Jasper National Park (Alberta)

Backpacking trails in Jasper National Park

Region in Alberta, Canada

Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies and host to unbelievable landscapes replete with towering peaks, turquoise lakes, ancient glaciers, and diverse wildlife. Much of Jasper National Park is accessible to anyone who wants to venture out along the Icefields Parkway and take a day hike, however the unbelievable views and escape into nature are saved for those with a pack and a desire to sleep under the stars.

Backpacking in Jasper National Park is an amazing experience. There are over 1,200.0 km of trails with varying degrees of accessibility. There are exceptionally beautiful routes with well-maintained campsites and trails that can make for a fairly easy and safe trip. Backpackers can also find respite from the crowds and truly get into the wild along some less frequented routes and possibly unmaintained trails that require a little more work. Whatever type of backpacking experience you are seeking, you will not be disappointed backpacking in Jasper National Park.

THE TOP 10 BACKPACKS IN JASPER NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA

  1. Skyline Trail (40.9 km, 1,500 m, 3-4 days): Being Jasper's highest backpacking trail, The Skyline is a great way to experience the best the Canadian Rockies and Jasper National Park have to offer. Over 20.0 kms of this trail are above treeline, and the majestic views continue into what seems like unreachable distances. For those new to the sterile beauty of the crumbling Rocky Mountains, three days spent on this trail will serve as an excellent introduction to backpacking in the Canadian Rockies, and definitely leave you wanting more!
  2. Maligne Pass and Replica Peak (38.7 km, 1,758 m, 2-3 days): Maligne Pass is a wonderful alpine pass in a rarely-visited area of Jasper National Park. Here you will find one of the largest alpine passes in the Rockies, dotted with tarns and wildflowers and surrounded by some of the largest peaks in the Rockies.
  3. Tonquin Valley (42.2 km, 966 m, 3-5 days): The Tonquin Valley is a wide, 5.0 km long pass with over 50.0 km of hiking trails winding their way through this backcountry paradise. The prize of the trip is hiking below the Ramparts, a series of 10 castellated peaks atop a 1,000 m wall of limestone. Catch stunning reflections of this massive in the interconnected Amethyst Lakes. It is also one of the few remaining areas where it is still common to see the shy and elusive mountain caribou, an endangered species. The backpacking trip can be completed in three days, but many prefer to stay longer, allowing time for day trips to the Eremite Valley and Moat Lake.
  4. Berg Lake Trail at Mount Robson (56.6 km, 910 m, 3-5 days): Mount Robson is the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. The Berg Lake Trail is technically outside Jasper, but so close we added it here. The Berg Lake Trail is renowned as one of Canada’s best, and for good reason, it’s stunning. You’ll pass through lush valleys, impressive waterfalls, and rocky slopes to reach the aptly-named Berg Lake. The views of the Berg Glacier toeing off into the lake are unforgettable, and the day hikes from here will take you to icefields, caves, and stunning viewpoints.
  5. Cairn Pass (62.3 km, 1,984 m, 3-5 days): Cairn Pass is one of the most isolated passes in the Canadian Rockies; you’re more likely to encounter bears than people on this route. Alpine meadows, the Medicine Tent River, and alpine lakes make up the variable scenery along this remote trip.
  6. Cataract and Cline Pass (37.2 km, 1,315 m, 2-3 days): The trip to Cataract and Cline Pass covers vast meadows, uniquely-coloured rock, glacial streams, and high glaciers of Cataract Pass, making this a truly unique backpacking destination in Jasper National Park.

If you don't want to plan your own trip to Jasper, then have a look at these incredible Alberta Tours! You can find tours that are specific to Jasper National Park or other parts of Alberta, such as Banff National Park. You can also find Alberta Hiking Tours and Alberta Bike tours if you know exactly the type of tour you are after.

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Best Backpacking trails in Jasper National Park

Showing 1 to 13 of 13
    Open details for Skyline

    Skyline

    Moderate
    40.9 km
    1,500 m
    2-3 days

    Being Jasper's highest backpacking trail, The Skyline is a great way to experience what the Canadian Rockies have to offer. Over 20.0 kms of this trail are above treeline, and the majestic views continue into what seems like unreachable distances. For those new to the sterile beauty of the crumbling rocky mountains, three days spent on this trail will serve as an excellent introduction to backpacking in the Canadian Rockies, and definitely leave you wanting more!

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    9.3
    Technical Difficulty
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Advanced (Diamond)
    Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
    Open details for Maligne Pass and Replica Peak

    Maligne Pass and Replica Peak

    Moderate
    38.7 km
    1,758 m
    2-3 days

    Maligne Pass is a wonderful alpine pass in a rarely-visited area of Jasper National Park. Maligne Pass is one of the largest alpine passes in the Rockies, dotted with tarns and wildflowers and surrounded by some of the largest peaks in the Rockies.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    9.8
    Technical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Open details for Tonquin Valley

    Tonquin Valley

    Hard
    42.2 km
    966 m
    2-3 days

    The Tonquin Valley is a backpacking paradise. The prize of the trip is the Ramparts, a series of 10 castellated peaks atop a 1,000 m wall of limestone, reflected in the connected Amethyst Lakes. It is also one of the few remaining areas where it is still common to see the shy and elusive mountain caribou, an endangered species.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    9.8
    Technical Difficulty
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Open details for Berg Lake Trail – Backpacking

