hikes in Jasper National Park
With its rugged beauty, epic wilderness, and dramatic mountains, Jasper National park is a jewel in Canada’s crown. This immense area of protected land is the largest national park in the Rockies, spanning 11,000 square kilometers. Inside you’ll find glittering lakes, magnificent glaciers, and an abundance of rare wildlife, all just waiting to be explored.
Jasper National Park is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Canadian Rockies, and is somewhat more wild and untamed than neighboring Banff. This is a hiker’s paradise, with many fabulous trails easily accessible from the main town, and a vast area for backcountry hiking and backpacking. The diversity of scenery is remarkable, from lush forest and expansive wildflower meadows, to stark, bare peaks and rocky ridges.
Jasper is also a wonderful place for wildlife spotting, and many rare and protected species find shelter within the borders of the national park. In addition to black bears and grizzly bears, you’ll find moose, caribou, bighorn sheep and mountain goats, and may even catch the sound of a wolf or coyote, if you’re lucky. There are also many rare and endangered birds in the park, including nighthawks, black swifts and bank swallows. Don’t forget your camera, as you’ll have plenty of awesome photo opportunities!
Jasper National Park is an epic bucket list adventure and the perfect choice for your next hiking adventure. Read on for all of the best tips and recommendations for planning your trip, and enjoy everything this fabulous region has to offer!
The 11 Best Hikes In Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park encompasses some of the most diverse and enchanting scenery in the Rockies, from incredible ice fields and glaciers to lush valleys and meadows. It’s the ideal spot for a challenging hike, and even experienced adventurers are likely to find some trails here that will allow them to test their limits. With some steep ascents and breathtaking scrambles, this is the place to push your hiking skills and fitness to the next level.
However, you don’t have to be a seasoned hiker to enjoy Jasper National Park. If you’re a keen walker looking to improve your fitness you’ll find plenty of satisfying day hikes that offer a manageable challenge. If you’re travelling with children, you’re also likely to find some fun, easy trails that are a good introduction to wilderness hiking. In particular, kids will love getting up close to the Angel Glacier, or scampering through the Maligne Canyon. The sheer diversity of terrain on offer means that you’re sure to find the perfect hike for your trip, whatever your fitness and experience level.
- Cavell Meadows Hike: This wonderful hike is the perfect opportunity to experience the wildflower meadows that the Canadian Rockies are famous for. The trail passes through magnificent fields, dotted with flowers, before rising to a series of viewpoints where you’ll find wonderful views over to the Angel Glacier and the magnificent peaks that surround it.
- Path of the Angel Glacier Hike: This stunning hike is one of the best family hikes in Jasper National Park. The path is level and well maintained, making it perfect for families with strollers. The route is fairly short, and makes its way up to a viewpoint from which you can gaze on the Angel Glacier and the moraine lake just below.
- Sulphur Skyline Hike: This wonderful day hike is one of the best in Jasper National Park, involving a steep climb and a 360-degree panorama over some of the region’s finest scenery. This hike might be hard on your legs, but the views more than compensate the effort, and there’s always the chance of a dip in the Miette Hot Springs when you finally reach the bottom!
- Verdant Pass Hike: This is an excellent route if you’re looking for a challenge, and undoubtedly one of the best hikes in Jasper National Park! The path climbs steeply through the trees before emerging at an alpine meadow with magnificent views. You’ll enjoy a wonderful vista over the Throne Valley and Chevron Mountain.
- Toe of the Athabasca Glacier: A guided tour of the Athabasca Glacier can be an expensive day out, but it’s possible to catch a glimpse of this incredible natural phenomenon for free on this short hike! The views of the glacier are truly incredible, and the trail is well maintained and easily accessible for families. This is a wonderful way to teach your kids about the fascinating geology of the Canadian Rockies.
- Opal Hills Hike: This exhilarating hike through the Opal Hills is, without doubt, one of the best hikes in Jasper National Park. The trail rises fairly steeply through a gorgeous wildflower meadow, with a fantastic panorama over to the nearby peaks. You’ll have a view over Maligne Lake to the Bald Hills, and Peak 45-36.
- Whistlers Mountain and Indian Ridge Hike: This moderate hike is deservedly popular, but continue on to Indian Ridge and you’ll soon lose the crowds. The scramble up the ridge is somewhat challenging, but you’ll have a fantastic view over to Terminal Mountain and the Marmot Ski Hill.
