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HomeSpiritual Travel12 Superior Jasper Winter Hikes You’ll By no means Neglect

12 Superior Jasper Winter Hikes You’ll By no means Neglect


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Jasper Nationwide Park is a world-class mountain climbing vacation spot, and a Jasper winter mountain climbing journey won’t ever disappoint.

Beneath I’m going to introduce my private favorite winter mountain climbing trails in Jasper Nationwide Park. Most of those are straightforward hikes or strolling trails that turn into barely tougher in winter. I’ve even accomplished just a few of them with my little ones, who’re nicely underneath the age of 10. The ultimate two entries are probably the most troublesome ones on the checklist.

For extra concepts apart from winter walks in Jasper, you may additionally need to take a look at my information to the finest issues to do in Jasper in winter and visiting Jasper with youngsters!  

The Finest Winter Hikes round Jasper Townsite

The next are my 10 favourite Jasper winter mountain climbing trails near Jasper city. Whereas they aren’t actually in any explicit order, I’ve put my additional favourite ones first, and completed off with those situated south of Jasper townsite on the Icefields Parkway, included two troublesome bonus ones on the finish.

Maligne Canyon Icewalk

A person standing in frozen Maligne Canyon
Maligne Canyon Icewalk

Topping this checklist is the epic Maligne Canyon Icewalk. For much more data than I’ll present right here, see my article on the right way to do the Maligne Canyon Icewalk and not using a information.

Maligne Canyon is one in every of Jasper Nationwide Park’s hottest points of interest. The slender gorge is carved out by Maligne River, which originates at Maligne Lake, flows into Medication Lake, then disappears underground earlier than reappearing at Maligne Canyon.

The strolling path by means of Maligne Canyon is beautiful all year long. The path contains six bridges throughout the river and numerous views of a few of Alberta’s most stunning waterfalls (and a number of the closest waterfalls to Edmonton!)

Me standing in front of a wall of ice in Maligne Gorge
Considered one of numerous frozen waterfalls within the canyon

In winter, the beautiful grew to become a winter wonderland of frozen waterfalls and icicles, making it one of many high issues to do in Alberta. The good half is that you could descend proper onto the frozen river and stroll up the canyon. You may even climb right into a cave behind one of many waterfalls.

In complete, the hike takes 2 to 2.5 hours and ice cleats are important. The canyon is a 15-minute drive from Jasper townsite on Maligne Lake Street. There’s even an HI hostel proper on the canyon.

As you possibly can see from my pictures, this winter hike is simple sufficient to do with youngsters. It was simply troublesome sufficient to push my 5 and 7-year-old to their restrict, however they liked it.

Outdated Fort Level

A long train driving into Jasper and surrounded by mountains, viewed from Old Fort Point hiking trail in winter
A practice coming into Jasper city, seen from Outdated Fort Level

One other of my favorite winter hikes in Jasper is Outdated Fort Level Path. The hike takes you to the height of a 130-meter rocky hill overlooking all of Jasper townsite and the Athabasca River Valley. You may see the complete size of trains as they arrive into and out of city. It’s a very commanding view for comparatively low effort.

The hike begins throughout the Athabasca River from city; you possibly can stroll to the beginning of it or park within the small lot simply after the scenic Outdated Fort Level bridge. The realm across the bridge affords stunning views of the river and surrounding mountains, together with Pyramid Mountain within the distance.

This hike is a loop, or you would simply stroll to the point of view and again for a shorter stroll. There’s a pair of the enduring Parks Canada Purple Chairs when you go the entire manner. The hike’s title refers to an 1811 North West Firm cabin within the space. The cabin is not there, however it stays a Nationwide Historic Website.

A steep hiking trail in winter in Jasper
Icy steps on the path with the Athabasca River within the background

Whereas this hike is often rated straightforward and will be accomplished with youngsters, as long as they’ll deal with some uphill, I might say it’s extra of a medium in winter. I don’t suppose my youngsters would have made it far. Strolling within the snow is extra tiring, and a number of the steeper uphill sections are a bit slippery. Though I didn’t use them, ice cleats and/or a pole would positively assist.  

