It’s time to return to the Canadian Rockies and explore Jasper National Park one last time. We had a car, so we were pretty mobile, and tried to see as much as we could in a short time. Our final day in the park, as we drove south along the Icefields Parkway, the weather was perfect. One of the most incredible views was located at the boundary with Banff National Park, Jasper’s neighbor to the south. When you stand in Banff and look back at Jasper, you are rewarded with this picture perfect moment.
We spent two and a half days in Jasper NP, arriving from British Columbia in the west, and leaving towards the south into Banff National Park. While we didn’t have the best weather – it snowed the first day and our second day was still very cloudy – we explored some amazing spots. We visited many waterfalls and lakes and gazed at many mountains. We were super lucky and got to see some amazing wildlife like elk and big horned sheep.
Without a doubt, Jasper National Park needs to be high up on your bucket list. Even after visiting only a few months ago, we’ve already started making plans to go back. Some of our favourite highlights include Athabasca Falls, Maligne Lake and Canyon, Pyramid Lake and the Athabasca Glacier.
As we mentioned, the week we showed up was the first week of snow for the year. It was the first week of October, and we planned for the fall to hang on for a few more weeks. Winter showed up early (or more accurately, we showed up late). Many of the hikes we had planned on doing had to be put on hold because we didn’t have much in the way of winter gear.
It was still very beautiful and getting to experience the Canadian Rockies when it looked like winter, was part of this adventure. There were highs and lows.
The weather did make a few decisions about what we could see and do. When we visited Maligne Lake, we couldn’t see any of the mountains. It was hit hard with a layer of snow (40 cm’s of snow) and the whole valley was filled with clouds. It was still amazing. When we got back home and googled what the views of this place should have looked like, we were amazed by what was hiding behind the clouds. This is the place we most want to go back to next time, just to see exactly what we missed.
When we visited Athabasca Falls, some of the water had frozen into massive icicles, and everything was covered in a blanket of snow; the trees, the rocks, and the mountains. It made for some amazing pictures, and it was a scene that wouldn’t have been the same if we hadn’t got lucky on the day we went. Some of the weather helped the ambiance, some of it hindered it.
Despite the weather, we had an amazing time. We would love to visit in the actual winter so we can go ice skating on frozen lakes, surrounded by the mountains. Although, next time to visit the Canadian Rockies, we plan to go back in the summer, so that we can camp in the wilderness, and undertake some epic hikes. We had borrowed a guide book from a friend, which had a route mapped for hiking up every ridgeline and peak in the park. With 30 cm of snow and gear that was aimed for fall, we couldn’t explore too far. Next time…
So many places to go and so little time. We hope you enjoy our latest, featuring the Best of Jasper National Park.