I had been eagerly planning this trip for my husband I for the past 6 months to the beautiful Canadian Rockies. Last week we arrived in the town of Jasper for the start of our summer vacation. We spent 48 hours in Jasper National Park before heading off to Banff for 5 days. We crammed everything we could possibly do or see into those 48 hours to get the most out of this amazing location.
We arrived at 1:30 pm and headed straight for Jasper’s town center. Parking is a nightmare due to the amount of tourists visiting and took us 30-40 minutes of driving around just to find a parking spot. This was nothing though compared to how insanely hard it was to find parking in Banff.
Once we parked we headed off to explore the town of Jasper. It’s a very cute little town with a population of 4600 residents but will jump to 30’000 in and around the town in the summer months. For a little town they have good shopping and cute boutiques as well as an abundance of restaurants. We got some delicious desserts from both the Bear Paw Bakery’s (yes there are 2 and they both have different varieties of goodness). The Jasper Brew House for dinner was our last stop before hitting the road for the 35 minute drive to our campsite.
We stayed at the Pocahontas Campground because it was the closest campsite to the Miette Hot Springs. The campsite was alright but nothing special. It is in a good location because there are so many gorgeous places to stop between Jasper and Miette Hot Springs.
We quickly unpacked and got our trailer set up and headed up the road to hit the hot springs. I LOVED the hot springs and we went both nights of our stay. The facilities are really nice and while sitting in the pools there are gorgeous views surrounding you. There are 4 pools all ranging in temperature and lounge chairs to sit in for when you wanted to cool off. Not to mention it was so cheap! $6 a person and we would stay 2-2.5 hours each time.
We arrived at Maligne Canyon around 10:30 am and it was packed! Again what seemed packed to me then was nothing compared to the amount of people we would soon encounter at each stop in Banff. Maligne Canyon is gorgeous, completely free and a must do in Jasper. We walked the whole trail and back taking our time to stop and take photos and it took us about 3 hours. This is an easy going trail that is good for all fitness levels. The photos may seem calm and serene but really there are hundreds of people walking the trails. Make sure you pack food and water because the cost of snacks and drinks at any of the tourist stops are outrageously priced! I’m talking $5-6 for a bottle of water.
On the way back to our campground we stopped at this gorgeous turquoise water to take some photos. Mermaid water as I call it. All the rest stops along the way are worth stopping at if you have the time and you may even see some wildlife.
A few minutes down the road from the mermaid water we stopped at the Athabasca River. We had seen people walking across it the previous day. The back drop is amazing and has a sandy beach. Right across the road from the river we seen the most wildlife of the trip (bear, elk, mountain goats). The water is super cold so go here on a sunny day!
We arrived back at our campground around 6 pm. We ate dinner inside due to the insane amount of mosquitos (the campground was the only place we encountered mosquitos on the trip). After eating we headed back to Miette Hot Springs for one last soak.
We got up early and packed up our campsite and headed off to the Jasper Skytram. The Skytram is pretty expensive ($45 per adult) so it’s worth it to take your time exploring once you are up there. We spent 1.5-2 hrs taking photos and walking the summit trail that takes you to Whistlers Mountain Summit. There wasn’t a lot of people the day we went due to the limited visibility from the smoke.
Our next stop was Athabasca Falls which did not disappoint. This is a great place to stop and have a look around and it’s free! There are paved walking trails that take you along the falls. You could easily spend 1-2 hours here. Around 2 pm we were back on the road headed for Banff!
Check out our Jasper adventures below!