Bestowed with incredible topography, think snow blanketed Canadian Rockies, and spellbinding waterfalls, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Jasper National Park is a place one can never get enough of. The national park stretches over 4247 square miles and is beautifully tucked in the province of Alberta in Canada just north of Banff National Park and west of Edmonton.
The national park is originally named after Jasper Haws, who was a fur trader and worked for the Northwest Company. He was managing the company’s trading post built on Brûlé Lake, which was later known as Jasper’s House. In 1924 Jasper House was designated as a National Historic Site but was then destroyed in 1910 to become the National Park. The park is a scenic attraction studded with glacier-fed lakes, forests, and rivers, which are inhabited by many animal species such as the elk, caribou, grizzly bear, golden eagles, and many more. To make the most out of its landscape, one can drive the scenic routes around the Jasper National Park.
Icefields Parkway - Lake Louise to Jasper
The best part of visiting Jasper National Park is to get up-close and personal with the majestic landscapes that can fill one with awe. One such place is hands down the fabulous Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North) featured as the world’s most scenic drive by many publications including the National Geographic Traveller Magazine on their list of ‘drives of a lifetime. The Icefield Parkway is a 143-mile scenic route that connects Lake Louise to Jasper, where one can marvel at the glaciers, lakes, mountains, and wildlife. Though the route is a draw in itself, the showstopper is the Peyto Lake nestled 28 miles north of Lake Louise. Make a stop here and hike the paved trail through the woods to see the sublime turquoise lake contrasting with the green forests. Normally the route is open all year round, but it can get closed in winter due to avalanches.
- Duration: Three Hours Drive
- Note: A valid national park pass is required to drive the Icefields Parkway. The adult fee is $10.50, and for a family/group (up to 7 people) is about $21.00.
Bow Valley Parkway Scenic Route
The scenic 30-miles long Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A) is another route to consider when driving around Jasper National Park. It serves as a leisurely route between Banff and Lake Louise and is simply perfect for those looking for a serene setting. Hwy 1A winds its way through the forest and has many roadside pull-offs and staggering views of the Castle Mountain peaks and flower-clad meadows. Some fascinating wildlife consists of elk, moose, mule deer, and wolves. Currently, the route from Castle Junction to Johnston Canyon is open for public vehicles, but it is not recommended for biking with kids. Those who wish to bike can consider the route from Banff and from the Fireside Day Use from Bow Valley Parkway.
- Length: 30 miles
- Banff to Johnston Canyon: 31 miles return ride
- Return Ride To Castle Junction: 40 miles
Miette Hot Springs
It takes an hour's drive from downtown Jasper to enjoy the scenic route of the Fiddle Valley which leads to the Miette Hot Springs. This route is ideal for those looking for a peaceful panorama surrounded by hot springs and consists of picturesque trails. After a serene drive, rejuvenate the body and mind at the Miette Hot Springs which is situated 37 miles away northeast of Jasper. The hot springs have minerals such as Magnesium, Sulfate, and Sodium. Enjoy soaking in the hot springs while basking in the surrounding sublime views of the Canadian Rockies. The water is usually 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40ºC). There are two hot pools and two cool pools. On-site facilities include outdoor and indoor cafes, a gift shop, and camping facilities.
- Address: Miette Rd Jasper, Miette Hotsprings, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
- Amenities: Swimming pools, cafes, and camping facilities
Driving Through Jasper National Park- Requirements
To access the scenic routes through Jasper National Park all visitors need to have a valid National Park Pass regardless of their driving mode. There are many ways to get the park passes. One can either purchase online or at the park gates or in person at the Visitor Center, which is in downtown Jasper.
- Address: 500 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
- Opening Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Discovery Pass: Adults cost $72.25, and a family or group costs $145.25
What Is The Best Time To Visit Jasper National Park
The best time to drive through the Jasper National Park is from March to May, and September to November. These months have fewer crowds. The warmest months are from July to August, and the coldest is in February. The rainy season is between June and July.