My favourite components of this hike was that I had all of it to myself on a weekday morning (although the -30°C climate might need been a turnoff for some…)

Lake Annette

A trail around the snow on Lake Annette's winter hike in Jasper
Strolling path round Lake Annette

Lake Annette additionally deserves a excessive spot on this checklist. The hike all the best way round one in every of Jasper Nationwide Park’s prettiest lakes is a favourite amongst locals, so the path worn sufficient that you just received’t be trudging by means of deep snow. On the identical time, it isn’t so common that you just’ll be overwhelmed with crowds like at Maligne Canyon.

Lake Annette, usually often known as having one of many few sandy seashores in Jasper, is situated simply north of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and is accessed by way of the identical highway, Outdated Lodge Street, from which you’ll flip onto Lake Annette Street.

A snow covered dock and lake on winter walk in Jasper
A dock on Lake Annette

In winter, there are few spots to park for Lake Annette. The primary is a small parking zone proper beside the lake as you’re driving in. If that’s full, you possibly can simply proceed to the primary parking zone at Lake Annette Seaside.

You may funds round an hour to do a full loop of the lake. Relying on situations and the way contemporary the snow is, snowshoes or ice cleats can turn out to be useful.  

Beauvert Lake

A winter walking trail around Beauvert Lake in Jasper, with a sign that says "Danger Thin Ice"
Strolling path round Beauvert Lake

Beauvert Lake (Lac Beauvert) is simply south of Lake Annette. Jasper’s most well-known resort, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, sits proper on its shore. Like Lake Annette, there’s a strolling path all the best way across the lake. Between the 2, I might personally select Lake Annette, however Beauvert Lake can also be value contemplating.

Fewer folks stroll all the best way round Beauvert Lake in winter, so the path could also be much less worn in winter. If there’s contemporary snow, the path might not be really easy to search out in components. You may entry the path by parking at Jasper Park Lodge and going by means of The Nice Corridor and Emerald Lounge.

Winter walking trail in front of Jasper Park Lodge
The path could be very nicely maintained in entrance of Jasper Park Lodge, however not round the remainder of the lake.

A tempting choice right here is to simply do part of the lakeside path, not a full loop, and retire to the Emerald Lounge for a elaborate cocktail, like their superb Maple Outdated Long-established (that is precisely what I did). The ice skating path on Mildred Lake, accessed from the identical parking zone, can also be free and open to the general public.

Another choice for this hike is to park at Outdated Fort Level and stroll north on Outdated Fort Level Street (closed to visitors in winter) to entry the south aspect of the lake and entry the round-lake path. This could be a greater (however longer) choice if you wish to keep away from folks and the necessity to park at Jasper Park Lodge, which may get very busy at occasions.

Pyramid Island

Two kids running across the bridge to Pyramid Island in Jasper
My youngsters on the bridge to Pyramid Island

Irrespective of the season, Pyramid Island on Pyramid Lake is a vital Jasper Nationwide Park cease for its unbeatable view of (no surprises on the title right here) Pyramid Mountain.

The strolling path throughout a wood bridge to Pyramid Island is extra of a fast stroll than a hike; the whole strolling distance together with a full loop of the island is 0.6 km. However in winter, you stroll proper on the lake, too, and additional discover the realm. A historic picnic shelter on the island dates to 1933 and is a federally acknowledged heritage constructing.

Historic picnic shelter on Pyramid Island in winter shot while hiking
Pyramid Island’s historic shelter

The bonus of doing this pretty winter stroll in Jasper is that you could cease on the free Pyramid Lake skating rink maintained by Pyramid Lake Resort. The backdrop to the skating rink is nothing wanting epic.

When you’re searching for an extended winter hike within the space Pyramid Lake Loop and Pyramid Lake Overlook are two choices that begin from the identical parking zone at Pyramid Island.

