When a New York gossip column recently suggested Jasper was “boring,” the first thing that jumped to mind was “Don’t hate us just cause you ‘aint us.” Alas, before we could even ask the nearest moose to hold our Caesar, legions of Jasper fans from across the world had already jumped to our defence (thanks, pals). But friends, let’s give Page Six a break. After all, adventure is subjective and what may be boring to some is breathtaking to another. So in the spirit of open-minded, oh-so-Canadian debate, here’s a 32-step guide to Jasper’s most splendidly yawn-worthy (or not — you decide!) vacation ever.
1. First step: turn off your cell phone. You’re in Jasper now and that kind of endlessly exciting stimulation is just not the tone we’re going for.
2. Next, wander through the deepest accessible canyon in the Canadian Rockies. Nothing says boring like walking along 50 metre-high walls of limestone (which transform into frozen waterfalls come winter) and spotting fossilized ancient sea life.
3. Contemplate how boring and uninspiring the universe is by taking a tour of the stars in the world’s largest accessible dark sky preserve. The new 50-seat planetarium offers a positively humdrum experience and definitely won’t blow you away.
4. ONE WORD: HISTORY. JASPER’S GOT A LOT OF IT.
5. For example, the Jasper-Yellowhead Museum has exhibits on everything from the local Indigenous people, fur traders, the railway, European exploration, and much more. Get your biggest coffee thermos ready.
6. Eat lunch on the Tekarra restaurant patio or grab a picnic-to-go next to Alberta’s longest river while elk, deer and bighorn sheep graze peacefully (correction: tediously) mere metres away.
7. Bike along Jasper’s thousands of kilometres of trail and feel your heartbeat slow to a tame trickle.
8. If you’re feeling a bit overstimulated, take a helicopter ride over a glacier that sits atop the Continental Divide and funnels fresh water to every corner of the continent. That’ll help tone things down.
9. Definitely don't raft one of Jasper’s historic rivers. Who cares about wet n’ wild whitewater adventures when you could sit inside and frown at a wall.
15. Kill a few hours by taking a motorcycle tour through Jasper National Park to see many of its most famous tall pointy rock things. They’re super old (we’re talking 55 to 88 million years old) so super irrelevant, right?
16. Ride a calm, docile horse with Jasper Park Riding Stables through trails that yes, sure, have some pretty stunning viewpoints over Pyramid Lake but lack the exciting threat of imminent death. SAD!
17. Catch some live music and a huge selection of craft beers at the local Legion, aka the Stand Easy. Actually don’t. The atmosphere might be a bit too spirited for your spiritless sensibilities.
18. Speaking of beer, sample some locally made liquid gold at Jasper Brewing Co. It’ll be the perfect accessory to your relentless ennui.
19. Feed the emptiness in your soul with some authentic Alberta game meats at Evil Dave’s Grill, or by joining Jasper Food Tours on one of their culinary cruises through town.
20. Sleep like a bug in a rug at one of Jasper cabin-style accommodations. Spoiler: some are so committed to your monotonous preferences they don’t even include TV’s. It’s like they expect you to go outside or something.
21. Visiting in the colder months? Dog sledding through miles of sparkling, snow-frosted wilderness ought to scratch your winter boredom itch.
22. While you’re at it, hit Marmot Basin for some good ol’ skiing and/or snowboarding. Remember: extra boredom points for hitting the terrain park or off-piste side of the mountain known as Tres Hombres.
23. But if you are here in the ice-free months, you really mustn’t miss the experience of paddling on a silent lake, many of which have awesome mountain views and are perfect for drowning your demons. Don’t have a canoe? Oh, sweet summer child, rent one.
24. Rock climb with a local guide. Because we all know that moving vertically is the most boring of directions.
25. Take the SkyTram to the summit of Whistler’s Mountain. See #24.
26. LOUNGE IN MIETTE HOT SPRINGS TO REWARD YOURSELF FOR NOT FALLING ASLEEP JUST FROM READING THIS FAR.
27. Peruse fine art at a local gallery that features some of Canada’s top creators. Need we say more?
28. You know what’s not interesting? Animals. They think they’re special, just because they have fur. You’ll see what we mean when you go on one of Jasper’s wildlife viewing tours.
29. Be here for one of Jasper’s many endless festivals. Because society could never, would never, should never just let you rest.
30. Try hiking through the national park for multiple days with Canadian Skyline Adventures. They’ll make you food along the way but does that really make up for the rest of it?
31. Make mundane memories on the Maligne Lake Boat Cruise, which takes you to Spirit Island. So what if it excites a lot of photographers from around the world? We won’t be so easily lured by joy.
32. Take a photography tour. Go ahead, capture the world with a lens and make it as motionless as you’ve always dreamed.