- Maligne Canyon Hike: Maligne Canyon is a fantastic example of Jasper’s unique geology, featuring an epic canyon carved over millennia by the region’s glaciers. This is an excellent route for families, as kids will love to see the waterfalls that cascade through the canyon, and the path remains fairly level and easy to navigate.
- Bald Hills Hike: This legendary route will take you over the so-called Bald Hills, a series of peaks above the treeline, offering stunning views over Jasper National Park. The path climbs through beautiful alpine meadows, before emerging at the top of Bald Hill, where you’ll have views to Maligne Lake, Leah Peak, Samson Peak, and Maligne Mountain.
- Athabasca Falls Hike: This short hike is another great family-friendly route in Jasper National Park. The path comes to a bridge that crosses over the falls, where you’ll have a fantastic view (although you’re likely to get a soaking from the mists that rise from the cascade)! The views of the canyon, the river and the waterfalls are simply delightful, and this easy trail is perfect for kids.
- Pyramid Lake Hike: This popular hike takes you all the way to the stunning Pyramid Lake, along an easy, accessible trail suitable for hikers of all levels. This pleasant hike makes an excellent after-dinner stroll, and is particularly pretty at sunrise and sunset. An easy distance from the town of Jasper, this is an excellent family-friendly hike.
When Is The Best Time To Hike In Jasper National Park?
Like other destinations in the Rocky Mountains, the hiking season in Jasper National Park is relatively short and sweet! The mountain snows linger in higher areas until June, meaning that many trails and even some roads are inaccessible until the summer. July and August are the most popular seasons for hiking, when you’ll enjoy fine weather, blossoming flowers and plenty of activities on offer for visitors of all ages.
The leaves begin to turn in September, and this can be a wonderful time to visit, when the trails are quieter and the forests are at their best. However, you may run the risk of some early snows on higher ground, so it’s important to keep an eye on weather reports and make sure you seek advice from knowledgeable locals. In winter, Jasper National Park is a wonderful place for winter hiking and snowshoeing, and you may still find some accessible low-elevation trails.
Other Outdoor Activities In Jasper National Park
In addition to hiking, you’ll find plenty of other outdoor activities in Jasper National Park. It’s a particularly popular area for backpacking, with some epic multi-day trails and lots of good campgrounds. However, you’ll also find some fantastic road biking and mountain biking routes, and opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and even paragliding! Why not try your hand at horseback riding, or learn how to rock climb? If all that has worn you out, you can always sit back and relax in the Miette hot springs at the end of a long day on the trail!
How To Plan A Trip To Jasper National Park
Is Jasper National Park on your hiking bucket list? If not, it should be! To help you get started, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to planning a trip to Jasper National Park, with plenty of tips on accommodation, the right time of year to visit, and all our favorite Jasper hiking and backpacking trails. All that’s left for you to do is start dreaming of your next adventure!
Frequently Asked Questions About Jasper National Park
How many days do you need in Jasper National Park?
How long is a piece of string? There’s enough in Jasper National Park to keep most travellers happy for weeks on end, and some people spend a lifetime trying to uncover all the treasures of this vast, wild place. However, for most visitors on a tight schedule that’s not realistic, and it’s certainly possible to see many of the highlights in just a few short days. To make the most of your trip, we’d recommend staying for at least 3 days in Jasper National Park, and ideally, around a week.
How long is the Maligne Canyon Hike?
Maligne Canyon is one of Jasper’s top sights, and the family-friendly route through it takes around 1-2 hours to complete.
What is Jasper National Park known for?
Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, covering a vast area of 11,000 square kilometers. It’s best known for its arresting beauty, lush wildernesses, towering mountains and abundant wildlife.
Do you have to pay to go through Jasper National Park?
Jasper National Park is administered by Parks Canada, and as such, visitors must purchase a Park Pass in advance of their trip. Fees are charged per day, and you’ll need to obtain a special permit for backcountry camping, fishing, and other activities. All the relevant information can be found on the Parks Canada website.
Are there grizzly bears in Jasper National Park?
Jasper National Park is inhabited by both black bears and grizzly bears, and can often be seen in spring or early autumn. When hiking and backpacking, always seek advice from local park rangers on appropriate bear safety, so you know what to do if you encounter one on the trail. In general, bears avoid noisy groups of people, and incidents involving humans and bears are relatively rare.Read More
The best hikes in Jasper National Park
Yes, there are more than 10
Jasper National Park is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Jasper National Park that you should take a look at as well
Are we missing your favourite hike?
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