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Travel – Jasper – Canada – Part 4

Jasper is a specialized municipality in western Alberta in Canada, famous because of the presence of the Jasper National Park, with its immense natural beauty (and with the Rocky Mountains right there).

Read more in the previous post about Jasper (Jasper – Part 3)

Some attractions of Jasper

Miette Hot Springs
• Hot natural sprins attract a large number of visitors, and here, one can find the hottest such natural springs in the Rocky Mountains in Canada, with the temperature ranging between a hot 54ºC to a soothing 39ºC.
• These springs are a part of the scenic Fiddle Valley, with the location having a cool pool, two hot pools, a cool pool, and a place to eat. For those wanting to step into the pools, one can find towels, swimsuits and lockers.
• Besides the pool, there are other places nearby that attract visitors who want to do springs and other items, such as hiking trails, picnic sites, and of course places to stay.

Patricia and Pyramid Lake
• These are 2 sparkling beautiful lakes, with the access to these lakes through a winding road. A lot of stuff can be done here such as:
– Boating
– Hiking
– Fishing
– Picnicking (besides the above totally water dependent activities, just enjoying the lake shore can be great)

Lot of stuff to do where you can rent the equipment:
– Canoeing
– Windsurfing
– Sailing
– Boating
– Horse-back riding
• In winter, with the solidification of top layer of ice, other activities are available such as cross-country skiing and ice-skating on Pyramid Lake.
• When somebody thinks of a lake and its access to differently abled people, one would be surprised to learn that Pyramid Island is now wheelchair accessible.
• Common facilities available here include Seasonal accommodation and dining facilities.

Whistler’s Mountain
• Part of the charm of this place is the ride up the Jasper Tramway, which takes the visitors to the height of 2277 meters.
• The view from the tramway is great, providing some stunning landscapes of the nearby mountain ranges (at a height, the nearby can be relative, since these ranges extend about 80 km away).
• There are exhibits located at the Whistler’s Mountain, with these providing details about the high alpine environment and about a hiking trail. The trail leads to the summit of the mountain.
• There are facilities available here which include gift shops and dining facilities.
• View a map of Whistler’s Mountain & Jasper Tramway at www.jaspertramway.com/

Sunwapta Falls
• The meaning of the word Sunwapta is “turbulent river”, derived from a Stoney Indian word.
• The falls are spectacular, with the flow of the Sunwapta River changing from northwest to southwest.
• Even more spectacular, the river explodes into a cloud of spray straight into a deep canyon.
• One can have a picnic nearby, and there are options of dining and accommodation.
• Sunwapta Falls, when frozen, provide some differently shaped “ice sculptures”, something which photographers love.

Mt. Edith Cavell
• This is a real beautiful summit, with only a few other summits nearby that look so beautiful.
• In addition, there a glacier called Angel glacier that is powdery blue and small.
• The place is accessible by a short self-guiding trail that moves along the side of the lake.
• Using a different trail, visitors can reach the picturesque Cavell Meadows, but this is a longer trail.
• These trails can be busy, but are less crowded at times such as mornings or late afternoons.

Lake Edith and Lake Annette
Like many other lakes in the area, Lake Edith and Lake Annette offer:
– Day-use areas and places for poeple to have a picnic
• The water is refreshing and a number of people like to enjoy a swim in the lake.
• If you are not swimming, you can just relax in the calm environment next to the lakes and reflect on life or forget life for some time. Another option is a great walk.
• Another activity that can be done is to cycle with trails on which people can bicycle around Lake Edith.

Pocahontas
• “Pocahontas Coal Mine” remains are found off Highway 16 on the Miette Road.
• There is also a self-guided interpretive trail with the trail taking visitors to the remnants of the mine.

Athabasca Falls
• If you fond of visiting falls, then the Athabasca Falls are a must visit, since the considered one of the most breathtaking falls in the Rocky Mountains, and very powerful.
• The Athabasca River water falls down a narrow gorge and such is the force that the water has smoothed the edges of the walls in the gorge.

Stutfield Glacier
• This glacier is a tongue of the massive Columbia Icefield.
• One of the unique points of this glacier is that the glacier falls to a vertical depth of over 900 meters of cliff face.
• The flow of the water forms a picturesque set of double ice falls that are visible from the road.
• This glacier is located 95 km south of Jasper and 135 km north of Lake Louise.

Goat Lookout
• Seems a bit strange in terms of name, but this lookout provides a great view of the mountain peaks around.
• It can be considered a picnic area located at a height that provides a panoramic view of the Athabasca Valley.

From this Lookout one can spot wildlife such as:
– Mountain goats
– Bighorn sheep
– And others.
• Goat Lookout is approximately situated 38 km to south of Jasper off Highway 93.
• It is located in the Ice fields Parkway Region.