    Berg Lake Trail – Backpacking

    Moderate
    56.6 km
    910 m
    3-5 days

    Yes, Berg Lake isn't in Jasper, or Alberta, but it's often associated with trips to Jasper, so we included it. The Berg Lake Trail is renowned as one of Canada's best, and it would be hard to find someone who disagrees. You'll pass through lush valleys, impressive waterfalls, and rocky slopes to reach the aptly-named Berg Lake, below the towering Mount Robson. The views of the Berg Glacier toeing off into the lake are unforgettable, and the day hikes from here will take you to icefields, caves, and stunning viewpoints.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    10.0
    Technical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Open details for Cairn Pass

    Cairn Pass

    Very Hard
    62.3 km
    1,984 m
    3-5 days

    Cairn Pass is one of the most isolated passes in the Canadian Rockies, and we list this route for people that just want to get away from it all. You’re more likely to encounter bears than people on this route. Alpine meadows, the Medicine Tent River, and alpine lakes make up the variable scenery along this trip.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    10.0
    Technical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Expert (Double Diamond)
    Suitable only for experts looking for a challenging adventure.
    Open details for Nigel, Cataract and Cline Pass

    Nigel, Cataract and Cline Pass

    Hard
    37.2 km
    1,315 m
    2-3 days

    The trip to Nigel, Cataract and Cline Pass covers vast meadows, uniquely-coloured rock, glacial streams, and the glaciers of Cataract Pass, making it a truly unique backpacking destination. This trip takes you into the White Goat Wilderness Area, and you will be random backcountry camping, a unique opportunity for backpackers in the Canadian Rockies.

    User Ratings
    Overall Rating
    10.0
    Technical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical Difficulty
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Open details for Saturday Night Lake Loop Backpacking Trail

    Saturday Night Lake Loop Backpacking Trail

    Moderate
    23.8 km
    816 m
    2 days

    The Saturday Night Lake Loop is accessible from the town of Jasper and a great trip for beginners and families. This relatively easy backpacking circuit can be done in two or three days. The route gains elevation to High Lakes in the centre of the loop and descends again back to the trailhead.

    User Ratings
    No Reviews
    Open details for Jacques Lake Backpacking Trail

    Jacques Lake Backpacking Trail

    Moderate
    24.0 km
    207 m
    2 days

    Backpacking to Jacques Lake is a great way to find solitude without a lengthy mission. It is a short and easy hike to the campsite. The trail gains very little elevation before reaching Jacques Lake Campground, which rests next to the lake itself. Watch for Moose as they are known to frequent the area around dusk.

    User Ratings
    No Reviews
    Open details for Fiddle River Backpacking Trail

    Fiddle River Backpacking Trail

    Hard
    38.6 km
    1,085 m
    3-4 days

    The Fiddle River trail starts outside of Jasper National Park in the Whitehorse Wilderness Area. This rough wilderness route is the perfect adventure for those looking to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in nature. The trail follows an incredible valley and leads hikers over high passes before descending to the popular Miette Hot Springs.

    User Ratings
    No Reviews
    Open details for Fryatt Valley Backpacking Trail

    Fryatt Valley Backpacking Trail

    Hard
    36.8 km
    652 m
    2-4days

    Fryatt Valley is a 36.8 km out-and-back route that takes backpackers through an incredible and diverse alpine landscape. It is one of Jasper’s crown jewels and offers three camping options and an alpine hut. Groups of all abilities can customize this trip to meet their needs, making this an excellent trip for all.

    User Ratings
    No Reviews
    Open details for Snake Indian Falls Backpacking Trail

    Snake Indian Falls Backpacking Trail

    Moderate
    52.4 km
    1,078 m
    2-3 days

    Hiking to Snake Indian Falls is an excellent backcountry trip that travels along the North Boundary Trail. It is a place of rugged wilderness and wildlife activity, frequented by horse groups. Enjoy stunning scenery en route to Snake Indian Falls on this multi-day trip.

    User Ratings
    No Reviews
    Open details for Brazeau Loop Backpacking Trail

    Brazeau Loop Backpacking Trail

    Very Hard
    82.2 km
    2,848 m
    4-5 days

    The rugged and wild Brazeau Loop travels along the border of Jasper National Park and White Goat Wilderness to create a lollipop route. This trail crosses three high mountain passes over roughly 80.0 km gaining and losing elevation consistently. This is reserved for those looking to step up their backpacking experience and try their best at a longer and rougher trail.

    User Ratings
    No Reviews
    Open details for Wates-Gibson Hut Backpacking Trail

    Wates-Gibson Hut Backpacking Trail

    Hard
    33.0 km
    687 m
    2 days

    The route to the Wates-Gibson hut covers the gorgeous southern section of the Tonquin Valley in Jasper. There is an option to make a small lollipop and see some of the other landmarks in the valley on your return. Pass by Astoria campground on your way to the hut.

    User Ratings
    No Reviews

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