Jasper National Park

 

After the unreal drive on the Icefields Parkway, we were excited to pull into Whistler Campground in Jasper National Park, near the town of Jasper. This campground was a great location, and ended up being a highlight of our trip. We had reserved our campsite about 4 months in advance, and had gotten one of the last dry camping spots that was big enough for our RV.

We didn’t realize when we booked our stay at Whistler Campground that they have fun activities for the family at night, there is a nice playground, and it is so close to the town of Jasper. There were fun ranger programs for the kids, and shows at night that were actually pretty funny! The kids loved the shows, and we enjoyed them too. We see on the website for the campground that it will be closed down for 2019 for upgrades throughout this campground, so while it may be hard to find campsites in the area if planning to go next year,  we look forward to returning another year to see what they have done to the place!

By the time we made it to Jasper, we were pretty tired from our amazing summer, and hadn’t planned out what we were going to do in this national park. We were just happy to be in Jasper. Looking at the map, it was a little deceiving how big Jasper really was, and how far it was between each area that we wanted to make it to in our short stay in this park.

Our favorite day in Jasper ended up being the day when we drove from Banff to Jasper that I have detailed more in this post. We saw so much that was already in Jasper National Park on the way to our campground, and would have stopped at even more waterfalls and pull offs if we had more time, and weren’t in our large motorhome.

After settling into our campground, we went to check out the town of Jasper. It was a quaint town with plenty of restaurants, a couple of small grocery stores, gas stations, and a nice library. We also really enjoyed the visitor center there in town, and the ranger there was very helpful and gave us info about the areas we were heading to next too!

Our first full day in Jasper, it was a bit cloudy and rainy, but we headed out for a short hike in Maligne Canyon, and then drove the 45 minutes further to the well known Maligne Lake. This lake would be a great place to take a boat ride out to the picturesque Spirit Island, which we unfortunately did not do this time around. We did get to walk around the lake a short time, but since it was raining, we didn’t get too far.

On our 2nd day in Jasper, we drove an hour northeast from our campground to Miette Hot Springs. We saw more wildlife in Jasper than we had in Banff. We saw elk, caribou, and 2 black bears while in Jasper. We liked this hot springs even better than the one in Banff, because there were 4 separate pools, closer mountain views, it was a little less crowded, and there was also a snack bar right there where we got some dessert and coffee and sat out on the patio overlooking the hot springs.

On our way back to town from the hot springs, we stopped at Jasper Lodge, which was a beautiful place! There were so many flowers at this lodge, along with a wonderful seating area and fireplace. There is also a restaurant here where you can eat on the patio that overlooks the pool. We have found that we love to visit the lodges at the National Parks, as they are usually rustic, in beautiful settings, and they have places to eat. It is the next best thing to staying there!

Near Jasper Lodge were two lakes within walking distance of each other: Lake Edith, and Lake Anita. There was a small playground near one of the lakes, and paddleboard rentals at the other. They also were great lakes to swim in, as they weren’t as cold as some of the other lakes around, and there were wonderful mountain views. The kids took a swim at Pyramid Lake, which is not far from the town of Jasper, and is said to have amazing wildlife viewing as well.

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We were aware that there was still much to do in Jasper, and that we had as usual only scraped the surface, but as we had to move on, all of the rest had to be saved for next time! We have heard that the Jasper SkyTram is great, along with Sunwapta Falls, and Mt Edith Cavell (which was closed when we were there). Any tips on what we missed that we and our readers should be sure to do, or see next time? We would love to hear in the comments!

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