Jasper Discovery Path

Two people walking on the Jasper Discovery Trail in winter
Jasper Discovery path on the north finish of city

Proper in Jasper townsite, Jasper Discovery Path is a large loop across the total city. Though AllTrails lists that is an 8.5 km stroll, in fact you possibly can simply do smaller sections of it at a time.

On the entrance aspect of city, the path follows the primary highway of city (Connaught Drive). Don’t write this part off, although. It contains the prospect to see locomotives up shut on the Jasper Practice Station, the Haida-made Two Brothers Totem Pole, and extra.

On the again aspect of city, the path is extra pure as is climbs gently up into the woods. There’s additionally the chance to attach onto quite a few different trails resulting in Patricia Lake, Pyramid Lake, and several other different small lakes behind city.

Jasper Home Nationwide Historic Website

A Jasper winter walking trail to Jasper House National Historic Site
Strolling path to Jasper Home Nationwide Historic Website

Leaping now to the jap part of Jasper Nationwide Park, Jasper Home Nationwide Historic Website is a brilliant quick and straightforward stroll that makes for a fast cease when driving in on the Yellowhead freeway from Edmonton (when you’re from there, additionally see my information to the perfect winter hikes and different actions in Edmonton!)

Jasper Home was as soon as a stopping level for fur merchants who crossed the Athabasca and Yellowhead passes. There’s nothing left to see of the unique home, however there’s an elevated platform overlooking the river and a few informational panels.

This winter stroll is simply 0.8 km return, however it’s a spot to cease, stretch the legs, and respect some mountain views as you’re driving into Jasper. We favor it to the highway cease at Jasper Lake (technically only a vast stretch of the Athabasca River) a couple of minutes after it, the place everybody else at all times appears to cease.

Winter Hikes on the Icefields Parkway

The next hikes are situated on the Icefields Parkway (Freeway 93), which ventures south from Jasper townsite, finally main into Banff Nationwide Park, probably the most well-known and visited of Alberta’s 5 nationwide parks (and Canada’s 38 nationwide parks!)

It’s necessary to notice that winter tires are important on this freeway. Heavy snow also can generally trigger highway closures, and the climate can differ dramatically, generally dropping by as a lot as 20 levels as you journey south.

Valley of the 5 Lakes

Two red Parks Canada chairs on the Valley of the Five Lakes Jasper hiking trail in winter
Parks Canada crimson chairs on Third Lake

Heading south of Jasper townsite on the Icefields Parkway towards Banff Nationwide Park, it solely takes a couple of minutes to achieve among the best Jasper winter hikes: Valley of the 5 Lakes.

That is one other hike that’s thought-about straightforward in summer season, making it one of the vital kid-friendly (however barely longer) hikes in Jasper. Nevertheless, in winter a bit extra effort it required and there are just a few slippery ascents/descents, so I’d put this into medium territory.

The path begins at a big parking zone and results in a valley containing, you guessed it, 5 lakes. Whereas there’s a longer choice to circumnavigate all 5 lakes, most individuals comply with the foremost path which leads between lakes 1 and a pair of, turns proper and follows the shores of lakes 2, 3, and 4, then turns again between lakes 4 and 5.

A snow-covered trail crossing small bridge over a stream on the Valley of the Five Lakes winter hiking trail
Valley of the 5 Lakes path

The basic viewpoint of the lakes is from the pair of Parks Canada Purple Chairs on the south finish of Third Lake. Whereas mountain climbing this path isn’t as beautiful as in summer season, when the lakes’ vibrant turquoise colors actually make it, it’s a pleasing stroll nonetheless, and devoid of the crowds typical in summer season.

By myself, I completed this winter hike in 1.5 hours. Ice cleats should not crucial, however I did discover my pole useful for a pair slippery spots.

Athabasca Falls

Two kids looking down at Athabasca Falls in winter
My youngsters peering into the icy abyss of Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls is (together with the following entry) probably the most well-known waterfall in Jasper Nationwide Park, and the 2 can simply be visited in just a few hours from city, as they’re each alongside the Icefields Parkway.

