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Welcome to the winter wonderland of Jasper, where snow-covered peaks and frost-kissed pines create a picturesque backdrop for an unforgettable weekend getaway. Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Jasper offers a great mix of breathtaking landscapes, outdoor adventures, and cozy mountain charm. In this winter itinerary, we’ll guide you through a meticulously crafted Jasper travel itinerary that showcases the best of this enchanting destination. From ice climbing and powder-covered ski slopes to lively pubs and cozy museums, prepare to immerse yourself in the magic of Jasper and discover why it’s the ideal setting for a memorable winter escape. So throw on your winter coat, lace up your snow boots, and join us as we outline how to get the most out of Jasper in three days!
- 1 Best Time to Visit Jasper in Winter
- 2 How to Get to Jasper
- 3 How to Get Around Jasper
- 4 Where to Stay in Jasper
- 5 The Perfect 3-Day Jasper Winter Itinerary
- 6 Jasper Itinerary: Day 2
- 7 Jasper Itinerary: Day 3
- 8 Informasi Tempat Wisata Alam di Dunia
Best Time to Visit Jasper in Winter
Winter in Jasper offers a myriad of snow-fueled activities, and you may be wondering when the best time to visit this charming mountain community is to get the most out of a winter holiday. The best time to visit Jasper for a winter weekend escape is between January and March. While Jasper can see snow as early as September, we don’t recommend visiting Jasper in November or December. The end of October to the first week of December make up the town’s fall shoulder season. This is when many locals take a break for a few weeks after a busy summer season, which is when the town’s population falls from 20,000 people in the summer to about 5,200 in the winter. Many of Jasper’s attractions close for the season in October or close for a break until the winter season is in full swing in December.
The new year brings a refreshed energy to Jasper as the town begins its Jasper in January festivities, where visitors can enjoy a winter wonderland of community events and activities like dog sledding, sleigh rides, skating, live music, and even a poutine cookoff! Visiting Jasper between January and March also gives the weather gods plenty of time to bless the town with an icy base and plenty of fresh snow for winter sports.
How to Get to Jasper
Getting to Jasper without a vehicle can be a bit of a task, but it is part of what makes Jasper’s community so warm and welcoming; people who come here really want to be here! If you don’t have your own vehicle to get to Jasper, there are a few other options. The first is to rent a car, which we recommend using RentalCars.com. It filters hundreds of car rental sites and compares prices to ensure you are getting the best deal possible. Those looking to rent a car to drive to Jasper with the hopes of dropping it off in the town once they arrive should note that only Avis, National, and Budget have car rental branches in Jasper. Driving to Jasper takes roughly four hours from Edmonton and four-and-a-half hours from Calgary.
If you’re looking to journey to Jasper without having to drive yourself, there are three other alternatives. The most budget-friendly way is to book a roundtrip bus ticket with SunDog Tours. This is the only company offering buses to and from Jasper from nearby cities (Calgary, Banff, Edmonton) as Greyhound left Canada in 2021. Sundog Tours offers daily rides with multiple pick-up locations in each city and the bus will drop you off and pick you up directly at your accommodation in Jasper. Another alternative is to book a private transfer with SunDog Tours.
Your last option is to make your way to the Edmonton VIA Train Station and embark on a scenic train ride to the mountains. While this is a beautiful and relaxing way to journey to Jasper, it is also the longest and least scheduled, with six-hour rides from Edmonton to Jasper scheduled only twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday).
How to Get Around Jasper
While we highly recommend having a car in Jasper to get around for convenience sake, it is not necessary to have one. The town has a spider web of hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country trails connecting visitors to nearby attractions from downtown Jasper. Jasper also just opened their very first public bus service in the summer of 2023, offering tourists and locals a budget-friendly way to explore the best of Jasper. Many of Jasper’s attractions are within a 15-minute drive of the town, so if the bus or a trail doesn’t lead to the attraction, visitors could always call a local taxi for a ride!
Where to Stay in Jasper
If you only have 72 hours in Jasper, then you’ll want to make sure you’re staying at an accommodation that fits your needs. Those who won’t be renting cars will want to stay either in town or along the public bus routes, while others with vehicles might be looking for a peaceful escape outside of town.
