Jasper Townsite in April


Jasper is a small mountain town in Jasper National Park, 362 km. West of Edmonton, the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta. As it is situated in the protected Jasper National Park, it is a specialized municipality governed by the municipality and federal Parks Canada and is subject to a lot more rules and regulations than most Alberta towns. (SOURCE:Wikipedia)

Anyone who has visited both Banff and Jasper can see a vast difference in how these two towns have been developed. I often joke that Banff is a “shopping center with mountain scenery” while Jasper is a “mountain town”.

Given its distance from Edmonton and the fact that Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies at 11,000 square kilometers, crowds are a lot smaller and there is plenty of space for all. The population of Jasper was 4,590 as of the 2016 census. Accommodation choices vary from campsites to guest houses to cabins, hotels and motels. (SOURCE:Wikipedia)

We love Jasper, but it can due to its smaller size, the town can be crowded in peak summer and winter skiing months. At these times, accommodation can be scarce and prices can soar. We prefer to visit in shoulder or off season.

Views from our Chateau Jasper hotel room


Sunrise beauty from Geikie Strreet


Views from Patricia Street, the main shopping street.


This view of the upper tram station on the Jasper Tramway up Whislters’ Peak is visible from Connaught Drive (with a 50x zoom)


Older buildings abound. The feature photo is Parks Canada Building. The old firehall below is now used for live theatre.


Despite its small size, there are plenty of dining options in Jasper from our favourite bakeries, the Bear Paw and the Other Paw to higher end fare from Evil Dave’s Grill (photos of meals below).



On this trip, we also discovered the Sunhouse Cafe, a delicious spot for coffee, breakfast and lunch. Photos below.


We have been visiting Jasper for more than 40 years and always enjoy a return visit in any season. When we travel with someone who has not seen it before, it is like we are seeing it again for the first time, as well.



Jasper National Park in April – Getting there


When friends H & L from Winnipeg told us of their plan to come ski Marmot Basin in Jasper, we did not need much coaxing to accompany them. We were uncertain if one or both of us would ski, but, we are always happy to show people around our favourite mountain park. After a tasty lunch, we piled into our cars and headed West the 4 hours to Jasper. H was still technically working, so rode with me to catch up on phone calls and E-mails, while Pat and L rode together in the other car.

Mountain Splendour

Shining Talbot Lake

bids us welcome to Jasper.

Wildlife fascinates.

Talbot Lake

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Elk (Wapiti)

Pyramid Overlook Hike – Jasper in August

Sunday dawned a bit clearer, so after coffee and breakfast, we headed off to Whistlers to help break camp. This completed, we were left what to do with our half day and agreed upon a hike up the Pyramid Overlook trail.

Pyramid Mountain was starting to show her face through the haze (feature photo) and there was only a slight smell of smoke as we arrived at the trailhead.


There were only a few mosquitoes about this early in the day, but we decided to spray our exposed skin with a non-DEET repellent and proceeded up the trail, which was a bit more of an incline that I recalled.


We paused for the requisite Red Chair pix and to admire the expanding view, before proceeding on.


Liam, our resident rock climber decided to gain some more elevation by climbing a tree.


it was a fine day. The birds that were absent during our June hike were out in full force, but still hidden from view. Mushrooms of every description were popping up along the trail.


The morning sun did not have much heat, but was adding a nice glow, unfettered by smoke.



Wild \flowers and berries were in abundance, especially the Smooth Blue Asters.


Running short of time, we opted to head back down after about 1.5 kilometers.


admiring these views, before driving on.


Patrica Lake Hike – Stop and Smell the Smoke

Smoke and the Air Quality Index in Jasper, resulted in a change of hiking plans. We had planned a rather strenuous hike from end to end on Wilcox Pass. With the limited view, the elevation and the health risk from the smoke, we amended it to a simple walk along Patricia Lake and Cottonwood Slough (Patricia Lake Circle). We had thought to keep the walk short,  but by the end we had hiked about 5.7 km (3.5 miles).

Te trail starts along the lake and while we tried to walk along the rocky shore, it was difficult going until we headed uphill slightly to the path…


…and past this log building, which we surmised was the pumphouse for the resort water system.


Elevation rises gradually beside a rocky face, giving views of the lake…




…before turning inland through the trees and on upwards. We thought this was going to be an easy trail and we recall it was in the past, when there was no smoke.



Higher up the incline, it was decision time and we decided to circle back and head for the resort. Along the way, we found this overview of Cottonwood Slough and paused to take in the vista…



..and capture this family photo.


From this point, we wandered downhill and found ourselves on Pyramid Lake Road about 1.5 kilometers from home. Definitely time for some lunch.

Where is your favourite hike?

Seeing Red – Jasper

I have heard that my interspersing of past and current posts is a bit confusing, so I will clear these older post before continuing on with our cross Canada posts. Apologies for any confusion.  Allan

A smoky weekend in Jasper, while disappointing, led to some spectacular photos of the sun in various positions, but usually in the same unreal red colour. Unfortunately, I missed the one taken as my title. By the time I saw the red reflections on the lake, it was already too late to pop down to the shore for the shot. Oh well, I have it in my mind’s eye.