Nestled in the crown of the Rockies, Jasper National Park is famous for its mighty peaks, many of which top 3000 meters. The park contains such national treasures as Mt. Robson, the massive Columbia Icefield, and the Athabasca River, and it's an important refuge for iconic Canadian wildlife. Like Banff National Park, Jasper is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage site.
To get started, try a short valley hike along alpine lakes to The Red Chairs or take a walk on the Columbia Ice Field (consider bringing crampons for traction).
If you have more time, plan a backpacking trip along the Skyline Trail, for a gorgeous 49-km point-to-point hike with wide-open views of the surrounding mountains and meadows. Another spot with unbeatable scenery would be the Berg Lake Trail, which weaves between the glaciated flanks of Mount Robson and Whitehorn Mountain on its way to the banks of the Smoky River. Do it as an out-and-back in its own right, camping in the Valley of a Thousand Falls, or use the trail to access nearby glaciers and peaks in the Robson Cirque.
When to Go
The park is open year-round. Summer is definitely the high season, but winter snow makes the park a haven for cross-country and backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. Spring and summer offer more variable temperatures but less crowding. If you go in the late fall or winter, check for seasonal road closures online before you plan your trip. Also check the avalanche forecast if you're venturing into steeper terrain.
All visitors to the park (except those under the age of 17) will need to purchase a day pass or an annual Discovery Pass. There are fees for overnight camping as well. For a full schedule of fees and permit options, visit the Jasper National Park web page.
Dogs are permitted in Jasper National Park as long as they remain on-leash. Read up online more info on park rules and regulations.