Jasper National Park (Put It On Your Bucket List)
Greetings from Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada…our first official national park of this trip! Jasper is the farthest northwest that we will venture this summer, and it is absolutely worth the 3,000+ miles we trekked across the continent to get here. Jasper is the largest of Canada’s Rocky Mountains parks, and it’s also less trafficked than Banff and Yoho to the south. We try to avoid clichés and hyperbole here on WPG, but truth is, since we arrived in Jasper, there has been a stunning, mind-blowing, awe-inspiring, picturesque cliché around every corner.
We’ve been here for less than 24 hours, but it feels more like a week. We’ve visited the Miette Hot Springs, sampled local brews, stayed overnight in a rustic wilderness hostel (no running water), ran four miles around town this morning (nearly running into an elk), and hiked a bit at Lake Maligne. We are now back in town jumping on the grid for a few minutes before returning to the hostel (with a planned visit to Athabasca Falls on the way).
Jasper is a funky little mountain tourist town, but we’re here early enough in the season that it’s not crowded. The town is surrounded by mountains, and the railway is still active (a highlight for me…freight trains and passenger trains running in and out all day). Glacial rivers run clear in every direction, and the lakes are emerald green. We’ve seen elk, moose, bears (black and brown, mamas and cubs…plural), and a pack of mountain goats that chased me around the car at the hot springs. Pictures do not do this place justice (cliché alert), but it’s true.
Allow these pictures to be your personal brochure and start planning your next adventure here. As for our next adventure, we head south tomorrow on the Icefields Parkway with plans to spend the night at a hostel in Lake Louise. We’ve been keeping an eye on the flooding in Banff and Canmore, where we have reservations for the weekend (it’s a long holiday weekend here, with Canada Day on Monday). All signs indicate we’ll be able to proceed as planned, but we’re prepared to be flexible if we have to alter course. It’s all part of the road experience, and we’re enjoying every minute of it. –J