In winter, Athabasca Falls turns into a frozen spectacle. The very quick path from the parking zone to the assorted viewing factors on both aspect of the river is hardly a hike however a fast and really scenic stroll. In response to AllTrails, when you stroll to each potential vantage level and again, that can come to 1 km.

When you’re visiting with youngsters, that is an particularly enjoyable spot, with so many various platforms to discover and look down from.

Higher and Decrease Sunwapta Falls

Bridge across Sunwapta Falls in winter with a woman looking down at the waterfall
My spouse wanting down at Sunwapta Falls

Additional upstream on the Sunwapta River, a tributary of the Athabasca, is an equally stunning water. Like Athabasca Falls, it’s a very quick stroll (solely about 100 meters) from the parking zone to the assorted viewing platforms and a bridge over the river.

Sunwapta stands out right here although because it has an precise mountain climbing path, which results in the Decrease Sunwapta Falls. The hike begins out with some nice views wanting again at Higher Falls, then leads by means of the forest downstream to the Decrease Falls.

A wide valley covered in snow on the Sunwapta Jasper winter hike
Views alongside the hike to Decrease Sunwapta Falls

The Decrease Falls aren’t as spectacular because the Higher Falls, however nonetheless definitely worth the stroll. Word that if there may be contemporary snow like after I visited, the path could also be a bit tougher to search out. Obtain a GPS mountain climbing map (for instance from AllTrails) earlier than you go, as there may be zero Web sign there.

You may funds about an hour return to Decrease Falls (3 km).

Toe of the Athabasca Glacier

The toe of Athabasca Glacier in winter
A frozen scene at Athabasca Glacier (observe: this photograph was taken on a guided tour on the glacier)

Athabasca Glacier is probably the most visited glacier in North America, primarily resulting from its ease of entry proper on the Icefields Parkway. It is part of the large Columbia Icefield and one of the vital common points of interest in Jasper Nationa Park, situated simply earlier than the freeway reaches Banff Nationwide Park.

Most guests come to Athabasca Glacier, when excursions are provided by the Columbia Icefield Glacier Journey, housed within the constructing throughout the freeway. These also can included a go to to the Columbia Icefield Skywalk up the freeway.

Ice formations on Athabasca Glacier
Athabasca Glacier (shot with telephoto lens)

In winter, far fewer folks go to the glacier, and the highway main from the freeway to Sunwapta Lake on the toe of the glacier is closed. You may nonetheless park simply off the freeway and hike in, although. Subsequently, that you must add about 2 km every manner (and about an hour) to the mountain climbing path information for this one in winter.

Situations can actually differ on the glacier in winter. It will probably get extraordinarily chilly and windy there (have in mind it already has winter-like situations in summer season!) Strolling on the glacier itself must also be prevented as a result of deep cracks and crevices can turn into invisible when lined in snow in winter. Normally, you possibly can’t make all of it the best way to the glacier in winter, however you’ll take pleasure in good views of it as you strategy.

Due to the problem to achieve it in winter and frequent chilly/windy climate, I rely this one as a harder hike.  

Wilcox Go

A hiking sign with snowy mountains in the background
Mountain climbing signal on Wilcox Go path

Whereas I haven’t personally accomplished it, Parks Canada lists Wilcox Viewpoint as a troublesome Jasper winter mountain climbing choice. The trailhead is true on the Icefields Parkway simply previous Athabasca Glacier.

In response to reviewers, snowshoes are a should, particularly when there’s contemporary snow on the bottom. A GPS map downloaded onto your cellphone can also be important, as a result of the path can typically be obscured by snow. Additionally heads up that this hike goes into potential avalanche space.

However your reward for doing this winter hike? Epic mountain surroundings all through, and views of three huge glaciers, together with the well-known Athabasca Glacier itself. There are additionally two Parks Canada Purple Chairs on the viewpoint.

Nicely, that brings us to the top of this Jasper winter mountain climbing information. I hope you’ve discovered some worthwhile winter mountain climbing concepts. Take pleasure in!  

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