Nestled in the snow covered Canadian Rockies, Jasper is a small alpine town that packs a big punch. Less touristy than Banff or Lake Louise, this is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts looking to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in the wilderness. We were lucky enough to visit this winter with The Pursuit Banff Jasper Collection. Keep reading for our incredible itinerary!
Even though we both grew up near Calgary, neither of us had spent a ton of time in Jasper before this year. Why? Good question! While visiting for The Dark Sky Festival last October we completely fell in love with this charming mountain town.
Located just under 5 hours from Calgary, 4 hours West of Edmonton, and very close to the BC boarder; Jasper is an incredible Winter option for adventure lovers all over Western Canada! The endless activities, serene beauty, and local wildlife are guaranteed to leave you wanting more!
Here are some of our favorite experiences from this incredible trip to Jasper with Pursuit!
Top Activity: The Maligne Canyon Ice Walk
David and I have been mesmerized by Winter photos of Maligne Canyon for years now and somehow it was even more wonderful than I had imagined. We walked along the bottom of one of the deepest canyons in Jasper National Park to get up close and personal with statuesque frozen waterfalls, the smooth curves of the canyon walls, and even an ice cave!
This 2.5 hour tour starts off at the Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen. Our guide gave a safety talk and geared us up with boots, cramp-ons, and helmets. From there, we began the tour along the Maligne Canyon Trail.
After first peering in from above, our guide led us down onto the frozen canyon floor. The first stop was into a small ice cave that forms differently every year on the wall of the canyon.
“Being able to go inside and explore was definitely one of our highlights. You could actually hear and see the water trickling down inside the ice. So cool!”
The next 45 minutes were absolutely magical with frozen springs and one of a kind limestone walls everywhere we looked. Our guide was great at leading our group through the ice and slush while making sure we could take full advantage of the photo ops!
We would recommend adding a grab & go lunch from Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen to your tour. They are one of our very favorite restaurants in Jasper and you can’t go wrong with a delicious meal for only $10!
Favorite Restaurant: Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen
There are so many wonderful restaurants in the area, you really can`t go wrong with any decision. With that being said, we do have one favorite that we never miss on a trip to Jasper!
Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen is located less than 10 minutes from downtown at the Maligne Canyon Trailhead. We love everything about this place, from the décor to the views, and don`t even get me started on the wonderful service and their to-die-for poutine!
Everything we have ever ordered has been excellent and the staff are very willing to accommodate dietary restrictions. At the moment, due to COVID-19, they are offering a variety of grab and go meals. We ate ours in the van overlooking the beautiful Medicine Lake — the chili and sandwiches are fantastic!
Where to Stay: Pyramid Lake Resort
Pyramid Lake is located only 10 minutes from Jasper and offers spectacular views all year round. In the winter, you can walk, snowshoe, cross country ski, or skate on the frozen lake. Jasper Stables even runs sleigh rides on the weekends! The bridge out to Pyramid Island is always picturesque and it is not uncommon to see a heard of Elk who frequent the area year round.
We stayed at Pyramid Lake Resort for two nights and really enjoyed our time there. This newly renovated chalet-style Alpine resort offers a fireplace and incredible views with each and every guest room. We were impressed by the friendly staff and the safety protocols during COVID-19. Pyramid Lake Resort went above and beyond to ensure that we felt safe and enjoyed our stay to the fullest.
On top of the cozy rooms, they also have a complimentary breakfast, a maintained skating rink out front, PLUS they`re pet friendly! The ladies at the front desk loved meeting Bailey and were so wonderful to us, we really can`t recommend them enough!
Other Can`t Miss Activities
One of our favorite things about Jasper is the endless adventures available in the winter. From dog sledding and skating to cross country skiing around Maligne Lake; there is absolutely something for everyone in this remarkable National Park.