Jasper National Park of Canada is a wonder of nature, the type of place that has it all: high mountain peaks, lush green scenery, glacier waterfalls, huge crystal clear lakes, turquoise rivers running down hundreds of miles, subalpine forest…you name it. You can call it the wilderness paradise.
It is located in the Canadian Rockies, in Alberta province, covering a vast area of 11, 228 km, opened to the public in 1907. It’s very popular for its outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing and of course camping.
Wildlife can be seen in any parts of the park, even very close to the highway, so much that you need to drive very slowly in order to not hurt any of the animals. They are just so lovely!
I was in complete awe 100% of the time I was there, seeing the landscapes I would keep on my desktop screen when I was younger. Some could say that dreams do come true. But let’s start from the beginning by making a top 5 of my favorite places to see in Jasper National Park, even though the whole location is a must-see in this lifetime.
Mount Edith Cavell
It is visible from everywhere you drive around Jasper on the Icefield Parkway- the way from the town of Jasper, this massive gorgeous mountain that has an elevation gain of 11,033 ft. It was named after an English nurse executed during WWII. It has some of the most incredible scenery, and also a glacier waterfall which seems small from a distance, but once you get closer you realize it’s much bigger than that. The water runs straight from a glacier at the top of the mountain and has formed a glacier lake at the bottom of it as well. It is definitely a view out of the ordinary.
It is a 23 m waterfall located in the Canadian Rockies, with a very powerful water flow. It has formed a small canyon of immense beauty, flowing from the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield. It was discovered in 1810 and in 1989 was declared a Canadian heritage river. It’s pretty hard to miss it, you can just hear its sound of crushing water since it is very close to the highway and pretty accessible to the public.
Maligne Lake is an amazing bright blue-colored lake, stretching over 22 km surrounded by an open forest, where you can easily encounter moose, ducks, and several other kind of wildlife animals just enjoying their time in their own habitat. The most popular area to visit is Spirit Island, since it is an iconic place where the turquoise water, the mountains peaks, and the trees combine. It’s a very frequented place all year round because it is suitable for both summer and winter activities. Plus, the scenery is unbeatable.
This one is kind of a hidden gem. We were actually driving to Jasper Town when we saw a very small part of it and wanted to see what it is about. It looked tiny just because you have to cross a forest path to get to it, but even so, it was pretty crowded. It is inside a mini canyon with a crystal clear, dark blue color, perfect for a hot day. The hike around it is 1.5 km, with very high cliffs from where you can jump in (if you’re adventurous). The water is very clean and refreshing, another beauty of Jasper National Park.
Columbia Icefield Skywalk
A cliff-edge walkway that will give you an outlook on the amazing mountain peaks, glacier valleys, and everything in between. If you’re not afraid of heights, and even if you are, this one is worth trying. It’s a spectacle of nature in itself, and you get to witness it firsthand.
You do need a day pass if you want to visit Jasper National Park, you can buy it from their official website or from the town of Jasper, but online will make things easier.
Overall, Jasper National Park is a must-see if you planning to visit the western part of Canada. It has definitely the best sceneries and you actually feel like you are in a movie, with all the nature’s beauty all around, at every turn. There are plenty more places to see inside the park, since it is so vast, and you can’t go out of things to do while there. Go out there and explore!