Published on February 16th, 2014 | by Kristen Sarah2
5 Ways to Embrace Winter in Jasper
Jasper, Alberta is located in the heart of Jasper National Park, the largest and most northerly of the Canadian Rockies. This Canadian gem is a wonderful place to escape to during the summer, but especially in the winter. The people of Jasper sure know how to embrace the cold Canadian temperatures. Instead of hibernating during the coldest months of the year, they head outdoors and participate in various winter activates that this little town has become globally known for. Kristen Sarah from Hopscotch the Globe recently visited and shares 5 winter activities to try during your next visit to Jasper:
Snowshoeing is an activity that is underrated for both enjoyment and physical exertion. It is in fact, a very enjoyable winter activity that is fairly physical demanding that every one, no matter your age, try at least once. However, if you do indeed give it a go, don’t expect it to be your last time participating in this winter sport.
One of the most beautiful places in the world to try snowshoeing is in Jasper, Alberta. What better way to enjoy your trek through several feet of snow than by being completely surrounded by snow capped mountains, evergreen trees and Canadian wildlife – if you’re lucky! Snowshoeing offers a chance to see terrain that even cross-country skiers have trouble accessing. The best places to snowshoe in the city are in marshy or glade areas, like those found on the gorgeous Pyramid Bench and Maligne Lake.
You can either bring your own snowshoes or if it’s your first time, Walks and Walks Japser offers excellent tours for both first timers and well-experienced snowshoers.
Ice Cave Walk
If you think waterfalls in the summertime are beautiful, wait until you see them in the winter! During the coldest months on the year, you can admire the impressive ice formations of the Maligne River bed. Several operators such as Sun Dog Tours, offer guided canyon walks, which is a great way to not just see the canyon but learn about it and also avoid the trouble spots. With the guided tours, each participant gets a pair of heavy boots and ice cleats to make it easier to get to the canyon, since the paths tend to be very slippery. The tours are offered in the day and night, but the moonlight canyon ice walks offer a more magical experience.
Skating in Jasper is entirely different than skating anywhere else. Forget indoor arenas, skating on natures ice rink while being completely hugged by mountains is a true Canadian experience. Slip on your skates and head out to one of the three most popular natural ice rinks: Lac Beauvert, Lake Mildred and Pyramid Lake.
Lake Mildred has an ongoing bonfire and free hot chocolate while Lac Beauver, which is a short walk from the main Jasper Park Lodge, becomes lit for night skating. All options are great, so why not try them all!
Be warned that natural ice conditions in the park is not monitored, so be sure the ice is at least 6 inches thick.
If you are a skier or snowboarder, what could be better than hitting the slopes at Marmot Basin in the Canadian Rockies? Marmot Basin is located 20 minutes from town in Jasper National Park. Whether you are an avid skier or snowboarder or just a beginner, Marmot Basin offers plenty of trails for all levels.
In fact, about 30 percent of the runs are notice, another 30 percent intermediate, 20 percent advances and the last 20 percent expert. There are 86 runs, a 3,000 vertical foot drop and a life capacity of close to 12,000 skiers per hour on eight lifts. There is enough mountain for everyone! One of the great things about Marmot Basin, is it is one of the least crowded ski hills of its kind in North America, yet a favourite among many.
Hiking in Jasper is like doing a daily cleanse for your body and soul. The air is so fresh that you can’t help but thoroughly enjoy each long deep breath. There is 1,200 km worth of hiking trails to discover for all levels. Some of the most popular basic trails include: Valley of Five Lakes, Lake Annette Loop, Maligne Canyon, Old Fort Point Loop and Path of the Glacier Loop. The more moderate and advanced trails include: Cavell Meadows Loop, Opal Hills Loop and Wilcox Pass.
Although most wildlife will be hibernating during the winter months, be sure to remain on the lookout and leave a safe distance between you and the largest animals.
Ready to experience Jasper for yourself? Contact a Flight Centre Travel Consultant to get started!