Jasper is a small alpine town of about 4,600 people in the middle of Jasper National Park. It is the perfect place to stay for all of the activities available in the park. The town has everything you will need for your stay – grocery stores, restaurants, breweries, and of course, gift shops.
On this trip we stayed at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge – a luxury resort on the shores of Lac Beauvert. I have never stayed at a luxury hotel or resort before so this was a treat. Even though it was for just one night, it was a wonderful experience. If I had the means, I would travel this way all the time.
While there are a myriad of things do to in Jasper such as hiking, biking, river rafting, skiing (in the winter), I generally come to view the wildlife and dramatic scenery.
One of the best places to see wildlife is along the Maligne (pronounced Ma-leen) Lake Road between Jasper and Maligne Lake. It is a winding road about 35 miles but allow yourself one to one and a half hours to make the drive because you will probably want to stop for the wildlife and scenery. On this trip we saw four sightings of moose and two black bear. On our last trip two years ago, we had two grizzly sightings. Being that we were there in late May, it was light out until well after 10:00.
If you are in Jasper in late spring or summer, you can take the Maligne Lake cruise to Spirit Island. It is only accessible by boat or canoe. If you’re up for it, the canoe ride will take you about 4 hours each way.
The first time I was in Jasper, we asked one of the locals where the best place to get coffee was and we were directed to the Snowdome Coffee Bar. It is a coffee bar inside of a laundromat so you can wash your clothes and have some of the best coffee around. And I was impressed by the talented barista who allowed me to video her talent. And while you’re at it, enjoy one of their muffins or cookies. And if you want a sugar rush – have a Naniamo bar.
Next time I go to Jasper, it will be for more than one night.