Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is a scenic 45 minute drive away from Mountain River Lodge. Along the way, watch for wildlife such as moose at Moose Lake, bears along the side of the road foraging for berries, and the large herd of wapiti (elk) that have made the valley floor of Jasper National park home for over 10,000 years. Jasper is the largest of Canada’s Rocky Mountain Parks. It spans 10,878 square kilometers (4200 square miles) of broad valleys, rugged mountains, glaciers, forests, alpine meadows and wild rivers along the eastern slopes of the Rockies in western Alberta. There are more than 1200 kilometers (660 miles) of hiking trails (both overnight and day trips), and a number of spectacular mountain drives. Jasper joins Banff National Park to the south via the Icefields Parkway, and joins Mount Robson Park to the west.
Jasper National Park is the largest of Canada’s Rocky Mountain parks. Jasper spans 10,878 square kilometers (4200 square miles) of broad valleys, rugged mountains, glaciers, forests, alpine meadows and wild rivers along the eastern slopes of the Rockies in western Alberta. There are more than 1200 kilometers (660 miles) of hiking trails (both overnight and day trips), and a number of spectacular mountain drives. Jasper joins Banff National Park to the south via the Ice fields Parkway.
The Columbia Ice field borders the parkway in the southern end of the Jasper Park. It’s the largest of the chain of ice fields along the Great Divide separating Alberta and British Columbia. This 325 square km accumulation of ice feeds eight large glaciers. Visitors are warned NOT to walk out onto the glacier. Guided tours are available. Large numbers of elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer and other large animals, as well as their predators make Jasper National Park one of the great protected ecosystems remaining in the Rocky Mountains. This vast wilderness is one of the few remaining places in southern Canada that is home to a full range of carnivores, including grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolves and wolverines.
More attractions and activities around Jasper National Park:
Are looking for a way to see a lot of the Canadian Rockies without having to hike or mountain climb your way through the peaks? We have the ideal experience for retirees, those with limited mobility or individuals that want to experience the magic of the Canadian Rockies without “roughing it.” Take the train.
A truly glorious experience for anyone – families, couples and even those that love the outdoors. Riding the Rocky Mountaineer is sure to be an awe inspiring experience. Most people spend their trip with their nose pressed to the wide glass windows of the train, soaking in the scenery and absorbing interesting contextual information provided by the hosts. These storytellers recall history and myth about the surrounding landscapes.
There are a variety of tours that take you through Jasper, which is about 45 minutes from our Mount Robson Inn. The two main tours are called “Journey Through the Clouds,” which traverses the Western part of the Canadian Rockies, and “Rainforest to Gold Rush,” Rocky Mountaineer’s newest route which takes you through pristine wilderness from Whistler to Jasper.
Rocky Mountain Train Routes
Through the Clouds: The route includes two days on the train from Vancouver to Jasper (or reverse).
A waterfall in Jasper National Park
The trip costs $935 and includes two days of daylight rail travel, two breakfasts and lunches and one night hotel accommodation. A wonderful way to experience much more of the Rockies than hiking (unless you’ve got all summer), this can be a delightful way to start or end a Rocky Mountain vacation.
Rainforest to Gold Rush: The same trip as above, except this route runs between Jasper and Whistler. These trips are great to keep in mind for saving on airfare if you are coming from out of the area. If you fly into Whistler, ride the train to Jasper and then rent a car, you can have a nice balance of guided versus independent touring.
Either of these trips will be complete once you come and stay with us at our bed and breakfast in the shadow of the Rockies’ highest peak, Mount Robson!
One of the most popular winter activities in Jasper National Park is cross country skiing. It’s a great way to see the beauty of the park at winter and enjoy the solace of the snowy landscape.
The Canadian Parks system just put out a new cross country ski trails map. Here are some descriptions of the most popular trails.
This staging area offers a network of over 20 km of ski trail, including level terrain and challenging hills that are sure to get your heart rate up. Pick one, or connect the trails and loops together to make a day of it!
Whirlpool Trail: Gentle terrain brings you from the parking lot to a junction at km 2.2– stay right and continue along this easy section until km 5.8, where the terrain begins to roll.
A moose at Moab Lake inside Jasper National Park.
Beyond this point the snow tends to improve as you climb towards Moab Lake.
