15 Stunning Views | Jasper National Park in The Canadian Rocky Mountains

woman posing in the mountains

The Jasper National Park

Breathtaking sites and magical experiences are a reality when you visit this exceptional national treasure. There are few places north of the American Border quite like the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Part of the UNESCO’s Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, Jasper is the largest National Park in the Canadian Rockies, with over 11,000 square kilometers of diverse ecosystems, vast wildlife, ice-capped peaks, waterfalls, and cultural heritage sites. [1]

Sunwapta Falls in Jasper National Park
Photo by cpawsnab.org

As a testament to its incredible beauty and natural significance, there are five national parks within the Canadian Rocky Mountain Range: BanffJasperKootenay, Yoho, and Waterton.  And if that weren’t enough, there are also several provincial parks: HamberMount Assiniboine and Mount Robson parks.

1 | Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake at Jasper National Park.
Photo by jasper.travel

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The largest in the entire Canadian Mountain Range at 22km long, it boasts its very own island: “Spirit Island”. First explored by Quaker from Philadelphia Mary Schaeffer, today the site is a popular destination.

From wedding photos, engagement proposals, wildlife sightings, photo opts, boat tours, canoeing, and hiking…you will never run out things to do or stunning sites to enjoy. Just 27km from Jasper’s town center, plan to complete your day at your choice of bar, grill, or restaurant.

View of Maligne Lake Boat House and couple paddling in a red, rental canoe at Jasper National Park.
Photo by jasper.travel

The scenic drive up to the lake is arguably more stunning than the destination itself. Along the way, it is not uncommon to encounter close sightings of caribou, bears, elk, sheep, and moose – so keep your camera close-by, ready to go! You can’t miss Medicine Lake, as it runs along the roadside. With several bump-outs, you will often see photographers in action.

Bonus | Maligne Canyon

For a short hike, check out Maligne Canyon for awesome waterfalls and deep canyon views. Maligne Canyon actually contains the deepest canyon in the entire Rocky Mountain Range. *Wear quality footwear.

2 | Mount Edith Cavell

The glacial lake filled with ice chunks at Mount Edith Cavell.
Photo by Christine Sekho

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Standing high with a 3,300 Meter Peak, this “Angel Glacier” is a must-see destination. Named after British WWII nurse Edith Louisa Cavell in 1916, this destination has never disappointed, leaving me breathless every time Regardless if you are a spiritual person – being that close to the summit with its jagged peaks and surrounding beauty is a worthwhile experience.

Beware of the only 14Km switchback road tightly winding up the mountain slope. Although a few attempt its grueling twists by foot or mountain bike…most visitors drive there in about 30-50 minutes. With a 25ft max vehicle length, a drop-off parking area sits at the start of 93A road for larger sized campers and trucks.

Its twisting, sharp switchbacks are no joke, but if you can handle heights then you will love the views as you slowly climb high over the valley, showcasing the sub-alpine forest below. Take advantage of these fabulous insta-photo opportunities and stop at the viewpoints along the way.

Woman with rainbow umbrella hiking Mount Edith Cavell Mountain
Man standing at base of Mount Edith Cavell

3 | Icefields Parkway

Purple wild flowers fill the valley below the mountains in the Icefields Parkway
Photo by Christine Sekho

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Woman standing on the road with the wintery mountains behind her at Highway 93 in Icefields Parkway.
Photo by Gurpreet Sekho

South of Jasper’s town center, Highway 93 winds through an incredibly scenic route tucked between Jasper National Park & Banff National Park. Jump in your vehicle, or rent a car for the day, and cruise through this epic scenic 230km drive.

Tucked between Jasper and Banff National Parks, this is a popular route to explore the vast Canadian Rocky Range in one day. Beginning at its northern tip, passing through the Icefields, entering Banff National Park and ending at either Canmore or continuing to the City of Calgary. Famous Glaciers | Athabasca Glacier and its Athabasca Pass (98km 7-10day).

