As the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper offers some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes in Canada. With thousands of kilometers of practically untouched wilderness, there are many stunning day and multi-day hikes for outdoor explorers. Jasper hosts all kinds of wildlife, including small chipmunks hopping between rocks, wide-eyed eagles gliding effortlessly along the horizon and mama bears resting in the meadows as her cubs play in the wildflowers. If you’re visiting Jasper National Park, here are 10 hikes you have to do.

 

The Skyline Trail

photoMichael Lawton Flickr cc by sa 2.0

Length: 44 km 
Time: 2 - 4 days 
Elevation Gain: 1,380 m 

Starting this list with a hike that brings you deep into the Canadian wilderness, the Skyline Trail is one of Jasper's most popular and most visually stunning multi-day backcountry hikes. The trail’s name derives from the fact that almost half of the hike sits above the treeline, granting hikers incredible views that stretch out over the national park. The path follows along three mountain passes and can be hiked in two, three or even four days. Make sure to pack clothing for all kinds of weather; it can snow any time of the year (after all, this is Canada) so come prepared.

Read more: hikejasper.com 

 

The Sulphur Skyline

photoVeronica Kos

Length: 8 km 
Time: 4 - 6 hours
Elevation Gain: 700 m 

Not to be confused with the Skyline trail, the Sulphur Skyline is a short and steep day hike. Beginning on a paved pathway, this trail is a continuous incline from the start. The path doesn't stay paved for too long, so make sure to wear appropriate footwear as the sharp incline combined with a rocky surface can be slippery. Your hard work will be worth it when you reach the top, where you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of countless mountains and valleys stretching out into the horizon.

Read more: hikejasper.com 

 

Bald Hills

photoJess Wood Flickr cc by 2.0

Length: 10.5 km 
Time: 4 - 6 hours
Elevation Gain: 500 m

Bald Hills is widely known for its incredible panoramic views. There's a mix of terrain on this trail, from steady climbs to an old fire road. The first proper view comes when you hit the first rest area, but don’t stop here—climb to the summit. The trail is steep but worth it, and will bring you to a completely barren field where you can enjoy the crystal blue waters of Maligne Lake below. 

Read more: pc.gc.ca 

 

Maligne Canyon

photoSébastien Launay Flickr cc by 2.0

Length:  3.7 km
Time: 1 - 2 hours

Maligne Canyon is a gentle trail perfect for hikers of all levels. Bridges built throughout the canyon let explorers walk easily through this stunning landmark. To get the most out of your exploration and truly admire the entire canyon, continue past the third bridge. Most tourists typically turn around here, but there is still more to see. Maligne Canyon is Jasper’s deepest canyon, with some sections over 50 metres deep. 

Read more: todocanada.ca 

 

Edith Cavell Meadows

photooliver.dodd Flickr cc by 2.0

Length: 8.5 km
Time: 3 - 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 500 m

The Edith Cavell Meadows trail is essentially a large loop that takes you through beautiful floral meadows, stunning glaciers and steep cliff sides. The humidity of the area has created an abundance of wildflowers of all colours. As you climb higher, the change in elevation causes different plants to flourish, bringing something new around each corner. This trail can be shorter if you stay at the first viewpoint, but better views sit at the top of the summit. Once you reach the top you’ll be met with a 360-degree view of the national park. Please note this trail is closed until August 2018 

Read more: hikejasper.com 

 

Verdant Pass

photoKatie Borns 

Length: 19 km
Time: 6 - 8 hours
Elevation Gain: 780 m

Verdant Pass is known as a local's favourite. It's a lesser-known trail that isn’t marked too well, so give yourself plenty of time to find your way. There are a few different routes to Verdant Pass, with options to turn back at the biggest viewpoint or to press on and keep exploring. Although the beginning of the trail has a clear route to follow, once you’ve walked for roughly four and a half kilometres, you'll find an unmarked turnoff. It is easy to miss, but if you reach a bridge you've gone too far.

Read more: 10hikes.com 

 

Athabasca Falls

photoNorton Ip Flickr cc by sa 2.0

Length: 1 km
Time: 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 25 m

Athabasca Falls is an easy hike that’s especially great for families. Other than a few stairs, the trail is relatively flat. Enjoy stunning views of Mt. Kerkeslin and admire the 23-metre-high cascading waterfalls. The trail will take you to viewpoints above and below the falls to enjoy them from all angles.

Read more: trailpeak.com 

 

Opal Hills

 

Length: 8.2 km
Time: 3 - 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 460 m

Opal Hills is best known for its wildflowers. The trail leads you through meadows that feature babbling brooks, trees, lush shrubbery and hundreds of alpine wildflowers. The climb on this trail is no joke; it begins immediately as a steep climb and doesn’t flatten out until you reach the meadows. Although it’s a tough uphill grind to the meadows, it’s well worth the effort.

Read more: pc.gc.ca 

 

Whistlers Mountain

photoJeroen van Luin Flickr cc by 2.0

Length: 8.8 km
Time: 3 - 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,200 m

The Whistlers Mountain hike offers two options. Ride the tram partly up and continue to the summit from there, or start the journey on foot. Both options bring different advantages, from the stunning high views seen from the tram or the beautiful wildflowers and wildlife (especially the marmots!) seen on foot. Take advantage of the best of both worlds: hike one way and take the tram the other. Whether you climb or glide your way to the top, you’ll be met with breathtaking views of the national park.

Read more: banffandbeyond.com 

 

Wilcox Pass

photobendus Flickr cc by sa 2.0

Length: 8 km
Time: 4 - 6 hours
Elevation Gain: 390 m 

Offering a bit of everything, Wilcox Pass is a great alternative to the more popular hikes in Jasper if you’re looking for a less busy trail. This trail begins in the woods before coming to a steep ridge with extraordinary views of the Athabasca Glacier. Expect to get up close and personal with rocky mountain bighorn sheep, as they frequently roam this area. You may encounter snow into July.

Read more: pc.gc.ca 

 

 

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