Leach Lake Trail: Also known as the sunny side, this trail brings you to sparkling Leach Lake. Near Athabasca Falls, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Mount Hardisty and Kerkeslin.
Geraldine Road: This winding road has plenty of ups and downs. You’ll build up a sweat as you climb, but bring an extra layer for the ski towards Mt. Kerkeslin, which will get your adrenaline rushing as you zoom down this slope.
If you are ready for a workout, this winding route along the Astoria River Valley will work up your appetite! This route opens on February 16. 11.6 km to the Cavell Hostel.
Looking for Lodging Near Jasper National Park?
Our Rocky Mountains lodge is a scenic 45 minute drive away from Jasper National Park. Along the way, watch for wildlife like moose at Moose Lake, bears foraging for berries, and the large herd of wapiti (elk) that have made the valley floor of Jasper National park home for over 10,000 years.
If you’re just joining us, we are sharing a Top 10 list of winter activities in Jasper National Park. Click through to see the first half of the list from our earlier post.
5. Observe Ice Formations at Maligne Canyon. With its frozen waterfalls, surreal ice formations and frosted limestone walls, Maligne Canyon is a magical place in the winter. Several local tour companies lead guided walks down into the canyon. The adventurous can ice climb with a certified mountain guide, or go on your own, if you have the skills. Maps and guidebook are sold at the information center and local outdoor shops.
6. Ice Skate. What could be more Canadian than pond skating? The ice is monitored and cleared for skating at Mildred and Pyramid lakes. Both locations offer free-skating ovals and rinks for shinny hockey. Once in a while, temperatures drop before the snow falls, leaving many ponds and lakes covered in a thick layer of transparent ice. In these conditions, it seems you are flying across the ice! Make sure you have the necessary safety information before heading out, Parks Canada does not monitor the ice.
7. Backcountry Touring. For those seeking adventure, Jasper’s vast backcountry awaits. On skis or snowshoes, hardy travelers can visit the remote corners of Jasper National Park. Not sure winter camping is up your alley? Several local companies and the Alpine Club of Canada offer backcountry lodges with varying services. Winter backcountry travel requires training, knowledge and self-reliance. If you are inexperienced, hire a guide or or join the Alpine Club of Canada on one of their mountain adventures.
8. Go Fish. Fishing in winter? Why not! Believe it or not, winter fishing is a popular sport in cold climates. Fishing is about more than just catching dinner: enjoy the serenity of wild places in winter. The information center and local shops sell fishing permits and provide information and advice.
9. Get some History. Aboriginal travelers, fur-traders, explorers, early tourists and other from the past have left their mark on Jasper National Park. Find out more about these early inhabitants by visiting the Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives or visiting one of Jasper’s National Historic Sites.
10. Relax! Wild or tame, creatures instinctively slow down when the temperature falls. Take advantage of this quiet time in Jasper by slowing down as well. Enjoy the many restaurants, clubs, shops and spas the town of Jasper has to offer. Our Jasper National Park lodging, Mountain River Lodge, can also help you unwind.
“Winter is a time of beauty. Snow and ice transform the mountains, forests, meadows, riverbanks and lake shores of Jasper National Park. It’s a quiet time. The summer crowds have gone, the leaves have fallen, migratory birds have headed south and the bears have retired to their dens. The pulse of nature does indeed beat slower at this time of year but the park is still very much alive.” – Parks Canada Website
Top 10 Winter Activities in Jasper
1. Tour the park via Automobile. Enjoy light to nonexistent traffic and beautiful, Alberta-blue skies! A top-notch highway maintenance crew makes winter in Jasper National Park a great time for sightseeing. Most scenic pull-offs are plowed and you can look for sheep, wolves and moose, especially along the Maligne Road. Bring a thermos of warm coffee or tea and watch caribou along the Icefields Parkway or elk on the Pyramid Lake Road. Road condition information is updated daily on the Jasper park website. Winter tires are recommended.
2. Go skiing. Winter in Jasper is all about the snow! What better way to enjoy the powder than an exhilarating descent on one of Marmot Basin’s alpine ski runs or a tranquil tour on one of Jasper National Park’s many groomed cross-country ski trails. Rentals and lessons are available.
