The Best Places to Go Sightseeing in Jasper, Canada

The Columbia icefields Skywalk in Jasper National Park is a thrilling way to spend a day
The Columbia icefields Skywalk in Jasper National Park is a thrilling way to spend a day | © Delphotos / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Patrick Twomey
22 July 2020

Jasper is a service center, a junction and a destination unto itself. It is the natural and obvious destination when traveling north from Banff and one of the two principal routes into British Columbia. As the largest park in the Canadian Rockies, there is so much to discover in this part of the world. Often people only visit for two or three days, but Jasper can be explored for a lifetime. These are but a few of the most exciting sights to visit.

Columbia Icefields

Natural Feature
Map View
Columbia Icefields Alberta Rocky Mountains. Image shot 03/2016. Exact date unknown.
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Located at the southern end of Jasper National Park, the Columbia Icefields are the second-largest non-polar icefields in the world. The icefields are one of the fastest changing landscapes in the country and current advertising for the tours say, “come visit while they are still there.” Six glaciers flow from the mighty icefield and all are receding rapidly, while nearby Mount Snow Dome is the hydrographic apex of North America, with waters flowing to the oceans.

Jasper Town

Architectural Landmark
Map View
Downtown Jasper in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada.
© Janice and Nolan Braud / Alamy Stock Photo

Jasper is home to only 4,600 permanent residents, but welcomes millions of visitors. The town is an interesting mix of tourist services, Parks Canada and railway, as well as many local businesses, restaurants and pubs. Jasper has an incredibly relaxed feel and is easy to walk around, so give yourself a whole day to explore it properly.

Maligne Lake

Natural Feature
Map View
Evening light over Jasper National Park's Maligne Lake and boats available for rent at the historic Curly Phillips Boathouse.
© Brian Van Tighem / Alamy Stock Photo
Atop the Maligne Valley, Maligne is the largest lake in the national park and a must visit when in Jasper. Maligne is simply magnificent, framed by the Brazeau Glacier at the southern end. This moose country and the Maligne River is home to protected harlequin ducks. There is a day lodge, boat tours to Spirit Island and canoe or kayak rentals. If you fancy a day fishing, this should be your destination. The largest trout ever caught in the lake was over 20lb (9kg)!

Maligne Canyon

Natural Feature
Map View

Whether you go for a long walk or a short one, Maligne Canyon absolutely must feature on your itinerary. The canyon area is spectacular anytime of the year, well marked and easy to reach by road. From certain viewpoints you will look down to 160 feet (50m) into the depths. In the winter, the canyon should be visited from the inside with ice cleats.

These recommendations were updated on July 22, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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