for one night. There are pit toilets, but no showers or other facilities.

Groceries and refueling

Because Banff and Jasper National Parks border each other and there are not many options for refueling and shopping in the parks, the prices at the gas stations and supermarkets that do exist are high. It is wise to think in advance where you will (or have to) refuel and where you will do your shopping.

In the town of Jasper north of the national park, you can refuel for an affordable price. There are no petrol stations within the boundaries of the National Park.

In the town of Jasper you can find a number of small supermarkets, which are quite pricey. Unfortunately, you will not find large(er) and more affordable ones.

Finally,

Jasper is very big! You can choose to drive around for one or two days and stop at different places, but you can also (as long as you like) take adventurous walks and/or relax at the beautiful lakes. Since it is very popular among the tourists, it is wise to prepare your visit.

In any case, we really enjoyed it!

Plan your vacation to Canada here

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Malou

From an early age 👶 I have been fascinated by distant travels and other cultures. Seen many a country 🗺️, but certainly not ready yet! At this age (31) I often think about how to organize my life further. When I travel, I quickly let go of that and I can fully enjoy the here and now 🧘.
At home 🏠 I have a job in childcare, but at the moment I have a year off to go on an adventure with my husband Chris and the camper 🚐 in the US 🇺🇸 and Canada 🇨🇦

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