If you and your crew want to immerse yourself in nature but still have access to top-notch amenities, then the historic Pyramid Lake Lodge is for you. This rustic yet elegant lodge boasts an on-site gym, outdoor fire pits, a lakeside restaurant serving delectable local cuisine, an outdoor hot tub and sauna, and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The pet-friendly lodge has an extensive network of snow-covered trails right on their doorstep and offers fat bike and ski rentals on-site. Pyramid Lake Lodge also has a bus stop right beside the hotel and is a 15-minute drive from Jasper.
Jasper Downtown Hostel provides budget-friendly accommodation in the heart of Jasper, offering a vibrant and social atmosphere for you and your group. With amenities like a communal kitchen, cozy common areas, and a friendly staff, guests enjoy a comfortable stay while being steps away from the town’s shops, restaurants, and attractions. The hostel offers both shared and private rooms for rent.
Whistler’s Inn is easily one of the best places to stay in Jasper as it is located in the heart of the town and offers outstanding amenities. After a day of exploring Jasper in the snow, you can return to this cozy abode and head up to the roof for a relaxing soak in one of the two hot tubs overlooking the town and mountains. Other outstanding amenities include a billiards table, an on-site bar and restaurant, ski and snowboard storage, and soundproof rooms.
Airbnb is another excellent option for those who think they might crave more homey comforts during their three days in Jasper. All of the Airbnbs available in Jasper are located in the town, too!
The Perfect 3-Day Jasper Winter Itinerary
You may be wondering what to do in Jasper in three days, but the question isn’t what, it’s how much you can fit in! Jasper offers an abundance of charming local hospitality and plenty of outdoor adventures to be explored. From the quaint boutiques and inviting cafés that line the town’s streets to the tranquil expanses of frozen lakes and snow-covered trails within the national park, this curated winter itinerary unveils the distinctive beauty and warmth that makes a weekend trip to Jasper a must in the winter.
However, before we send you out into the Canadian Rockies on a winter adventure, we want to make sure all the groundwork is laid and nothing is forgotten. That means reminding you to purchase travel insurance! You never know what will happen and, trust us, you do not want to get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills.
SafetyWing offers travel insurance for only about $10 USD a week, making it a no-brainer to get. You can get a quick, non-binding quote below:
SafetyWing is, of course, not the only option available. Two other popular alternatives are World Nomads and Heymondo.
Now that we’ve touched on that important topic, let’s look at all the best things to do in Jasper in Winter and how this Jasper itinerary can help you make sure you don’t miss anything.
Jasper Itinerary: Day 1
Kick off your Friday morning in Jasper with an invigorating exploration of the ice-covered Maligne Canyon. You can opt to embark on a self-guided stroll along the Maligne Canyon trails, marveling at the frozen waterfalls and breathtaking ice formations from above, or, for an immersive adventure you can book this Maligne Canyon Ice Walk Discovery Tour. The tour will take you on a three-hour adventure into the icy wonders of the canyon, where knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into the geological marvels that shape this winter landscape. You’ll traverse the frozen canyon floor and witness the awe-inspiring beauty of Maligne’s ice sculptures and frozen waterfalls, which makes for the most epic holiday photo (we’re sure your friends and family will be reeling with jealousy)!
After a magical morning of exploring this winter wonderland, it’s time to get your munch on and enjoy a well-deserved warm meal. We highly recommend eating lunch at the Raven Bistro. This local favorite entices patrons with its intimate atmosphere and innovative menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. If you feel like you’ve earned a bit of a treat after your morning adventure, then head over to Beavertails after lunch to try a Canadian delicacy, beavertails! We’re going to pump the brakes right now to let you know that Canadians don’t actually eat the tails of beavers; beavertails are a beloved Canadian treat that features deep-fried dough stretched into the shape of a beaver’s tail and adorned with various toppings like Nutella, strawberries, Oreo’s, and more.
