In comparison to Banff village, Jasper may seem its less flashy cousin, with fewer shops and restaurants and a less touristy atmosphere. Yet it offers incredible hikes which has nothing to envy to Banff and Lake Louise areas.
We have spent five days in Jasper National Park and we have done exactly 5 different hikes – here they are below. Enjoy!
Mesmerised by the fabulous views from Bald Hills summit
BALD HILLS TRACK
LEVEL: Intermediate to Moderate
LENGTH: 13.2 km
ELEVATION GAIN: 700 mt
DURATION: 4-6 hrs
The name of this hike couldn’t be more appropriate. After a gentle hike uphill through the forest you will reach the start of a loop as the path branches into two directions, left and right. Keep following the steeper trail to the right, up to the top of the rounded hills in front of you which give the name to this place – they are “bald” or more precisely without trees, with few scrubs and rocks and beautiful patches of flowers. We recommend to take the right branch as it is easier to ascent than to descent, due to the scree and rocks along the way. Enjoy the breathtaking views from the top of the hills and remember not to feed the cheeky squirrels – they will come up close to you in any case.
Taking the amazing colours in at one of the 5 lakes along the track
VALLEY OF THE FIVE LAKES TRACK
TYPE : Loop
LENGTH: 9 km
ELEVATION GAIN: 66 mt
DURATION: 2 -3 hrs
An easy beautiful walk to five lakes of different colours which vary from intense light blue to emerald green. Bring along your swimsuit as you won’t resist the temptation of diving into their clear waters. This trail is very easy with almost no elevation gain, so it's perfect for families or for stretching your legs and preparing for more advanced hikes.
Ready to jump in? (Maligne Canyon Trail)
MALIGNE CANYON TRAIL
DISTANCE: 3.4 km
ELEVATION GAIN: 118 mt
DURATION: 2 hrs
Another easy but more crowded hike, this canyon is pretty impressive. You can only watch the power of the water gushing through the rocky walls behind wooden barriers. However, there are few points during the walk where you can get closer to the river and admire its strong current passing through the narrow canyon. To avoid the big touristy buses and make the most of your photo shots, try to hike this trail in the morning or early evening.
Incredible reflections at Pyramid Lake
PYRAMID LAKE & PATRICIA LAKE TRAIL
DISTANCE: Approx. 4 to 5 km
ELEVATION GAIN: Minimal
DURATION: 2 hrs
Easily reachable by car, this trail is very easy and great for families, picnics or a relaxing stroll followed by a refreshing dip in the lakes. Pyramid Lake, and the reflection of Pyramid Mountain in its clear waters, are a beautiful sight, especially in front of the famous Pyramid Island, very popular with kayakers and fishermen alike. You can start your walk from here and then follow the trail along the main unpaved road inside the forest – if you want to reach Patricia Lake and then return to Pyramid Lake, you will need to cross the main road a few times. All the walks in this area are clearly numbered, so just follow the number of the trail you would like to walk – take a map from Parks Canada with you in any case for easier orientation. Mosquito repellent is also highly recommended =)
Feeling small in front of such mountains (Sulphur Skyline Trail)
SULPHUR SKYLINE TRAIL
LEVEL: Moderate to Intermediate
DISTANCE: 7.7 km
ELEVATION GAIN: 649 mt
DURATION: 4-5 hrs
For amazing views of the Sulphur Skyline or Ridge and the valley below do not miss this great hike! This hike is pretty steep all the way up to the crest of the mountain and get even steeper just before you reach the highest point, however, as always, the higher you go, the better views you get. Follow the signposts for Sulphur Skyline when the trail divides and when on top, you can decide to walk along the trail on your right which brings you closer to the Sulphur Skyline. Remember to bring with you plenty of water and snacks/lunch to enjoy at the summit in front of majestic peaks and colourful ridges!
TIP – After this hike most people enjoy the hottest springs in the Canadian Rockies, the Miette Hot Springs.There are four pools with different temperatures, from very hot to extremely cold – you will feel so much better after having tried them all!
Miette Hot Springs, the hottest springs in the Canadian Rockies!