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10 Amazing Jasper Hikes

10 Amazing Jasper Hikes

Jasper National Park is filled with breathtaking Canadian Rockies scenery and day hiking is the best way to experience it. Hike to the toe of an enormous glacier, climb to the top of a mountain, explore an incredible canyon or get a view of a sparkling blue lake. You don’t have to be a superhero to complete these amazing Jasper hikes, but the incredible views will make you feel like one.

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An image of the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta - Jasper Hikes.
The Athabasca Glacier is part of the Columbia Icefield, the largest ice field in the Rockies. Photo by Greg Olsen.

Hike to the Toe of Athabasca Glacier

From the parking lot closest to the Athabasca Glacier, it’s a short 15-minute hike to the toe of the Athabasca Glacier. Even though it’s brief, it leads to an incredible site that is well worth the effort. The terrain is rocky and there is one steep hill to climb, so it’s best to wear hiking boots or running shoes. Even in summer, it’s a little chilly and the wind can really blow hard near the base of the glacier, so wear a coat too. Pay close attention to the signs along the trail that show how much the glacier has receded over the years. You can get great pictures at the toe of the glacier, but it’s not safe to climb on the glacier without an official guide.

Related: Looking for some hidden gems in Alberta’s most popular tourist destination? Check out our post about the Best Kept Secrets in the Canadian Rockies.

An image of a black bear in Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada.
Black bears and grizzlies can sometimes be seen on Jasper hikes. Photo by Greg Olsen.

Note: Don’t go hiking in the Canadian Rockies without bear spray! It will help protect you from bears.

Sunwapta Falls

From the parking lot on the Icefields Parkway, a short walk along a forested trail will take you to a viewing bridge over Upper Sunwapta Falls. Fed by the Athabasca Glacier, these 18-metre falls are particularly beautiful in the spring when melting snow causes increased water flow. A 4-km round-trip hike will take you to Lower Sunwapta Falls.

An image of Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park, Alberta - Jasper Hikes.
Athabasca Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies. Photo by Ryan Bray – Tourism Jasper.
An image of Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park, Alberta - Jasper hikes.
Athabasca falls is only 23-metres high, but it’s very powerful. Photo by Greg Olsen.

Athabasca Falls

The Athabasca Falls Trail is another super short and easy Jasper hike with a fantastic reward – views of one of the most powerful waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies. Hiking the entire trail will take you about 1.6 km return. Be sure to stay inside the guard rails as the rocks get very slippery from the mist of the falls.

An image of a group of hikers on the Mt. Edith Cavell Trail in Jasper National Park, Alberta - Jasper hikes
The short trail to Mount Edit Cavell has beautiful views. Photo credit: Parks Canada-Ryan Bray
An image of two people looking up at the Angel Glacier on the Mount Edith Cavell trail in Jasper National Park - Jasper hikes.
You get nice views of the Angel Glacier on the Mt. Edith Cavell Trail. Photo by Debbie Olsen.

Mount Edith Cavell – Path of the Glacier

This 1.6-km return trail is one of those must-do Jasper hikes. The trail will take you across a rocky landscape to the north face of Mt. Edith Cavell. It’s an easy trail that is paved at the beginning. The payoff at the end is a fantastic view of Cavell Pond and the Cavell Glacier. You may even see some small icebergs in the water. The 3,300-metre peak was named for a British nurse who was executed during WWI for assisting allied soldiers in escaping from occupied territory.

An image of people on the Cavell Meadows hike in Jasper National Park, Alberta.
Cavell Meadows is a gorgeous hike that offers views of mountains, glaciers and wildflowers. Photo by Rogier Guys – Tourism Jasper

Cavell Meadows

Cavell Meadows is one of Jasper’s best wildflower hikes. The meadows are famed for their outstanding wildflower displays. A hike to the meadows is 6-7 km return and takes between 3-5 hours. It’s a moderately steep hike on a well-maintained trail and there are great views of the Angel Glacier along the way. Keep an eye out for gray pikas around the rocks of the moraine.

Image of a group of people doing an ice walk in the bottom of Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park - Avoid the Winter Blues.
Maligne Canyon can be hiked in both summer and winter and it’s stunning in both seasons. Here’s a look at a winter ice walk. Photo by Greg Olsen

Related: Jasper is amazing in every season. Check out these 12 Stunning photos of Jasper in Winter.

Maligne Canyon

Maligne Canyon is the deepest canyon in the Canadian Rockies and one of the prettiest. A self-guided interpretative trail skirts the canyon. There are six bridges in total and you can do a shorter hiking loop or a longer one. Four of the bridges pass directly over the gorge and have incredible views. It’s about 3.4-km return to the fourth bridge and 4.4-km return to the fifth bridge.

An image of a young woman sitting on a rock at the top of Whistler's Mountain in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada - Jasper hikes.
The views are icredible from the top of Whistler’s Mountain in Jasper. Photo by Greg Olsen

Whistlers Mountain Summit

Climbing a mountain is easy in Jasper. Take the Jasper Skytram, the highest and longest aerial tramway in Canada, to 2263 metres on Whistler Muntain. Explore the boardwalk at the top of the tramway. If the weather is good and you’re up for a challenge, you reach the summit of Whistlers mountain in about 30-45 minutes. The views from the top are the best of any of the Jasper hikes. It can be cold at the top of the mountain, so make sure to wear a jacket and bring water – especially if you’re going to hike to the summit.

An image of yellow wildflowers.
In season, you will see many beautiful wildflowers on Jasper’s Opal Hills hike. Photo by Debbie Olsen.

Opal Hills

This 7.9-km loop trail is rated as difficult, but it is worth it. Hikers enjoy wonderful views of Maligne Lake, an abundance of wildflowers and a good chance of spotting wildlife. There are two options for this hike. If you prefer the fastest and steepest route, stay right. If you prefer easier and longer Jasper hikes, go left. Either way, you’ll love the views and viewpoints on this hike.

An image of Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada.
Maligne Lake is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies. Photo credit: Parks Canada/Ryan Bray

Maligne Lake – Mary Schäffer Loop

This easy 3.2-km paved loop trail follows the shoreline of Maligne Lake. In the first km, you’ll pass the historic boathouse. Eventually, you’ll reach a viewpoint with a series of interpretive signs telling the story of Mary Schäffer, one of the few female explorers in the Canadian Rockies. In 1908, she and her guides reached Maligne Lake.

An image of bighorn sheep in Castle Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada.
Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep when you’re hiking the Sulphur Skyline trail. They are plentiful in this area of the Rockies. Photo by Debbie Olsen.

Sulphur Skyline

The 7.7-km Sulphur Skyline Trail will take 4-6 hours. It’s a steep hike, but the top has one of the best panoramic views of any of the Jasper hikes. It is particularly beautiful in the fall when leaves are turning. Leave yourself some time at the end of the hike for a soak in beautiful Miette Hot Springs, which is very close to the trailhead.

Related: Do you like a little glamour with your hiking? If so, you’ll love our article, How to Go Glamping in Alberta.

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