Sometimes I forget how lucky we Edmontonians are that we live so close to the mountains. I am always envious of Europeans seeing countries over 1 hour plane trips and I forget about how lucky we are to be so close to a couple of Canada’s most beautiful national parks. For Canada’s 150th birthday, Canada is offering free admissions to all Parks Canada locations (more details here). So to take advantage over a recent long weekend, my husband and I packed the car and drove the 3 short hours to Jasper National Park determined to put our tourist glasses on. Even though we had both been to Jasper many times I even read a few “what to do in Jasper” blogs and researched hotels that would give a WOW experience instead of just looking for the cheapest option.
Jasper did not disappoint! DISCLAIMER: As you can see from the photos below I am a travel agent and not a photographer. The photos were from an old iPhone.
Bright and early the morning after we arrived the dogs were going crazy. I thought they were just eager to get their vacation started but when we opened the door it started to make sense 😉
There are warnings all over Jasper to not approach wildlife as they are in fact wild animals (go figure). These little guys are obviously very used to people at the hotel but we still kept our distance.
We were kind of lazy the first day so we rented paddle boats at the shack on the lake. It cost about $45.00 for an hour. We chose paddle boats because we thought it would be easier than a canoe or kayak. WE WERE WRONG. Learn from our mistake. The paddle boats required incredible effort to move even a few. THOSE VIEWS THOUGH <3
We ate at Athabasca Hotel in Jasper for breakfast and dinner. TIP: IF THERE IS A POWER OUTAGE IN JASPER AND ALL THE RESTAURANTS ARE CLOSED, ATHABASCA HOTEL IS THE ONLY RESTAURANT THAT WILL STILL BE OPEN. They have a generator. A life saver for two hungry tourists.
The next day we checked out Maligne Canyon which was amazing. We had been there before but this time we brought the dogs. I think it was partly because of the long weekend. It was too much excitement for our dogs so we only did the short trail but the views were still incredible!
The only thing that was a disappointment on the trip was the Miette Hot Springs. It was about an hour away but I read so many great reviews that I decided it would be worth the drive! Again, this is probably due to the fact that is was a long weekend but after an hour drive there was an hour and a half wait so we just turned around. We could see inside the hot springs and it was just packed in there too. Next time I would honestly call ahead and see how busy it was. Nobody likes a crowded hot springs ! Oh well, on to the next thing.
We ended up having dinner at the Jasper Park Brewing company and the food was incredible. The service was excellent and they had social tables so you could chat with everyone around you. So much fun! An excellent way to end the night.
The next morning we had breakfast right at Pyramid Lake Resort and the views were incredible. The resort was incredible but I would not eat at the restaurant again. I don’t like to post negative reviews online but I would also never recommend something without being completely honest. The restaurant is certainly an area for improvement for an otherwise perfect stay.
To leave on a positive note the resort really was incredible. We stayed in their Founder’s Cabin which is basically a half duplex cabin. The view from our balcony was amazing.
Dreamy right? One other positive note for those who travel with their dogs. If you let the hotel know you are leaving your dogs in the room they offer to call you if the dogs sound distressed. This was huge to me because I always worry about the dogs whenever I leave them. Also the resort had amazing coffee! It was an amazing stay.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions! I would love to hear from you. Are you planning a trip to/within Canada this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday? What is your favorite thing to do in Jasper?