A snowshoe trip through Jasper National Park. Photo credit: Rich Anderson
3. Snowshoe. Snowshoeing is the traditional way to explore Jasper in the winter – and it is easier to learn than skiing! Follow one of Jasper’s many designated snowshoe trails or, if you are a skilled route-finder, make your own trail. Rentals and guided trips are available. Maps and guidebook are sold at the information center and local outdoor shops.
4. Take a Hike. Jasper is famous for its extensive trail network, and you can hike many of the valley bottom trails year-round. The trail report will tell you which ones are in the best shape. If conditions are slippery, you can buy or rent inexpensive ice cleats at many local shops.
Check back next week for the rest of the list!
Did you know that Jasper National Park is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks World Heritage Site? Four Canadian National parks and three British Columbia Provincial Parks reside within the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) site. The parks include mountains, glaciers and hot springs, as well as the headwaters of several major North American river systems including the North Saskatchewan, Athabasca, Columbia and Fraser rivers.The region is
In Jasper National Park
recognized for its natural beauty and wide array of flora and fauna.
Jasper National Park
This park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 because of the breathtaking mountain landscapes – mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons, and limestone caves as well as fossils found here make it one of the world’s natural treasures. Jasper National Park is a scenic 45 minute drive away from Mountain River Lodge, a Mt. Robson Inn. Along the way, watch for wildlife such as moose, bears and a large herd of wapiti (elk) that have inhabited the valley floor of Jasper National park for over 10,000 years.
Mt. Robson Provincial Park
Mt. Robson Park was inducted into the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. Mt. Robson Provincial Park was recognized for its unspoiled natural landscapes and scenery. Mt. Robson itself holds geological and ecological significance; Mount Robson is the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. It rises 3000 meters from the valley floor to the summit. The surrounding mountain landscapes contain the habitats for rare and endangered species.
Mountain River Lodge at Mt. Robson
If you are thinking about a trip to this gem of a park, please consider our comfortable and relaxing Mount Robson inn accommodations. We have both a bed & breakfast lodge and a self-contained cabin. We would love to be your hosts.
While staying at our lodging near Jasper National Park, visit the Park to experience the largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world.
In this modern world, where nearly every peopled region is bright with electric lights at night, dark skies adorned with stars have become rare. 100 year ago, who would have thought that we would need Dark Sky Preserves (DSPs) to ensure future generations’ chance to see starlit night skies? We are lucky to have the largest DSP in the world so close by. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada designated Jasper National Park as a Dark Sky Preserve on March 26, 2011.
To promote awareness of the need for unlit night skies, the entire month of October is Dark Sky Month in Jasper. There will be sky-themed activities and events all month long. But the highlight event will be the October 12-14 Jasper Dark Sky Festival. This family friendly event will feature guest presenters, children’s activities and star gazing adventures.
Friday October 12 ~ 8:30-9:30 pm
The festival opens with a Starry Night Wine & Cheese reception and presentation. Come to the Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (1 OldLodge Road in Jasper). You can sip and nibble while enjoying a talk by Peter McMahon from Sky New magazine.
Saturday October 13 ~ 10 am-10 pm
Events start at 10 am with a telescope lesson. The day’s Space Cadet Fair will offer fun and educational events for children of all ages. There will also be astronomy presentations and a Night Sky photography exhibit with work by Yuichi Takasaka. The evening wraps up with stargazing, dinner at the Pyramid Lake Resort and the Pyramid Island Starlight Adventure.
Sunday October 14 ~ 10 am-12:30 pm / 2-4 pm Photography Session
The weekend ends with closing remarks plus a presentation and night sky photography session with Yuichi Takasaka.
To learn more about the festival and the Jasper National Park Dark Sky Preserve, please visit JasperDarkSkyFest.com and JasperDarkSky.org.
Our lodging near Jasper National Park is just the place to stay if you want to experience the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve!
Helicopter Tours near Jasper National Park
On the drive to our scenic Mount Robson accommodations, visitors pass through the amazing forests and mountains of the Canadian wilderness. Hiking, biking and skiing are just a few great ways to experience the raw natural beauty of this area. There’s another unique way to see area attractions such as Maligne Lake, Mount Robson and Jasper National Park. Since 1996, High Country Helicopter Tours has been offering helicopter sightseeing flights as well as custom tours. There’s a good range of flights to choose from.