Once you’ve got a full belly, it’s time to embark on a captivating Friday afternoon in Jasper by immersing yourself in the town’s rich history with a self-guided tour of Jasper. You can utilize this self-led tour guide of Jasper, A Walk Through The Past, provided by Friends of Jasper to navigate your way through iconic landmarks like the Two Brothers Totem Pole, the 6015 Steam Engine, the Athabasca Hotel, and captivating murals that showcase the town’s heritage. The guide also shares information on the surrounding mountain peaks, early explorers, and the town’s mascot, Jasper the Bear. This is a fantastic way to learn about the town’s history at your own pace while popping in and out of boutiques to shop for souvenirs. Make sure to make a stop at Our Native Land art gallery, which showcases beautiful Aboriginal works, and at the quaint but charming Jasper Art Gallery. Finish your self-guided tour of Jasper off with a visit to the Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives, where you can spend an hour or two strolling and learning about the cultural heritage of this mountain community and the Rockies!
If you’re looking for a place to grab some good grub to fuel your night, then you can’t go wrong with Jasper Brewing Company. Here, you’ll find a great selection of handcrafted local brews along with a diverse menu featuring local favorites like the Alberta beef burger, poutine, and elk meatloaf.
Alternatively, on Thursday and Friday evenings Jasper Lake Lodge partners with the Jasper Planetarium and Dark Sky Preserve to offer a three-course meal and lakeside stargazing experience. During the Stargazer’s Lakeside Dinner, you’ll spend the evening indulging in a beautifully prepared meal at Aalto Bistro, located in Jasper Lake Lodge, then head outside with an astronomy guide for an evening of stargazing with telescopes.
Those looking to head out for a lively night on the town will find a couple of bumping bars around, but the De’d Dog Bar & Grill and the Last Stand at the Royal Canadian Legion are the go-tos on Friday night for locals and tourists. The Legion features a live band on most Fridays, while De’d Dog offers an atmosphere aimed more at young adults with a DJ and dance floor.
Jasper Itinerary: Day 2
On day two, you have the option to follow our Day Two Itinerary or spend the day skiing or snowboarding the exhilarating powdery runs at Marmot Basin. Marmot Basin is easily one of the best places to visit in Jasper as it offers 91 trails, four terrain parks, and over 1,600 acres of skiable terrain suitable for all tourists, from beginners to seasoned riders.
On the second day of this Jasper itinerary, you’ll head out into Jasper National Park for a snow trail adventure of your picking! Choose your preferred mode of transport – whether it’s the tranquility of snowshoeing, the thrill of skiing, the invigorating pace of hiking, or the off-road excitement of fat biking. For snowshoers and hikers, the Pyramid Lake Loop Trail provides a scenic journey around the frozen lake, while skiers can glide along groomed trails at the Pyramid Lake Ski Area. Fat bikers can also hit the trails near Pyramid Lake Lodge for an adrenaline-packed experience. Gear up for your chosen activity by renting skis or snowshoes at Pure Outdoors. For those opting for a fat bike, Journey Bike Guides offer top-notch rentals delivered right to your accommodation! You can find a complete list of groomed cross-country skiing trails in Jasper here, snowshoeing trails here, and fat bike trails here.
As the afternoon unfolds, treat yourself to a delectable lunch at Aalto Bistro, an elegant eatery overlooking the stunning Pyramid Lake. You could also opt to bring your own lunch to enjoy as a picnic on the trails. After a hearty lunch, venture onto the frozen lake for an unforgettable skating experience. Pyramid Lake offers a magical outdoor rink where you can glide beneath the mountainous backdrop. For those without skates, rentals are conveniently available at the Pyramid Lake Lodge. To cap off your enchanting day, you and your crew can indulge in a timeless horse-drawn sleigh ride on the frozen surface of Lake Pyramid. These serene and picturesque rides are typically offered from January until the end of February in the late afternoon and evening, providing a cozy and romantic experience.
As nightfall comes, it’s time to immerse yourself in the celestial wonders at the Jasper Planetarium and Dark Sky Preserve for an unforgettable evening under the stars. The planetarium offers an array of experiences, from informative telescopes and stargazing sessions to awe-inspiring dome shows in the Planetarium that unravel the mysteries of the universe. While you can choose to book just the Planetarium experience or the telescope experience, we highly recommend combining the two for an epic evening of celestial exploration with this combo tour ticket. With this combo ticket, you’ll not only be blown away by the enthusiastic guides who will lead you on a visual journey through constellations, planets, and cosmos, but you’ll also get to stargaze in the second-largest dark sky preserve in the world, and perhaps, even watch the dazzling dancing colors of the Northern Lights.
