The whimsical world of winter is alive with adventures in Jasper. While this beautiful mountain town tucked away in the wild Canadian Rockies may seem quaint at first glance, it is also the home base for thrilling winter experiences that create one-of-a-kind memories to last a lifetime.
For those seeking new and unique ways to get off the beaten path, these outdoor activities are sure to delight visitors of all interests, backgrounds, and abilities. Here are just a few ways to inspire your soul, invigorate your body, and connect with the spirit and beauty of Jasper this winter.
Maligne Canyon Ice Walk
This beautiful canyon trail isn’t just for summer. When the cold weather hits, Maligne Canyon transforms to a world of towering frozen waterfalls and natural ice sculptures stretching up to 30 metres high. Join a guided icewalk with the experience of a qualified guide to make the most of this winter journey. All of the necessary gear will be provided, as well as a hot beverage and snack after your tour.
Why not discover the winter trails near Jasper by bike? Fat bikes are the winter equivalent for pedal-powered fun, with oversized tires to cruise snow-covered trails and uneven terrain. Fat bike along the Athabasca River on a trail that begins and ends in the Jasper townsite for an accessible trail that still feels off-the-grid. Rent a fat bike at Pyramid Lake and give it a try! Check out these trails for other ideas on where to bike.
Snowshoeing is a wonderful activity to slow down and smell the snowflakes. Moving at a slower pace allows you to be present and soak in all of nature’s mesmerizing intricacies. You can rent snowshoes at Pyramid Lake Resort. Snowshoeing can have a bit of a “pick your own adventure” mentality, however the areas near Pyramid Bench and Maligne Lake are prime for snowshoeing adventures. For more of a challenge, try Virl, Dorothy and Christine Lakes for amazing winter views of the lakes below.
Dark Sky Watching
Jasper National Park is home to the second largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world, defined by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as an area in which no artificial lighting is visible, and active measures are in place to reduce light pollution. This makes areas just outside Jasper (including the wide open parking lot at Maligne Canyon, where you can pair the dark sky with a delicious meal in the Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen), perfect for stargazing and getting lost in the wonder of the universe. You may even see the Aurora Borealis! Find your own quiet corner outside and bundle up with a thermos of hot cocoa to make the most of this experience.
Dog Sled Touring
For a quintessential Canadian experience, discover the vast wilderness of Jasper by dog sled. You’ll be cozily tucked into the sleigh as a dogsled team whisks you through the snow, just like the first Canadian trappers did. With tours running from one to four hours, this activity fits all activity levels - from those with young families, to those who wish to truly immerse in the dogsled journey as part of the team.
Skate on Pyramid Lake
There’s something pure and magical about gliding across a vast expanse of ice in the Canadian Rockies, with nothing but the mountains as spectators. When the glacial-fed Pyramid Lake freezes over, it’s the perfect locale to play a game of shinny or master your pirouette. Sometimes you can even see interesting natural formations like bubbles captured in the surface.
So with these ideas in mind, plan your getaway to Jasper this winter. And be sure to try something new!