This 4 day Jasper National Park adventure guide covers some of the best hiking trails, where to stay, and all the adventures you must do. Jasper is one of the largest National Parks in the Canadian Rockies, offering over 4,000 mi² of gorgeous pristine wilderness to explore. From mountain peaks over 11,000 square kilometers, to glacier rivers weaving along the base there are endless adventurous activities for everyone in Jasper.
Here’s your 4 Day Adventure Guide to Jasper National Park!
Time Needed: 4 days.
Adventure Guide Includes
- How to get to Jasper
Directions & transportation
- Canada’s Discovery Pass
Park admission prices
- Where to camp
Campgrounds throughout the park
- Things to do
– White water rafting
– Hiking Trails
– Rock climbing
- Know before you go
Inportant park information
How to Get There Guide
Fly into Edmonton National Airport (YEG) and rent a car. The drive from the airport to the Jasper National Park entrance is around 3.5 hours. We were ending our adventure in Banff so we flew home from Calgary International Airport (YYC).
Jasper is a GIANT park with 1 main road. Highway 93 goes straight through the park into the icefields parkway, with plenty of adventures waiting for you. Explore Banff, and Kootenay National Park, taking 93 all the way down to Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern Idaho in the United States (14 hour drive).
Parks Canada Discovery Pass
Prices in CAD
- Adult $ 10.OO
- Senior $ 8.40
- Youth FREE
- Family/Group $ 20.00
- Adult $ 69.19
- Senior $ 59.17
- Family/Group $ 139.40
Camping in Jasper
Typically I don’t book campgrounds ahead of camping trips. Instead we just show up to see what is available. So far that has worked out fine for me! As we explore different areas of the park, we change campsites. Depending on availability and what activities are planned for that day.
Open May 19 – September 27
62 rustic first come, first serve sites with overflow lot
Open July 12 to October 11
781 reservable sites, electrical, shower access to Wapiti facilities, walk-in sites (no vehicles)
Open May 5 – October 11
363 Reservable sites, electrical hook ups, showers, RV friendly
When we arrived there were no reservations available, so we took our chances and ended up camping in the overflow lot of Snaring Campground. There aren’t any facilities except a dumpster to throw your trash away. The overflow lot doesn’t have any designated campsites so it’s a first come first serve find your own space haha So find a cool unique spot to pitch your tent! Rustic style. Don’t know what to pack when camping? Check out my Packing Guide: Camping National Parks .
The next day we were able to get into Whistlers Campground and use the showers at Wapiti. All the campgrounds are family-friendly with quiet hours from 11 pm to 7 am, this includes a liquor, cannabis and fire curfew.
Note: The busy season runs from June through September, with July and August being the busiest. I recommend making a reservation before your arrival if you can. If there are none available, don’t let that stop you! Just arrive early to a campground and ask the park ranger if there are any sites open. Some walk-in sites may be available as well as any cancelled reservable sites.
Firewood is included in the cost of your camping site at each campground along with a bear proof locker for safe food storage. The campgrounds also include cookhouses that are available in case of bad weather.
Effective July 2, 2021: Fire ban in all day-use areas and backcountry campgrounds in Jasper National Park.
There are currently no active wildfires in Jasper National Park.
White Water Rafting Adventure Guide
White water rafting was the perfect mid afternoon adventure. Cool off in the refreshing glacier waters as you navigate your way along the Lower Athabasca River.
I sat front and center, unbeknownst to me- that was the danger zone. I found out when we hit the first rapid and a wall of ice cold water came up over my head, it was so hot that I welcomed the cool down. We took the Athabasca River 5 Mile tour through Jasper Rafting Adventures. We had a great first time experience. However the two hour trip seemed a bit short for us- so if you’re up for it, I would recommend doing the longer river run if you have the time.