Jasper dark sky
• One of the advantages of being outside civilization is that you are away from the ambient light that is all around, and can have a better chance of spotting the huge number of stars in the night sky.
• This is the world’s largest official Dark Sky Preserve located at 11,228 km2.

Best time to visit / climate

• Jasper’s summer months are temperate, which means you can enjoy a quick dip in the lake without freezing yourself, and also makes outdoor activity comfortable.
• As you get to Fall, it brings beautiful colors along with fabulous hiking conditions.
• Spring is good in most parks, and here also Spring brings wildflowers and gushing rivers which also makes it the ideal time for rafting.
• Winter has both cold snaps and warmer Chinook winds and in between also provides a good feel of Alberta sunshine.
• Altitude of the place is: 1062 m
• Time of the year for Spring: mid-April and reaches the high country by mid-June.
• July is the warmest month with a mean daily maximum temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius.
• September and October brings fall and along with these, also bring in clear skies and cooler temperatures.
• The winter season has periods of cold snowy weather with the coldest month being January (the average maximum temperature of -7.8 degrees Celsius – cold)

Location on Google Maps


View Larger Map

How to get there

By vehicle:
• Driving to Jasper National Park is scenic and beautiful.
• One of the options is the Highway #16 (also known by an alternate name: the Yellowhead Highway) which runs through the park.
• This highway is the main east-west route to and from Jasper.
• However, this highway pales in comparison to the Icefields Parkway which is the most scenic stretches of highway in the world.
• This highway runs north-south connecting Jasper and connects with the Trans-Canada Highway #1 near Lake Louise and Banff.

By Air
International airports are serviced by major national and international carriers in:
1. Edmonton
2. Calgary
3. Vancouver

By Rail
• Jasper National Park can be accessed by both Via Rail and Rocky Mountaineer.
• Rail travel allows travelers to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery found anywhere on the planet.

By Bus
• Sundog Tours has services to the Calgary International Airport from Jasper via Banff.
• This runs along the spectacular Icefields Parkway.
• The Edmonton International Airport links the new Edmonton-Jasper connector to Jasper.
There is Greyhound bus service regularly to Jasper from:
1. Calgary
2. Edmonton
3. Vancouver

By Rental Car
There are several car rental agencies located in the Jasper.

Some Travel Books on Canada

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canada Lonely Planet Discover Canada Lonely Planet British Columbia & the Canadian Rockies

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):
Hotels at tripadvisor.com
Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at jasper.travel
Hotels at jasperhotels.com

Blogs / Sites:
blogs at wikitravel.org
blogs at jasper.travel
blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs and reviews at tripadvisor.com

Images and photos:
images at wikitravel.org
images at jasper.travel
images at wikipedia.org
images at google.com

Videos

Travel – Jasper – Canada – Part 3

Jasper is a specialized municipality in western Alberta in Canada, very attractive for nature lovers. Read more about this in the previous part (Jasper Natural Park – Part 2)

Cross-country Skiing
• If you are interested in cross country skiing, then there are a number of such options in Jasper.

Mountain Galleries
• In 1992, a film-maker and artist named Wendy Wacko set up galleries in Jasper in 1992.
• These are one of the largest commercial galleries that have been established in Western Canada.
There are other branches in the following areas:
– Banff
– Whistler Resort
• This collection represents the work of some major and mid-career artists.
• The advantage of this kind of gallery is that it takes the full advantage of the 35 years of working experience of Wendy Wacko in the arts.
• The gallery, in addition to representing artists, also provides upcoming artists with studio space and accommodation as a part of the residence program in all 3 locations.

Activity: Ice Skating
• When you think of Canada, you would think of an ice skating rink and team, and you can enjoy the experience of ice skating on a frozen lake in Jasper in the Rocky Mountains.

Activity: Ski Touring
• Ski touring has a number of proponents, and as you would expect, Jasper National Park offers a variety of options for a day tour as well as overnight.

Activity: Dog Sledding Tours
• Dog sleds have an incredible reach in rough areas, and provide the best way to venture deep into the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Activity: Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
• Like other winter and ice / snow options, Downhill skiing and snowboarding have their own adherents and enthusiasts, and when you consider the rugged landscape of The Rocky Mountains in Jasper National Park, there are a number of options for downhill skiing and snowboarding.

Activity: Snowshoeing
• Snowshoeing is getting to be very popular, and the park provides a number of such options for this activity.

Acivity: Maligne Canyon Ice Walk
• This walk provides visitors with a great experience of the wonders of the Maligne Canyon.

