Warm and welcoming people, abundant wildlife, beautiful frozen lakes and snow-covered mountain peaks. Jasper has it all. Come visit Canada’s most magical winter destination.
There’s nothing quite like winter in the Canadian Rockies, and Jasper National Park has a certain je ne sais quoi this time of year, with endless snowy adventures waiting to be had and cozy cabins to rest and recharge in. Here are 10 ways to have a magical winter in Jasper.
Get ready to shred it
You can’t come to the heart of the Canadian Rockies and not hit the slopes. You just can’t! Jasper’s Marmot Basin is a powder haven, and it also has the highest base elevation of any ski area in Canada. With close to 100 runs, almost equally divided between novice, intermediate, advanced, and expert level, there’s something for everyone.
Step into an ice-walking adventure
Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to walk through a canyon, surrounded by waterfalls frozen in time? Ice walking is made possible with special footwear to walk on a frozen surface. And Jasper National Park offers the most stunningly beautiful form of ice walking you might ever see. The Maligne Canyon Icewalk Tour guides you down the frozen Maligne River at the bottom of the beautiful smoothed-walled namesake canyon – the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park – where you will walk by a series of frozen waterfalls, ice caves and ice formations. It’s an unforgettable experience.
Climb to new heights climb to new heights
If you’re feeling more adventurous after walking on a frozen river, why not try climbing a frozen waterfall? Rockaboo Mountain Adventures introduction to ice-climbing course will have you going from newbie to conquering a frozen waterfall within a couple of hours. Using crampons on your feet, an axe in your hand and a secure rope system to prevent falls, you’ll quickly realize this sport is not so scary after all.
A winter wildlife safari
In Jasper, many of the locals have four legs, thick fur and a big set of antlers. It might be more common in some areas to see elk, a moose or even a mountain goat than a real-life human local. Even during the winter months, book a wildlife tour and explore with a guide who knows the ins and outs of Jasper National Park. Follow migration patterns, common sighting locations and learn about the wildlife who make this park home.
Time to indulge
After a long day outdoors, it’s time to refuel with some not-so-basic essentials. The Wilderness Kitchen (found at the trailhead of Maligne Canyon) has all the comfort foods you’ll be craving. Think slow-smoked meats, handmade preserves and fresh local veggies. Looking to quench your thirst? Hit up the local Jasper Brewing Co., where you can find a wide range of craft beers and snacks. The warm buttered soft pretzel comes highly recommended.
A night under the stars
Did you know Jasper National Park is also a Dark Sky Preserve? It’s the second largest in the world, actually. And it’s the perfect place to see the night sky in all its glory. The sky comes alive in the winter, so get cozy with some hot chocolate and see what you can spot – whether it’s the milky way or the northern lights. Take a Winter Dark Sky Astronomy Tour or, if you’d rather stay indoors, visit the Jasper Planetarium at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. You can’t beat these star-studded views.
Explore by dog sled
Glide through a winter wonderland on a tried-and-true Canadian Rockies transportation method. Sit back and relax under cozy blankets while a team of seriously strong – and seriously adorable – sled dogs lead the way. The team (along with an expert guide, of course) knows exactly where to go for the most stunning winter scenery.
Enjoy the view from above
Jasper is surrounded by picture-perfect views, but have you ever seen the Canadian Rockies from above? A helicopter tour combines jaw-dropping views paired with unforgettable experiences. A heli snowshoe tour means navigating untouched powder while feeling like you’re on top of the world – literally.
Glide across a frozen lake
Gliding across a frozen mountain lake is one of the quintessential Canadian experiences that deserves a spot on any winter bucket list. No skates? No problem. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge rents equipment so you can practice your footwork on the cleared rinks on Mildred Lake. Or head to Pyramid Lake and have some fun on the cleared oval track. When you’re ready for a break, pull up a spot around one of the outdoor fire pits.
Winter on two wheels
Who says you can’t bike in the snow? Fat bikes, which have extra-large, spongy tires that grip the snow, mean year-round access to Jasper’s extensive trail network. You don’t need to be a cycling pro to fat bike, either. Rent a bike from Pyramid Lake Resort and take it for a spin – you may just find your new favourite winter pastime.