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We spent Christmas at *The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge – “the most remote of Canadian Pacific’s grand mountain hotels.” What began in 1915 as the modest “Tent City” three miles east of town on the shores of Lake Beauvert is now practically its own village, with 442 guest rooms and suites in the main lodge, log cabins, and cedar cottages – more than 100 buildings in all. I wouldn’t recommend staying here. It’s fine, but gigantic and quite commercial. 

It would be worth doing a little more research and staying at a smaller place in town (which is quite cute).

In the town of Jasper:

The parkway’s terminus is a quiet railroad town three streets wide in the valley of the Athabasca River. Jasper’s relative inaccessibility shuts the town out of the international-destination market. Do walk around – it’s cute, quite quaint, and has lots of shopping and food options.

**Maligne Canyon Ice Walk: we talked ourselves out of a guided tour ($65, reserve a day ahead, 2.5 hours outside). I think this was the right call – the self-guided walking tour on the way to Maligne Lake was great, fairly vigorous, about an hour with good scenery. 

We did not ski in the area, the -15℉ temp was a show stopper. The car did start without a problem though!

If you arrive by car, it’s hopefully via the ***The Icefields Parkway. My goodness, what a road – 143 miles of glaciers and snow! Closed regularly and with some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve ever seen. In winter, everything (literally) is closed. No food, hotels, or gas. So, so worth it. Bow Lake is a stunning spot to stop, with an equally attractive hotel (though it may be permanently closed, website has been taken down).

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