Hiking in the Canadian Rockies is a traveler’s dream. The glaciers, blue alpine lakes, and wildlife make it even more exciting.
As a first time traveler, it’s overwhelming to choose where to go when the time is always limited. And because most people usually travel to Banff National Park and the neighboring Jasper National Park, I’m going to show the five best hiking trails in Jasper National Park.
You will see it all – glaciers, colorful lakes, wildlife and a bird’s eye view from the mountain top.
Once you start driving from Banff to Jasper National Park, the Wilcox Pass hike is located just off of the scenic road Icefields Parkway. It’s an easy to moderate hike through the forest and fragile alpine environment and the highlight is the view of Athabasca Glacier right in front of you. All you need to do is to hike about 4 km to the viewpoint, and you might even see some mountain goats who like to hang out at this picturesque spot.
Valley of the Five Lakes
An easy drive or a bike ride from Jasper is a mesmerizing valley with five emerald lakes. It’s a family-friendly hike on a well-trodden path. Although it can take time, the reason for that is as you hike around the lakes, they keep changing colors based on the sun’s reflection. The photo opportunities are endless. The short loop to see all of the lakes is only 5.5 km, and a longer loop (also less crowded) is 9.5 km long.
Edith Cavell Meadows
Hiking through the Edith Cavell Meadows offers a close-up view of the Angel Glacier and the small pool with chunks of ice beneath it. The walk to the viewpoint is incredibly easy, and there’s also an option to extend the hike and make an 8 km loop when you climb the nearby hill to get a bird’s eye view. It’s not difficult and worth the effort! And if you come in summer, you’ll be rewarded with a sea of colorful wildflowers.
Whistlers Mountain is a signature hike in Jasper. You can either hike up the steep part or take a gondola up the mountain. The latter option will take you about 2 km below the summit. You can then hike to the Whistlers Peak to 2,470 m above sea level. The panoramic view of the mountains is astonishing. On a clear day, you might even see Mount Robson (3,954), the highest peak of the Canadian Rockies.
One of the easiest hikes in Jasper with the best effort to view ratio is Bald Hills. The 10 km hike starts at the famous Maligne Lake, where most people come to take a boat cruise and walk around the lake. The view from Bald Hills is another level, though. You’ll see the longest natural lake in Canada from above with surrounding mountain peaks and glaciers. Adding a secret little tip – drive to Maligne Lake either at dusk or dawn for wildlife watching, moose and bears are the most common to spot here.