The Rocky Mountain Odyssey is the shortest trip available. Get a bird’s eye view of the Rockies’ eastern slope flight during the 18-minute flight.
Most popular is the half-hour Peaks and Passes flight. The dramatic views of the rugged mountain passes are absolutely awe-inspiring.
The 1-1/2 hour Explore Mount Robson flight is the longest tour. See the canyons, glaciers and deep valleys of Jasper National Park as you’ve never seen them before.
There are other sightseeing tours, all flown by experienced pilots who prioritize the safety of each guest. Click here to see the full list of available tours. Flights are offered year-round. Some packages, such as the heli-tour with hiking trip, occur only during the summer months. Of course, all flights are subject to cancellation due to weather conditions.
High Country Helicopter Tours also offer custom flights for personal or business-related gatherings. Just think of having a helicopter flight for your wedding, anniversary, company retreat or family trip! Combined with a stay at Mountain River Lodge, it would be an unforgettable experience.
Helicopters seat four guests in the Bell Jet Ranger or five guests in the Eurocopter A-Star. Keep in mind that sightseeing tours require a minimum of three guests, but custom tours can be booked for one to four or five guests depending on the helicopter’s capacity. To book a flight, contact the Operations Manager, Hjalmar Tiesenhausen at 1-877-777-4354 (toll free) or 1-780-852-0125 (local in Jasper). You can also learn more at www.hcheli.com.
Note: Due to Federal park regulations, take-offs and landings can’t take place from within Jasper National Park. All of High Country Helicopter Tours flights are conducted just east of the Park.
After a high flying heli-tour adventure, you can relax and unwind at our comfortable Mt. Robson lodging near Jasper National Park.
The Woodland caribou numbers have been found to be declining across Canada. One of the places includes Jasper National Park, home of Mt Robson Mountain River Lodge. This is why recently Parks Canada have been working hard to reduce threats and come up with a definitive conservation strategy.
In Jasper National Park experts say there could be as little as 100 Mountain Caribou left. The last sensus was in 1988 and there were about 175 so there has been a decline in numbers.
Woodland Caribou are different from most caribou
The caribou that you learn about growing up, which in most cases are barren-ground caribou in large herds, migratory animals, moving to the coast to calve, and then back are different from the Woodland Caribou. Woodland Caribou live below the treeline most of the time and don’t live in large herds or move to the coast to calve.
There are five threats to the Woodland Caribou:
1) Altered predator prey dynamics. What happens is there is a overpopulation of Elk which provides an abundant food source to wolves, and the wolves then eat the Caribou which are out numbered.
2) Increased predator access. The Caribou create this safety zone between the wolves, when humans create tracks that go into Caribou habitat it makes it easier for wolves to access the Caribou.
3) Human interaction. Traffic accidents have caused a number of Caribou deaths within the park, speed zones have been set to help solve this problem. Also when people are hiking in Caribou habitiat sometimes they will run great distances from people landing them in a zone where they may be unsafe.
4) And the fourth threat is habitat loss. It is not as much of an issue within the park because logging is not allowed, yet things like fire can be a threat by changing the habitat for Caribou. Outside the National Park there are habitat changes such as cut blocks, pipelines, and seismic lines.
5) The fifth threat is small population size. For example, the entire Bamff heard was lost in just one avalanche. Every animal is precious in this small population of Caribou.
Want to get involved?
Parks Canada Caribou
Jasper National Park
P.O. Box 10
On the shore of Lake Beauvert is one of the crown jewels from days past, when in the early 1900’s the Canadian National Railroad Company built resorts in the remote mountain wilderness. Stroll around the property, and enjoy a pot of the best coffee on the outdoor decks overlooking the lake. Golfers can enjoy the links, rated as o
Canada’s longest and highest aerial tramway. This gondola whisks you up Whistler’s Mountain to an elevation of 2285 metres (7500 feet) for stunning vistas of mountain peaks as far as the eye can see. A hiking trail leads you up the summit of the mountain where you can see Mount Robson on a clear day, over 80 km away. Gift shop and cafés are available. www.jaspertramway.com
Located 1 hour drive from Mountain River Lodge.