Icy, snowy road with snow piled on either side and the giant snowy mountain behind at the Canadian Rockies.
Photo by Gurpreet Sekho

Lake Louise Banff National Park
Photo by Jaime Reimer

Bonus | Iconic views equal LAKE LOUISE

Located at the iconic Fairmont Château Lake Louise within the Banff National Park (some consider it the halfway point to Banff’s townsite). Expect crowds of people and full limited parking during the summers.

4 | Valley of the Five lakes

Valley of the five lakes. Two red chairs
Photo by Christine Sekho

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Valley of the five lakes has gemstone colored water.
Photo by tengl.net

If you love the hues of gemstones and stunning blue green waters – then you will fall in love with this destination. Accessible on Highway 93, this 4.5km trail is mostly family friendly and considered a moderate difficulty. A favorite for hikers and bikers alike, prepare to experience Jasper’s interior forest, wetlands, open flowery meadows, as you pass loop the trail and discover each unique lake.

5 | Pyramid lake

Pyramid Lake north of the town of Jasper in winter.
Photo by Christine Sekho

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Beloved by locals and visitors alike, Pyramid Lake is conveniently located only minutes from Jasper’s town Centre. The fairly short, winding road passes by its smaller sister Patricia Lake, the rugged Jasper Riding Stables, several beaches, and the iconic Pyramid Lake Resort. Be sure to stop by the Lake’s very own island, aptly named Pyramid Island. Accessible only by footbridge, there is a small parking lot along the road to access it. Once you’re on the island, you will find several seating areas each with fantastic views close to the water’s edge.

At the road’s end you will arrive at the trailhead for the Overlook trail, which will take you to spectacular views of the blue two lakes below, along with the three ranges of the Miette, Maligne, and Athabasca Valleys. You don’t need to be an experienced hiker. Don’t be deterred by the steep incline near the beginning of the trail, it will be well worth the huffing-and-puffing if you can stick it out to the top.

This is a hotspot to explore and get active. Year round, the trails are utilized by avid bikers, hikers, horseback riders, and nature lovers. Home to the Town’s adopted Elk herd, you can almost always expect to see them peacefully grazing among the trees or beside the road. If photography and wildlife watching is your goal, then check this area out.

Pyramid’s expansive lake provides year round aquodic opportunities. Summer months offer beaches, paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboats. The winter months are active with ice rink hockey, horse drawn sleigh rides, snowshoeing and cross country skiing on the lake.

Horse drawn sled carrying tourists around Pyramid Lake in the winter at Jasper.
Photo by Christine Sekho

6 | Athabasca Falls

green pine trees near lake and mountain
Photo by James Wheeler

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30km from Jasper’s townsite along the iconic Highway 93, lies this class 5 waterfall. While, not the Rockies’ longest or tallest waterfall, the pure force and energy as it cascades into the limestone gorge is nonetheless thrilling.

Unlike other waterfalls, you can get really up close thanks to the interconnecting footbridges and stone steps to the bottom. You get so close in fact that the surfaces tend be wet and slippery and the air itself becomes misty from the powerful water below. Expect to get sprayed by the mist and come prepared with proper footwear and gear.

Extremely popular during the summer months, I find the winter season to be far more enchanting. There is just something magical about the way the colors of the blue water and green pines bounce off the white snow…its breathtaking. If you are skiing at Marmot Basin’s Rocky Mountain Ski Resort, make sure to stop by on your way home. As a bonus, there have been times that we have had the entire space to ourselves, which can be extra special.

7 | Sunwapta Falls

Rushing Sunwapta River at Jasper national Park.
Photo by James Wheeler

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Longer than the Athabasca waterfall, this class 6 waterfall is rightfully called the “stepping stone” falls. Many visitors explore both the Athabasca and Sunwapta Falls, as they are both accessible on Highway 93.

