Ways to Make
Jasper National Park (Canada)
Due to the worldwide pandemic, please check for destination travel restrictions prior to visiting/booking
Athabasca Glacier Tour
We stopped along the Columbia Icefields Parkway at the Discovery Center for the Glacier Tour. Our day was rather cold, windy and rainy but that didn't get in the way of the amazing experience riding the massive Ice Explorer and then walking on a glacier. The tour had the added skywalk which was interesting but otherwise not worth the stop, particularly in bad weather.
Spirit Island Boat Tour on Maligne Lake
Spirit Island is one of the most photographed spots in the Canadian Rockies. We took the tour boat there and completed the very short hike for a different vantage point. The tour guides gave a great history of the lake and points of interest.
Mt. Edith Cavell
6 mi/9.5 km loop
This hike had significant elevation gain and was quite steep in many areas. You currently need a permit to get to the parking lot for this area, we were able to obtain one the morning of our hike but we would recommend going at least a day in advance.
We started our hike along the partially paved route to Cavell Kettle Lake. After viewing the magnificent opaque turquoise lake with floating icebergs and overhanging Angel Glacier we continued our hike up through the subalpine forest to the meadows. Along the way we heard the cracking of the glacier. At the summit we were somewhat exhausted but awed by the view. In the final photo you can see the path in the distance to the right of our family.
Stay at Whistler's Campground in Jasper
This site had a perfect location adjacent to the field between the ampitheater, playground and showers. Although the showers were crowded at peak times and the water sometimes lukewarm at best, the facilities were acceptable and there was plenty of counter space. Mount Edith Cavelle was visible in the distance from our campsite.
Maligne Lake Trail/Mary Shaffer Loop
2 mi loop
This trail starts along the lake and then turns into the forest to complete the loop back at the visitors center. It was a pleasant easy hike, but not spectacular in terms of views. For a shorter scenic hike turn around at the lake overlook (pictured).
Valley of Five Lakes Hike
2.8 mi/4.5 km
This hike has its ups and down but not overly steep in any place. The terrain can be rocky at times. The hike out to the lake area was longer than we anticipated, but once you get to the lakes the trail goes pretty quickly from beautiful jade green to turquoise blue lake after lake. We started at Lake 1 and proceeded to Lake 5, but if you were going just to swim, you would want to go the other direction. We found more people swimming in Lake 4&5 with easier water access.
Visit the waterfall that drains the Athabasca Glacier. There are several easy to access viewing platforms.
Go to a Ranger Program at Whistlers Campground
We have visited several national parks and we enjoyed the ranger programs at this campground the best of all of them. From fun plays to geocaching, the whole family participated every evening.
The town of Jasper had a little more going on than Lake Louise. Many restaurants, a laundromat, a few grocery stores (we found prices to be similar at both = expensive).
There was an ATM across from the laundromat came in handy because the washers and dryers only took Canadian money. Other than that we did not need Canadian currency. Our credit card bill let us know the cost of convenience a month later...
Eat at Syrah's of Jasper, We were intrigued by the Gardner's Pie on the menu and were not disappointed. They also had a great kid's menu and very attentive wait staff.