Select Your Ride
- Athabasca River Easy Scenic Raft Trip: 2 hour cruise; family friendly; river float
- Athabasca River Mile 5: 2 hours roundtrip (1 hour in water), Introductory, Class II
- Athabasca Falls Run: 3 hours; all skill levels, Class II rapids
- Sunwapta Challenge Whitewater Rafting: 4 hours with 1.5 hour drive time (1.5 hours in water) advanced; Class III Rapids
What to Bring Rafting
Jasper SkyTram is the highest and longest aerial tramway in all of Canada. If you’re looking for the best views of Jasper without climbing a mountain, this ride is for you. You’ll see Jasper’s turquoise-coloured lakes, & expansive mountain ranges from 2,263 meters (7,425 feet) in the air . This is a perfect adventure for all ages. On your 10 minute ride you’ll have a guide to share the history of the park and what type of wildlife live in park. Before your ride grab some food from the Summit Restaurant to fuel up.
Take a walk along the boardwalk or hike Whistlers Summit Trail which starts at the upper station of the tram. The hike is 1.4 km and takes you 2,463 meters (8,081 feet) up to the peak of Whistlers Mountain where you’ll get panoramic views of 6 different mountain ranges.
- Take highway 93 7 km south of Jasper; the tram is at the end of Whistlers road
- Jasper SkyTram operates from March through end of October.
- Get your SkyTram lift tickets HERE
Best Hiking Trails
Sulphur Skyline is a 7.7 kilometer moderate out and back trail in Jasper National Park. The park hot springs are located at the trailhead. I recommend bringing your bathing suit to relax after your hike. PS: The trailhead also has an ice-cream shop, need I say more?
If you only do one hike while you’re in Jasper- this should be it. The Sulphur Skyline hiking trail has some of the most spectacular panoramas that Jasper has to offer. The hike is moderate with a consistent incline, dress appropriately (hiking shoes recommended), take lots of water, and break along the trail.
The 8.0 km to the summit will take around 1.5-3 hours to reach (one way). It was hot and rainy at the trailhead, and cold and windy by the time we reached the summit- pack a jacket and a lunch! Have a picnic at the summit and enjoy those pano views!
Valley of Five Lakes Loop Trail
- Rated as Moderate
- Length – 2.9 miles
- Estimated 1.10 hours
- Elevation Gain – 531 ft
- Route Type: Loop
Maligne Canyon Hiking Trail
- Rated as Easy
- Length – 2.7 miles
- Estimated 1.24 hours
- Elevation Gain – 465 ft
- Route Type: Loop
See all my favorite trails at Jasper National Park below!
I’m not going to lie- this one pushed me out of my comfort zone. See the little pink blob at the bottom? That’s me, and this rock was nothing like the rock wall I practiced on at home. The rock climbing scene at Jasper is legendary. People flock from all over the world to climb the incredible Canadian rockies.
We went through Rockaboo Mountain Adventure for our tour, and had an incredible experience! We did the 4 hour tour which began at the office in Jasper. Our certified ACMG guide was so knowledgeable and friendly- which helped with the nerves. All the climbing gear you need for the adventure is provided- including shoes.
Wildlife in Jasper National Park
The wildlife in Jasper National Park is abundant. We saw mountain goats, several black bears, and elk. Much to Grace’s dismay, we saw no moose. The park is home to both black and grizzly bears- carry bear spray if you plan on hiking. You never want to surprise a bear, make noise to alert them while you’re on the trail.
We didn’t see any bears while hiking, but as we drove around the park we were able to view a few from inside our car at a safe distance. DO NOT approach the bears, and please be mindful of your speed while driving through the park, as many animals are killed each year due to vehicles. To get a closer look and better chance of seeing animals, I recommend going on one of the wildlife tours offered.
Mountain biking is a great way to explore the park. There are several bike shops downtown that you can rent or you can bring your own! Jasper has miles of connector trails that start from Whistlers and Wapiti campgrounds plus the downtown area. The trails are family friendly and will take you to most of the popular destinations inside the park.
Take a bike tour around the park and see exclusive lakes, rivers mountains and viewpoints only accessible by bike. The tour will accommodate your ride through Jasper National parks trail system based on your skill level preference. The bike ride also provides you a chance see wildlife.
Duration: 3 hours
Summer Adventure Tours
Winter Adventure Tours
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Checkout my list of the BEST lakes in Canada’s other National Parks for some inspiration to extend your adventure.