A few weeks ago, my partner and I headed out to Jasper National Park for an impromptu weekend in the mountains. I had been to the Rockies once before (Banff, 4 years ago), but Mack had never been. We stayed at an Airbnb in Hinton, about 45 minutes east of the town of Jasper, because it is much more affordable. Hinton is actually a really nice community, so I would recommend staying there if you’re okay with the drive into Jasper.
We didn’t do much planning for this trip, mostly because we just wanted to soak in the sights at this legendary place, rather than be exhausted from a jam-packed schedule.
In the age of Covid-19, there are restrictions and closures to be aware of. As of July 1st 2020, the Miette hot springs were closed. We wanted to hike the Sulphur Skyline Trail, however, the trailhead is 16 km up the same road as the hot springs and the whole road is closed to prevent tourists from getting near the pools. So, this hike is inaccessible unless you want to walk 16 km for an 8 km hike.
We did some strolling around on easy walking/hiking trails; mainly just staring in awe at the jutting and breathtaking skyline. One underrated area for viewpoints/photo-ops, right off the main highway, is called Jasper House. It’s a short walk from the road to the banks of the Athabasca River. This would make a good picnic spot. Punchbowl Falls, right at the base of the road to the Miette hot springs, is another good picnic/lookout spot that we found.
On Saturday evening, we had a delicious meal and some refreshing beers at the Jasper Brewing Company, right on main street Jasper. I tried elk meatloaf– I’m drooling just thinking about it. We spent the rest of the evening popping in and out of some touristy gift shops and eating ice cream cones.
Sunday morning, we ‘stumbled’ on the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (we knew it existed but had no idea where we were when we first pulled up). The lake at the Lodge is STUNNING. It is one of your classic, electric blue, picture-perfect Rocky Mountain lakes. I was bubbling with excitement from being there. We decided last-minute (as we did with everything that weekend) to pop inside for brunch. I had one of the best caesars of my life and the fish tacos were so tasty. I will be going back there, without a doubt.
Our impromptu weekend in Jasper couldn’t have been better and I can’t wait to explore there some more so I can write about it here on the blog for you folks.
That smile is genuine, believe me.