If you’re wondering where in Jasper is poppin’ on a Saturday night, Jasper Brewing Company is the place to be!
Jasper Itinerary: Day 3
Begin your day with an enchanting hike through the Valley of Five Lakes, where a 4.5-kilometer circular trail unveils a winter wonderland of frozen lakes, snow-draped evergreens, and stunning mountain vistas. What really sets this area apart is the distinguishing turquoise hues of the frozen lakes coupled with surrounding snowy peaks. The trail takes approximately one-and-a-half to two hours to complete, but the path can get quite icy so we recommend good hiking boots and ice poles. Consider bringing a snack and a thermos of hot chocolate to enjoy on the Red Chairs at the Third Lake as the view is well worth a 20-minute break. You could also pack a lunch to bring along with you to enjoy with a view!
After a morning hike to start your day, continue down the Icefields Parkway south from the Valley of Five Lakes for 15 minutes until you reach Athabasca Falls. This class five waterfall is one of the most powerful in the Rockies and is well worth a visit, especially in the winter. The falls transform into a stunning frozen spectacle, with icy formations framing the mighty cascades of the Athabasca River, offering fantastic photo opportunities.
We understand everyone travels a bit differently, which is why we will lay out a few options for your last afternoon in Jasper.
Option 1: Explore Maligne Lake on Snowshoes or Fat Bikes
Embark on a winter wonderland adventure as you explore the breathtaking Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed places in Canada, and home to the iconic Spirit Island. Choose the Maligne Lake Loop Trail for an enchanting snowshoeing experience, surrounded by snow-drenched spruces and the crisp mountain air. For fat bikers, the trail offers a thrilling ride along the frozen lake shore and on the frozen lake, providing stunning views and plenty of ridable terrain. The crisp crunch of snow beneath your snowshoes or the swift glide of fat tires on the frozen lake surface adds a touch of magic to this afternoon adventure, making it a fitting conclusion to your winter escape in Jasper.
Option 2: Book a Spa Treatment at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
If you want to spend your last day on vacation in complete relaxation, then head to the Spa at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Unwind in the lap of luxury as you choose from an array of rejuvenating treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps, all tailored to soothe and revitalize winter-weary souls. You can enjoy the serene ambiance of the spa and its mountain surroundings by taking advantage of the spa amenities, which include the outdoor heated pool, 20-person outdoor hot tub, dry sauna, and eucalyptus steam rooms. This is the perfect way to conclude your winter escape, leaving you refreshed and rejuvenated to return home.
Options 3: Happy Hour Wind Down at Earls Kitchen and Bar
Wrap up your winter holiday on a leisurely note by spending the final afternoon at Earls Kitchen and Bar. Relax in the warm and inviting atmosphere while indulging in Earls Happy Hour, where you can savor a variety of discounted appetizers, cocktails, and beverages (their Espresso Martini is particularly delicious). As you unwind with a tipple and a bite to eat, you’ll enjoy incredible views from the massive picture windows that showcase the snow-covered mountains surrounding the town. Earl’s provides the perfect setting to savor the last moments of your holiday and toast to the memories of your winter adventure.
Those who didn’t opt to hit up Happy Hour at Earl’s will probably be hankering for a meal. We recommend eating at Earl’s or Fiddle River Restaurant as both serve up some seriously good food. If you and your crew are staying overnight in Jasper on Sunday, then consider heading to the Athabasca Hotel. This may sound odd, but Sunday nights in Jasper are for clubbing! The Athabasca Hotel lounge transforms into a bumping nightclub with lights and all, offering locals and tourists a spot to shake what their mamas gave them!
Well, there you have it; the perfect winter itinerary for Jasper. We hope you enjoy all the beauty and winter activities Jasper National Park has to offer! If you want to dig more into the attractions of Jasper, then check out our picks for the best things to do in Jasper here.
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