The crowds are small, the birds have flown south and the bears in their dens – but Jasper is still beckoning visitors.

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Jasper National Park in Winter is breathtaking. The blanket of snow creates the perfect ambiance for an ideal winter wonderland and the list of fun things to do in Jasper is surprisingly lengthy – from exciting ski trails, to scenic hiking routes, tranquil spas, tasty local dishes, the world’s second largest dark sky preserve and more!

During the summer, the region is famous for scenic cascading waterfalls, carefully carved canyons, stunning mountain peaks and lush alpine scenery. During the winter, it transforms into a magical paradise – the waterfalls morph into towering ice blocks, the mountains are dusted with fluffy powder and the canyons convert themselves into mystical caverns waiting to be explored. So what are you waiting for? Time to get ready to go to Jasper!

Athabasca Falls freezing in winter
Athabasca Falls freezing in winter

Getting to Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is largest in the Canadian Rockies, located in the western Canadian province of Alberta. By air, it’s most accessible from the Edmonton and Calgary International Airports. From there, you can either rent a car or take a bus or train to reach the park. The Sundog Tours and Greyhound  bus services run from both Calgary and Edmonton Airport. You can also reach the park by train either via the Via Rail Canada or the spectacular glass-domed train, Rocky Mountaineer.

Driving in the stunning Icefield Parkway is a must while on a winter weekend trip to Jasper
Driving in the stunning Icefield Parkway is a must while on a winter weekend trip to Jasper
Visiting Jasper National Park in winter includes a stunning drive through Icefield Parkway
Visiting Jasper National Park in winter includes a stunning drive through Icefield Parkway

If you’re driving in from Calgary to Jasper or from Edmonton, the Trans-Canada Highway 16 – also known as Yellowhead – runs directly through the park east-west, while the Icefields Parkway (one of the most scenic stretches of highway in the world) runs north-south.

Things to do in Jasper in winter

Skiing in Marmot Basin Ski Resort is a great idea for winter a weekend trip to Jasper
Skiing in Marmot Basin Ski Resort is a great idea for winter a weekend trip to Jasper

There are a number of things to do in Jasper in Winter you can choose from. It’s is a hearty mix of adventure and tranquility. The great outdoors brings ample opportunities for exploration – whether it be skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice-skating, snowmobiling, ice climbing, or taking a sleigh ride or dog sled tour.

Ski Resort in Jasper.
Marmot Basin is Jasper’s ski resort, famous for the highest base elevation for all of Canada’s ski areas. They also offer ski and snowboard classes, rentals, and are located close to many of the accommodation options listed above. Cross-country skiers will also enjoy the variety of routes – from quick loops to longer and more challenging trails past beautiful frozen lakes and mountain scenery.

Snowshoeing in Jasper National Park.
Snowshoeing is also an increasingly popular winter activity in Jasper, with snowshoes available for rent at a number of shops throughout the area. Keep an eye out for wildlife – such as moose, elk, deer, wolves, sheep and coyotes – that are abundant in the park during winter.

Maligne Canyon Ice Walk.
The most famous winter hike in Jasper is the Maligne Canyon Ice Walk. The tour is a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the cave system, fossils, towering 30 m waterfalls and incomparable magical mystery.

Jasper Planetarium.
Visit the Jasper Planetarium for a chance to gaze up at the star-laden night sky and the world’s second largest dark sky preserve (an area where almost no artificial lighting is visible at night).

Relax in Jasper.
After a long day in the winter weather, relax at the Jasper Wellness center or the Mountain Wellness Day Spa. In addition, the whole family will love the outdoor pool at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge – heated to a pleasant 88 degrees F during winter.

Food and Drinks.
For breakfast and lunch visit Coco’s Cafe focusing on vegetarian, vegan, locally-sourced and organic ingredients – though they’ve got options for meat lovers too! Check out the Jasper Brew Pub and Eatery for a beer brewed on-site and upscale comfort foods, or chow down on the indulgent fare from Evil Dave’s like the Malevolent Meatloaf or Hell’s Chicken.

Where to stay in Jasper National Park

If you’re looking where to stay in Jasper National Park, you’re in luck. Although it is home to only about 5,000 year-round residents, Jasper is well equipped to serve the millions of visitors that come each year. Whether you’re looking for all-out indulgence, quaint rustic cabins or budget-friendly hostels, you’re sure to find something here.

The 700-acre luxury Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is nestled in the heart of Jasper National Park. Surrounded by exquisite scenes of the Canadian Rockies, a stay here is an experience in itself. The hotel offers a variety of outdoor activities close by, as well as the opportunity to relax in the Fairmont Spa. Also inside the national park is the Whistler’s Inn featuring a rooftop sauna and hot tub with spectacular mountain views.

Find a Hotel in Jasper National Park

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For a taste of history, check in at the Athabasca Hotel. With vintage-style décor, an unbeatable location and warm hospitality, it’s no surprise this place has been around since 1929.
The Overlander Mountain Lodge sits on the edge of Jasper National Park, offering guests stunning views, an award-winning restaurant and a variety of room options including chalets – ideal for families or groups up to 8 people. Also a great option for families and groups is the Pocahontas Cabins. This authentic mountain retreat is located just outside of Jasper National Park, where guests can choose from a variety of cozy individual cabin options.

Last but not least, a stay at the Glacier View Inn is a truly spectacular experience. The boutique hotel is located on the top floor of the Glacier Discovery Center, offering unparalleled views of the Athabasca Glacier both day and night.

Click here to read about our insider deals to help you save big on lodging in Jasper this winter!

Dog sledding in Jasper is a fun activity in Jasper for a family weekend
Dog sledding in Jasper is a fun activity in Jasper for a family weekend
Snowshoeing on Medicine Lake near Jasper with family
Snowshoeing on Medicine Lake near Jasper with family

Jasper Weather in Winter

The average weather in Jasper National Park in winter is similar from December to February. December is the coldest month in Jasper, with an average low temperature of -13 °C and an average high of -5 °C . January averages are one degree higher, and in February the average temperatures are slightly warmer, ranging from -11 °C to 0 °C.

Jasper has almost 200 days a year when the minimum temperature is at 0 or below freezing. The first frost of the season is typically in early-to-mid September, and the last is often in the end of May.

With an abundance of adventure Jasper is the perfect winter weekend destination. Jasper Winter activities are as great as they are in Summer. From endless starlit skies to epic canyon ice walks, exciting ski slopes and an eclectic mix of culinary options, a weekend in Jasper is one you won’t soon forget.

Click here for more information on planning an amazing trip to Jasper at any time of year!