Once you arrive at the parking lot, you will be greeted by the Upper Falls, which plunges deep into the limestone gorge and continues flowing into what is known as the Lower Falls. You can either cross over the Upper Falls on a footbridge or go the opposite direction and take the dirt trail following the gorge down to the Lower Falls. A bit steep with stone stairs and bulging tree roots, be prepared with footwear, proper gear, and water for when you reach the bottom.

8 | Skyline Trail

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For all my avid backpackers, the Skyline Trail is considered to be one of the Park’s most scenic hikes and a coveted location among locals. With panoramic views of mountains peaks, lakes, valleys, meadows, and frequented by wildlife.

This 2-4day hike will take you high above the tree line, in fact 25km out of its 45km length is sitting at elevated altitudes. The highest trail in the entire National Park, elevation reaches a max of 2510metres. Not for the faint of heart, you will pass through three Mountain Passes. Being so high up and remote demands a greater mindfulness and preparedness for its extreme weather changes. Pack quality gear and be ready to encounter any number of situations.

9 | The Tonquin Valley

Tonquin Valley
Photo by pc.gc.ca

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A backpackers paradise. Stretching over 41.4km, the Tonquin Valley is known for its majestic wilderness and wildlife region. It takes about 2-5days to complete. Bordering the Jasper and Banff National Parks in the Icefield Parkway, the trail takes you past some of the most spectacular views in the Maccarib Pass and the Ramparts Mountain Range with the stunning Amethyst Lake at its base. Accessible from Highway 93A, turn onto Marmot Road for 12km to reach the trailhead or take Edith Cavell road 12km to across from the Edith Cavell hostel.

10 | Old Fort Point

Hikers walking in Old Fort Point  at jasper
Photo by jasper.travel

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mountain goats grazing
Photo by Christine Sekho

Affectionally called “Goat Mountain“, a dwarf in comparison to the giant mountains surrounding it, you can climb its summit following a steep incline of stairs followed by a dirt path. As you ascend to the top, you will leave the tree line behind walk into an open meadow with panoramic views. If you’ve ever wanted to sing like Julie Andrews from the classic movie Song of Music, a top a mountain, then this will make your dreams come true…it may not be the Swiss Alps but this is a close second.

Every time I’ve taken the trail up, I have come across mountain sheep and goats peacefully grazing in the nearby grass. As long as you maintain a safe distance and are respectful of them, you should be able to admire without any problems. And what a perfect way to complete that alpine experience.

*I recommend going on a sunny day when the ground is dry and the wind is low to avoid being blown around the open meadows near the top or even worse sliding down the steep dirt trails!!

11 | Snaring River & Moberly Cabin

Snaring River at Jasper Park.
Photo by Christine Sekho

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Woman standing on bridge by Snaring River In Jasper
Photo by Christine Sekho

Located in the Colonel Pass, the river received its name after the First Nation Peoples who trapped animals using snares. Not too far from Jasper’s Townsite and minutes off the TransCanada Highway, the summer months are busy with tourists enjoying the snaring river campgrounds. To get there, turn off the TransCanada Highway (Highway 16) onto snaring road. If you drive past the campgrounds and the iconic green bridge, there is a fire road called Celestine Lake Road. Be mindful that the road is a rugged backroad, very narrow, and closed between November-May.

If you follow that for about 6km, you will arrive at a picnic area besides the Moberly Homestead cabin. A Metis interpretive historical site, this is a must see for all history buffs out there…you can glimpse back into history to imagine what life was like for People living in the area. In the late 1800’s, as the National Park was formed First Nation Peoples and Metis families were forced to leave their homes and relocate.

moberly homestead cabin jasper
woman standing by moberly homstead cabin

12 | Jasper’s SkyTram

Photo by jasper.travel

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Perched 2,263 meters high on top of Whistler Mountain, you can enjoy 360degree views on a clear day. Canada’s longest and highest tramway, you can access the tramway center following Highway 93 and turning at Whistlers Road (Just minutes away from Jasper’s townsite).

