The best life memories are often found off the beaten track.
Jasper, in our totally unbiased and humble opinion, is one of those special places. Located a few hours from the nearest city, Jasper is a Rocky Mountain gem that has for years rewarded those who are willing to venture beyond the ordinary.
But until teleportation gets invented, getting here requires going on another classic Canadian adventure: The Road Trip. Yes, you can also reach Jasper by rail (in fact Jasper got its start as a railway town) but there’s something exciting about hitting the open road and watching the mountains gradually rise above the horizon.
Whether you’re driving in from Edmonton, Calgary or somewhere further afield, make the most of your road trip with these tips.
Considering the vast number of creatives who have been inspired by mountains around the world, is it any wonder that there’s a huge catalogue of songs themed on these iconic landscapes? From bluegrass to soul music to rock and roll, there’s no shortage of tunes that pay homage to high elevation locations. Here’s 50 songs to get your own playlist started. If podcasts or audio books are more your speed, here’s a few recommendations.
Keep "hanger" at bay while travelling to Jasper, and you’ll arrive a lot happier and ready for adventure. Sliced veggies with hummus, fruit and plenty of water make for healthy sustenance, but we won’t judge if you toss in a cookie or two into the mix. On the other hand, if you’re heading out for a road trip within Jasper (the national park is BIG y’all — you could easily spend a full day tripping down the Icefields Parkway or exploring Maligne Lake) we recommend grabbing a delicious picnic lunch to go from one of these local eateries.
Stop to stretch
Whatever direction you approach from, the roads leading to Jasper are lined with amazing sights that make for interesting and awe-inspiring stops. Stretch your legs at scenic lakes along the way, or grab a coffee (or something a little hop-ier, if you’re not the one driving) from a few unique breweries. Check out this interactive map of many worthy waypoints to hit on your journey to Jasper.
Don’t forget your hygiene kit
It’s solid advice at any time, but these days it’s especially prudent to pack a hygiene safety kit. Hand sanitizer may not be stocked in the public washrooms, so it's a good idea to bring your own.
Purchase your Parks Pass in advance
To explore Jasper National Park (and all the rest of Canada’s national parks), visitors must have a National Park Pass. This entry fee goes toward supporting visitor services and facilities, ensuring a healthy and clean destination for everyone who wishes to explore these natural wonderlands.
When you drive to Jasper National Park, you have the option of buying a National Park Pass at the park gates, but during certain times of the year (such as long weekends) then there can be a line-up of cars. Now, you can skip the wait and purchase your Parks Pass online at jasper.travel/parkpass. Just make sure you print out your pass before arriving, as you must display it prominently on the left-hand side of your vehicle’s dashboard. Please note that displaying the pass on your phone is not valid.