July 17, 2017

9 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Canadian this Summer in Jasper National Park

So you want to experience Jasper like a Canadian, eh?

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday this year, here are some uniquely Canadian things you can do in Jasper this summer to increase your Canuck cred:

1. See the Local Wildlife

Jasper is home to some of Canada's most fascinating local wildlife. From enormous black bears to tiny pikas, from majestic elk to whistling marmots, there's no shortage of unique animals to observe in their natural habitats.

If you’ve spent all day exploring the park, an evening wildlife tour with Maligne Adventures or Sundog Tours may be the perfect option for you. 

Planning on visiting Maligne Lake? Maligne Adventures offers a daily Maligne Valley Wildlife and Waterfalls tour that includes a ticket to the Maligne Lake Boat Cruise!

As tame as many of these animals might seem, you should always exercise caution when viewing wildlife, no matter where you are. Maintain safe viewing distances (inside your car is best), and never provoke or try to entice them. 

2. Hop in a Canoe

Pyramid Lake. Photo by: Cory Johnn

What’s more Canadian than a wooden canoe? Paddle your way around the waters of Lac Beauvert, Pyramid Lake. Or venture further on Maligne Lake and stop for breaks on the shores along the way.

As Jasper’s canoe experts, Wild Current Outfitters offers custom canoe adventures and canoe camping on Maligne Lake for adventurers looking to do more than just a casual paddle. 

Fun Fact: Wild Current Outfitters has a 26-foot voyageur-style canoe built by hand! 

Mike Lodge, Co-Owner of Wild Current Outfitters. Photo by: Cory Johnn

Pure Outdoors (located at 632 Connaught Drive) offers canoe rentals, and will drop off your rental at any boating lakes in Jasper National Park

Boats are also available to rent at Maligne Lake Boat House, Pyramid Lake Resort and Jasper Park Lodge boathouse (Lac Beauvert.)

3. Have a BBQ (and Swim!) at a Glacial Lake

Summertime in Canada brings amazing sunshine – and that calls for swimming and BBQ’s!

Check out Lake Annette, Lake Edith, Pyramid Lake or Patricia Lake – which all have great BBQ spots for those looking to spend a relaxing afternoon by the water.

While some may turn their heads at the idea of swimming in glacially fed lakes, they’re actually great for water activities during the summer. Most lakes warm up to an almost perfect swimming temperature during the summertime, so don’t be afraid - take the plunge!

Want to really explore the depths of Jasper’s waters? Try out scuba diving with Jasper Dive Adventures

4. Go Horseback Riding

Explore the natural beauty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains on horseback with Jasper Riding Stables at Pyramid Lake Road or the Jasper Park Lodge

Jasper Riding Stables at the Jasper Park Lodge. Photo by: Asim Haque @asim_overstands

This experience will make you feel like you’ve stepped back into Canada’s wild wild west.  

5. Try Local Canadian Cuisine

Jasper’s culinary scene offers classic dishes with an authentic Canadian Mountain twist!

Tekarra Restaurant - During the summer, Jasper’s Tekarra Restaurant offers an upscale, creative menu amidst a rustic wooded setting. Offering mouth-watering Canadian dishes like bison short ribs braised with Saskatoon berries, poutine with bacon jam and bison meatballs with black garlic tomato sauce, Tekarra Restaurant is the perfect place to please your inner Canadian. 

Tekarra Restaurant. Photo by: Jeff Lewis Photography

Jasper Brewing Company - Using pure, natural mountain water sourced from the Canadian Rockies, Jasper Brewing Company brews six signature beers on-site. 

Along with enjoying a tasty local beer, try out one of their classic Canadian dishes like the rustic elk meatloaf, the classic poutine or the elk carpaccio made with pickled mushrooms, goat cheese and maple shallot vinaigrette.

Evil Dave’s - If you’re looking for an after-dinner cocktail, head down to Evil Dave’s Grill and try out their Northern Lights cocktail. Just like the colours of the Northern Lights in Canada mix together across the sky, the ingredients in this cocktail mix together perfectly. Grey Goose vodka, Yukon Jack, citrus soda, orange juice, a splash of cranberry juice, and a lime wedge. 

Jasper Legion - Serving local beer and pub fare, the Royal Jasper Canadian Legion is the perfect place to enjoy some live Canadian music after an epic day spent outdoors. Check out their calendar of events here

Jasper Brewing Company. Photo by: Cory Johnn

Jasper Brewing Company. Photo by: Katherine Speur

Jasper Brewing Company. Photo by: Cory Johnn

Coco’s Café – Locally owned and operated, Coco’s specializes in vegetarian and vegan fare and is the ultimate stop for home-style Canadian breakfast or lunch.

And what’s more Canadian than being super inclusive? Lynn, owner of Coco’s Café, is a strong supporter of the annual Jasper Pride Festival, happening next year from April 19th-22nd, 2018.  

6. Take in Jasper's History

Want to learn more about the history of the area? The Jasper townsite is also a great place to do a self-guided history tour. Stop at the Two Brothers Totem Pole, take a stroll through the historic train station and stop in at the Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives.

During the summer, Parks Canada delivers evening theatre at Whistlers Campground, as well as guided walks at Old Fort Point and the Athabasca Glacier (Columbia Icefield). You can also find interpreters singing around the campfire at Wabasso Campground or leading street theatre and Indigenous programs at the Jasper Heritage Firehall (behind the Visitor Information Centre). More information on Parks Canada programming can be found here

7. Watch the Northern Lights

You’re in the great white north, now try to catch some northern lights!

Though northern lights are hard to predict, Jasper National Park is the perfect place to try to view them! At over 11,000 square kilometres, Jasper is considered to be one of the largest Dark Sky Preserves. If you happen to be stopping by the park in October, celebrate our dark sky with us at the annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival Presented by Rocky Mountaineer.

Want to learn more about the northern lights (a.k.a Aurora Borealis)? Check out our blog post all about it here

If you don’t come across the northern lights on your trip, there’s always a chance to see the Milky Eh! (see what we did there?)

8. Drink a Caesar

Forget about Bloody Mary’s – make room for this is a Canadian staple.

While somewhat similar, there are some crucial differences. Caesars are made with clamato juice (tomato juice with a hint of clam juice) and kicked up a notch with some tabasco, Caesar salts, and some pepper. Taste the incredible difference for yourself, if you haven’t already!

Local’s Tip: Treat yourself with the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s signature Mountain Caesar (garnished with pickled vegetables and beef jerky) while overlooking Lac Beauvert.

9. See Iconic Canadian Landmarks

A visit to Spirit Island on Maligne Lake is a truly Canadian experience, and a trip to Jasper simply isn’t complete without it. Many of us have seen it before, whether in a picture, movie, or postcard, but we assure you, there’s nothing like seeing the real deal.

Maligne Lake

Local tip: Make sure to stop for afternoon tea at the historic Maligne Lake Chalet, a National Historic Site built in 1927.

Hitting the trails in Jasper? Parks Canada placed seven sets of red Adirondack chairs in quiet and scenic locations throughout Jasper National Park for visitors to enjoy the exquisite mountain and lakeside vistas. 

Each location shares a great story about the landscape and history. While some chairs are easy to find, others encourage more of an adventure.

Start your search for the red chair locations using this map (and be sure to snap a super Canadian photo when you find them!)

Want to experience more iconic Canadian landmarks? USA Today recently named Athabasca Falls one of the 10 Best Attractions in Canada and the Icefields Parkway one of the Best Scenic Drives in Canada

Now put on your plaid, grab your cup of Tim Horton’s coffee and get ready to discover the true north in Canada’s base of adventure!

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