Some of the Natural Wonders in Jasper

Columbia Icefield
• When you consider regions to the south of Alaska, this Ice field is counted as the largest such ice field. Since it is glacial, it provides a shimmering perspective, with snow cover extending to an area of about 390 sq. km.
• The Athabasca Glacier, another attraction, is a tongue of the Columbia Ice field and can be visited through a thrilling 90-minute Ice Age adventure. The adventure provides some great views of what people come to look for – streamlets that are fed by ice, as well as deep icy crevasses.
• There are guided Glacier Ice-walks; you can also visit the Icefield Interpretive Centre. The center provides various exhibits with educational information.
• In the ice field, you can get facilities such as camping, Seasonal accommodation, and food options.
• And, of course, there are hiking trails nearby.

Maligne Lake
• The lake has the same name as the valley in which it is located, the majestic Maligne Valley
• This is a real beautiful lake, with another great property, being the 2nd largest glacier-fed lake in the world. The lake has a length of about about 22 km.
• For tours of the lake, there are boat options, in this case, there is a 11.5 hour boat cruise available.
• Some of the attractions of this cruise include views of glacier-studded mountain peaks, and will take you past the world-famous Spirit Island.
• The Boat Cruise is open in summer from between May to October.

• Another place worth visiting is the historic Maligne Chalet, the restoration being the labour of a local craftsman called Floyd Coleman.
• The chalet is worth visiting because of the setting of the Chalet, located next to the Maligne Lake and with the Rocky Mountains all around, and becoming a nice romantic place.

Maligne Canyon
• Canyons, especially when they are deep and sheer, provide a great view and tourist attraction. And one of these is the Maligne Canyon, this being one of the most spectacular gorges present in the Canadian Rockies.
• There Canyon has sheer limestone walls and with the depth of these wheels walls going down to 50 meters.
• And like any other great natural place, there is a great trail that passes through a picnic area and crosses a total of 6 bridges. From this location, one can enjoy the spray from the Maligne River.
• Another great view is by peering into the mossy depths.
• In winter, the guided Canyon Tour is a different tour, one that takes you across the floor of the frozen canyon. This kind of tour should not be missed.

Best time to visit / climate

• Jasper’s summer months are temperate, which means you can enjoy a quick dip in the lake without freezing yourself, and also makes outdoor activity comfortable.
• As you get to Fall, it brings beautiful colors along with fabulous hiking conditions.
• Spring is good in most parks, and here also Spring brings wildflowers and gushing rivers which also makes it the ideal time for rafting.
• Winter has both cold snaps and warmer Chinook winds and in between also provides a good feel of Alberta sunshine.
• Altitude of the place is: 1062 m
• Time of the year for Spring: mid-April and reaches the high country by mid-June.
• July is the warmest month with a mean daily maximum temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius.
• September and October brings fall and along with these, also bring in clear skies and cooler temperatures.
• The winter season has periods of cold snowy weather with the coldest month being January (the average maximum temperature of -7.8 degrees Celsius – cold)

Location on Google Maps


View Larger Map

How to get there

By vehicle:
• Driving to Jasper National Park is scenic and beautiful.
• One of the options is the Highway #16 (also known by an alternate name: the Yellowhead Highway) which runs through the park.
• This highway is the main east-west route to and from Jasper.
• However, this highway pales in comparison to the Icefields Parkway which is the most scenic stretches of highway in the world.
• This highway runs north-south connecting Jasper and connects with the Trans-Canada Highway #1 near Lake Louise and Banff.

By Air
International airports are serviced by major national and international carriers in:
1. Edmonton
2. Calgary
3. Vancouver

By Rail
• Jasper National Park can be accessed by both Via Rail and Rocky Mountaineer.
• Rail travel allows travelers to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery found anywhere on the planet.

By Bus
• Sundog Tours has services to the Calgary International Airport from Jasper via Banff.
• This runs along the spectacular Icefields Parkway.
• The Edmonton International Airport links the new Edmonton-Jasper connector to Jasper.
There is Greyhound bus service regularly to Jasper from:
1. Calgary
2. Edmonton
3. Vancouver

By Rental Car
There are several car rental agencies located in the Jasper.

Some Travel Books on Canada

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canada Lonely Planet Discover Canada Lonely Planet British Columbia & the Canadian Rockies

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):
Hotels at tripadvisor.com
Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at jasper.travel
Hotels at jasperhotels.com

Blogs / Sites:
blogs at wikitravel.org
blogs at jasper.travel
blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs and reviews at tripadvisor.com

Images and photos:
images at wikitravel.org
images at jasper.travel
images at wikipedia.org
images at google.com

Videos

Read the next post in the series (Jasper – Part 4)