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bootlegga Jasper - A travel report by James
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Jasper,  Canada - flag Canada -  Alberta
7832 readers

bootlegga's travel reports

The less touristy part of the Canadian Rockies

  17 votes
Page: 1 2
Jasper has something to offer all year long. In winter, there is skiing and snowboarding at Marmot Basin, in the summer, hiking, camping and sightseeing are just minutes from Jasper.

Mt. Edith Cavell
Mt. Edith Cavell
Located only 3 hours west of the provincial capital, Edmonton, Jasper National Park is an amazing place. Originally created in 1907 as Jasper Forest Park, in 1930, it became a National Park. Jasper, along with the other 3 national parks in the Canadian Rockies, form one of the largest UNESCO sites in the world. In Jasper, there are more than 1200 km of hiking trails, for people of all skill levels, and include both day and overnight hiking trips. During the winter, there are several hundred km of groomed cross country ski trails, as well as downhill skiing at Marmot Basin.

Favourite spots:
Athabasca Glacier
Athabasca Glacier
Hiking the Wilcox Pass trail. Just south of the Columbia Icefields, this trail ascends very quickly to 330 m and then levels off. From the plateau, you can look down at the Athabasca Glacier from above. The meadows you wander through are filled with wildflowers and offer spectacular views of the valley below. This is one of the best day hikes in the Canadian Rockies.

What's really great:
Jasper travelogue picture
One of the most special things about Jasper is the isolation one feels. Within moments of leaving the town, you are engulfed by the Rockies and all by yourself. Unlike Banff, there tends to be fewer tourists running around clicking pictures of everything, scampering about making tons of noise and in general, pissing you off at every turn. You can hike almost any trail and see only a few other souls, instead of tramping in the dust of 50 people from a tour bus.

Maligne Lake
Maligne Lake
World famous Spirit Island in Maligne Lake is only minutes away from Jasper. Whether you choose to hike through Maligne Canyon, or travel Maligne Lake by boat or hiking along it’s shores, the view will be magnificent. In the winter, it is possible to cross-country ski on trails near the lake.

If mountain biking is your thing, Fryatt Creek is great. It’s relatively level for the first few KMs , then climbs into the mountains, with several places to stop offering stunning views.

Skiing at Marmot Basin is great, with a variety of beginner hills to several double black diamonds, which are very challenging.

In addition to all this, there are dozens of mountains to gaze at and trails to hike.

Athabasca Falls
Athabasca Falls
The Lobstick lodge is a good all-purpose hotel, with a pool, hot tub, restaurant and lounge. For those looking for something cheaper, check out the Astoria hotel.

Generally, I prefer to camp in Jasper in the summer, and both Whistlers and Wapiti campgrounds are excellent and close to town. They provide a full range of services for the wimps, like firewood, showers, etc.

If you prefer roughing it, there are dozens of back country campgrounds you can head out to. The Fryatt Creek hiking/biking trail offers a particularily nice campsite, next to a stream and with an incredible view of the mountains surrounding it.

Frozen Athabasca Falls in January
Frozen Athabasca Falls in January
The party never stops at the Atha-B in the Athabasca Hotel! Also popular is Pete’s on Patricia, with its Hip Hop Tuesdays and live bands or DJs other nights.

Mailgne Canyon in winter
Mailgne Canyon in winter
Just about all the hotels in town have a lounge where one can sit by a fire and drink beer after a hard day of skiing.

One of the best in town is the Whistle Stop Pub at Whistler’s Inn. They have almost a dozen beers on tap and on Wednesdays there is a jam night where you can play with the house band!

Bear proof garbage cans like this are everywhere in the mountain parks
Bear proof garbage cans like this are everywhere in the mountain parks
The Lobstick Lodge’s Country Inn has a fantastic upscale menu that provides a variety of local delicacies. Earl’s and Sorrentino’s are Italian restaurants in the mid-price range. For a taste of local, family-owned fare, try the Jasper Pizza Place or the L&W restaurant.

Other recommendations:
On the Athabsaca Glacier
On the Athabsaca Glacier
For those who drive down the Icefield's Parkway, there are both the Athabasca and Sunwapta waterfalls just off the highway, as well as the incredible Athabasca Glacier.

Both guided and self tours are possible, though I do not recommend walking on the glacier yourself. Almost every year, someone falls into a crevasse and dies!

On the guided tour, you board a gigantic vehicel called a snocoach and cross out onto the middle of the Glacier where one can scamper about in relative safety, as the tour company repairs and maintains it everyday.

Published on Thursday August 19th, 2004

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Thu, Sep 07 2006 - 05:50 PM rating by mrscanada

This is my favorite park in Alberta.

Fri, Dec 02 2005 - 08:04 PM rating by jorgesanchez

still snowing outside, the russian boat has not yet arrived, I keep on reading your reports

Sun, Jan 23 2005 - 10:45 PM rating by gloriajames

some great pics!

Fri, Jan 21 2005 - 10:45 AM rating by davidx

I'm amazed this doesn't have 5* rating. I think it's great.

Thu, Sep 16 2004 - 08:12 PM rating by bridgete

Wow, magnificent photos. I must go there!!

Mon, Aug 23 2004 - 06:43 AM rating by bear495

Those are some nice photos of the Jasper area. Nice work.

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