All About Jasper
Thank you for checking out our Travel Review of Jasper. It’s hard to say that one place is better than another when you go to Canada because wherever you go, you’re surrounded by absolute beauty. It took around 9 hours or so to get from Whistler to Jasper but we stayed at a little hotel during to break up the drive. This is highly recommended because the drive is just so long and whilst the views are always lovely, 9 hours is a very long drive.
Upon arriving, we decided to wander around the town. Jasper town is gorgeous. It has the same sort of feel as Whistler but is far more open and way cheaper. One key moment of our time spent in Jasper was stumbling upon the insanely gorgeous Athabasca River (I go into a bit more detail below). The great thing about writing a Travel Review of Jasper is being able to go back to and relive it!
There was nobody else around with only the sound of the water and the birds above. We paddled in the glacier water and took photos of us mucking about doing yoga poses. It’s funny because favourite memories aren’t always about doing hugely exciting and expensive activities – sometimes it’s the very small things that take precedence in your mind and this was one of them.
Jasper has everything you could want. It’s restaurants are fantastic – check out the food section on my blog as I have written aaaall about them but the activities you can do around Jasper are second to none.
Athabasca Glacier and Sky Walk
This was such a unique experience. Imagine a cool early summer morning, cool but with a hint of warmth as the sun rises and begins to brighten up the day now mix that with a frozen winter of -5. Sharp cold bursts of wind, hardened lips and so cold your eyes hurt.
Welcome to the Athabasca Glacier. It’s the weirdest experience. One minute the weather is slightly warm and the next it’s extremely cold. It’s a really awesome trip up to the glacier. First you stop off at the reception point which contains a really lovely little gift shop, a few cafes and restaurants and lots of queues for your trip on the Ice Explorer.
The ice fields parkway is one of the largest non-polar ice fields in the world. In order to get there you need to hop on the absolutely huge Ice Explorer to an awesome place where you can walk on, feel and drink from the Athabasca Glacier.
The views are absolutely stunning though and the sensation of ice hitting your face kind of awakens your soul. It’s truly awesome, before long, you’re driven to the incredible glass-floored Glacier Skywalk at the cliff’s edge.
Views are incredible as you step out on to the cliff-edge walkway where impressive glaciers stand tall above you. Beneath you can see the beautiful Sunwapta Valley below and if you’re lucky see a few mountain goats too (they are adorable).
The Glacier Skywalk isn’t just about the views though, the experience features amazing fossils, lots of history about how it was made and lovely waterfalls in the near distance. The walkway eventually leads you to an amazing platform where glass is all that separates you from a shocking 918-foot (280 m) drop. It’s very impressive and well-worth it if you’re in the Jasper area.
Maligne Lake and Spirit Island
Heaven. Quite simply. To put it briefly, it was declared the “Best Boat Cruise in Canada” by 8 million Reader’s Digest subscribers. The cruise itself is lovely, the guys giving the tour are brilliant at explaining the history of the glaciers. They were brilliant educators and enjoyed getting to know everyone around them as well which added to the experience.
These stunning crystal waters are fed by the beautiful glaciers of Jasper National Park. The jagged mountain peaks in the background offer once in a life time views as you cruise to Spirit Island which is only accessible by boat. It’s a very busy place (obviously), but the best time to visit Maligne Lake is in the morning.
The activities don’t stop here. There is the option to take the tour privately by hiring out a canoe, rowboat or kayak and spend your day on the lake enjoying everything at your own pace. There’s also fishing tours available for those that are interested, including half and full day tours where you can hunt for trout.
If you’re feeling peckish then you must try their on-site bakers fresh pastries and muffins. I had the most beautiful pastry here whilst waiting for our tour – absolutely well worth it!
I remember feeling completely in awe at how blue the water was here. I’ve never been anywhere else quite like it. The cost for this excursion was really reasonable as well. I paid for the explorer combo which included the Glacier Adventure, Skywalk and the Maligne Lake Cruise. The cost for both of us came to $276.80 CAD. If we had done this separately, it would have been at least 10% more expensive so it is well worth booking in advance, especially if you know you want to do certain activities.
So driving back from a hefty day taking photos at awe-inspiring everything. Mark and I stopped off at the Athabasca River which originates from the Columbia Glacier in Jasper National Park. The great thing about Canada is that although it is one of the most desired countries in the world, there are some places that you and only you can experience from time to time. Whilst we both practised our yoga moves (terribly), we didn’t see anyone else at all. Having this privacy meant that we were able to laugh freely, take photographs without anyone in them and enjoy the stunning scenery for what it is. This river is gorgeous and if you fancy a bit of a ‘freshing’ experience then I dare you to take a little dip!
Thank you for taking the time to read my Travel Review of Jasper. If you liked this, then you’ll hopefully really like this review of Whistler which can be found here.