It can get pretty busy during the summer months (Late March-October), so be sure to pre-book your tickets online. Early mornings, evenings, and off season months (Marth-June, September-October) are the prime times to come if you want to have the summit pretty much to yourself.

Mountain peaks on a misty hot day
Photo by Christine Sekho

At the top you will arrive at the Station where you can enjoy dining at the café or sit down at the Summit Restaurant, take a browse through their gift shop, utilize the washroom facilities, or meander outside on the wooden walkways.

If you have the proper footwear, jacket to ward off the chill, and a ton of energy then take the alpine trek up to the summit’s tip. There you will be rewarded by magnificent aerial views and experience the crisp glacier air. With six mountain ranges in site, its hard to beat!

13 | Wilcox pass

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Trail 50 (moderate); 2.4 km return to the first viewpoint, 1 hour; 8 km return to the pass, elevation gain/loss 390 m, 2-3 hours. You can access the trailhead at the parking area on the left-hand side of the Wilcox Creek Campground entrance road, 3.1 km south of the Icefield Centre.

14 | Nigel Pass

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Trail 130 (moderate); 14.4 km return; 365 m elevation gain/loss; 5-hour round trip. Trailhead: 13 km south of the Icefield Centre, park at the start of a gated road on the east (left) side of Highway 93. Please do not block the gate.

15 | Miette Hot Springs

Couple swimming in the mountains' hot springs.
Photo by pc.gc.ca

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That is right…grab that two piece and take a scenic drive through Fiddle Valley on the Miette Road to the Canadian Rockies’ HOTTEST Hot Springs. Dating as far back as 1913, the Miette Hot Springs is a fantastic place to relax after a hard day of riding the trails. Plus, your body will love the natural, rich mineral water. The facility hosts change rooms and showers, a small food bistro, gift store for mementos, and parking. Pool rentals are even available – what a cool destination for an exclusive pool party.

Let Us Know

If you have a favorite place that wasn’t included on this list or have a recommendation – please share it with us. I’d love to hear your favorite places to visit.

*Friendly Reminder: Before you take off – be sure to stay up-to-date on any travel restrictions in your region, as well as, any Parks Canada policies or current operational guidelines.

Resources & References

[1] “Jasper National Park.” Parks Canada, 25 March 2021, https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper

[2][3]Eardley, Armand J. “Rocky Mountains.” https://www.britannica.com/place/Rocky-Mountains

[4][5] Gainer, Brenda. “The Human History of Jasper National Park, Alberta.”
441.phf, 1981, http://parkscanadahistory.com/series/mrs/441.pd

[6] “Indigenous connections.” Parks Canada, https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/autochtone-indigenous

[7] “Indigenous relations at Parks Canada.” Parks Canada, https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/agence-agency/aa-ia

[8] “Species at risk.” Parks Canada, 08 Feb. 2021, https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/nature/conservation/eep-sar

[9] “Jasper National Park’s Dark Sky Preserve.” Parks Canada, Last Modified: 03 Nov. 2021, https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/info/designation/cieletoile-darksky

[10] “Indian films shot in Alberta, Canada.” BOLLYWOODPRESENTS, 19 Sept. 2015,


[11] Cuthbert, Pamela; Morris, Peter; Zuschlag, Anna. “Film Distribution in Canada.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, Edited 20 Nov 2019, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/film-distribution-in-canada.

[12] Girap, Sneha. “The Emperor Waltz.” Alchetron, 1 Jun 2018, https://alchetron.com/The-Emperor-Waltz.

[13] Donnelly, Mike. “Hollywood in the Canadian Rockies.” RETROactive, 7 Sept. 2016, https://albertashistoricplaces.com/2016/09/07/hollywood-in-the-canadian-rockies/.

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