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The best day hikes in Jasper National Park

The best day hikes in Jasper National Park

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If you’re heading to Jasper National Park and want to see what the fuss is really all about then make sure you do some day hikes in Jasper.

Hiking in Jasper is the best way to escape the crowds. I read some crazy statistic before our visit that showed just how few people went 30 minutes away from their car. This is great for you reading this since I’m guessing you’re planning some day hikes, but I feel kinda bad for those people for not going further away from their cars. They don’t know what they’re missing!

Whether you have 1-2 days or a week or more make sure you do at least one of these incredible day hikes in Jasper as they’re some of the best hiking trails in Jasper National Park.

For more things to do in Jasper National Park read this post

What to know about hiking in Jasper National Park

Before you go hiking in Jasper National Park, make sure you’re aware of the following.

Be bear aware

Jasper National Park is home to a lot of bears. Make sure you know what to do if you see a bear by reading this post on bear safety. It’s also a good idea to take bear spray (& know how to use it!). You can rent or buy bear spray from many outlets in both Jasper and Banff National Parks.

10 essentials

Don’t forget your 10 essentials before you go out hiking anywhere, but especially before doing some Jasper National Park hiking.

Read this post for a refresher on what they are.

Weather conditions

Weather in the mountains and on Jasper National Park trails changes quickly. Just because it’s warm and sunny in the town that doesn’t mean it’ll still be like that once you reach the summit or for the duration of your hike.

Likely no phone signal

You probably won’t have phone signal so don’t rely on online maps or GPS. Buy a trail map before your trip or at the very least pick up a basic one from the visitor centre in Jasper before you start hiking.

Resources that’ll help with your Jasper trip

Everything you need for your 7 day Banff & Jasper road trip

RV & Campervan rentals

Canada Parks Pass

GasBuddy – great for finding the cheapest gas. Fill up in Alberta before heading back into BC as it’s so much cheaper!

Booking.com for your hotels

RentalCars.com for your get around in the Rockies

Campsites in Banff, Jasper & Yoho: Where you can camp in these National Parks

Skyscanner: Get your cheap flights to Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton

Useful guides for planning your Canadian Rockies road trip

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Best day hikes in Jasper National Park

There are a tonne of hikes you can do in Jasper but I’ve picked these ones out since they’re more accessible to everyone in terms of difficulty and accessibility. Oh, and they sill offer some of the best hiking in Jasper.

Moose Lake Loop

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Moose Lake Loop is one of several Maligne Lake hikes. It takes you along an old fire road to begin with before you head through the woods and past an old landslide. Then you’ll come out at beautiful Moose Lake (bound to be MUCH quieter than Maligne Lake). From here you can follow the lakeshore back to the parking lot.

Difficulty: easy
Distance:
2.7km
Time:
1-2 hours
Elevation change:
59m

Lorraine Lake and Mona Lake

lorraine lake jasper national park day hike

image: travelwiththesmile

Another great lake trail that you can try is the hike to Lorraine Lake and Mona Lake. This begins near the parking lot too but is a bit closer to the Skyline Kiosk.

The trail climbs gently through a pine forest and up to some ancient landslide debris which is where the lakes lie. The lakes are pretty close to each other and you make a great place to rest before heading back the way you came.

If you want more of a challenge you can extend your hike by continuing onto Little Shovel Pass (20km return, 548m elevation change, 7-9 hours)

Difficulty: easy
Distance:
5.2km
Time:
 2-3 hours
Elevation change:
80m

Cavell Meadows Trail

cavell meadows day hike jasper

image: adventurej

The Cavell Meadows Trail is a moderately difficult day hike in Jasper. It starts from the top of Cavell Road in the Edith Cavell Mountain area. This area of Jasper has a fragrant subalpine forest, alpine meadows and beautiful views of Mt. Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier.

The Mt Edith Cavell hike is an extension of the more popular, and much shorter, Path of the Glacier Trail. As the name of that one suggests, you’ll actually be walking in the path of the glacier as it receded.

You’ll begin by crossing a rocky landscape before looking out onto the north face of Mt. Edith Cavell. Then carrying on from here you’ll begin to climb fairly steeply through forest and past the treeline for more incredible views making this one of the best hikes in Jasper National Park.

Difficulty of Mount Edith Cavell hike: Moderate
Distance:
6-8km (depends when you loopback)
Time: 
3-5 hours
Elevation change:
500m

Toe of the Athabasca Glacier

road trip icefields parkway jasper and banff

I’d say this is more of a walk than a hike but there is a little bit of a climb up to the glacier to look out for. You simply can’t miss this since the Athabasca Glacier is such a big attraction in Jasper National Park along the Icefields Parkway. It’s without a doubt one of the must do hikes in Jasper National Park plus if you’re looking for easy hikes in Jasper then this is the one for you!

There are two routes to the toe of the glacier. You can take the longer 2.5km trail that starts just across the road from the Icefields Centre (the Forefield Trail). Or you can park a little closer and just walk the 1.4km trail to the glacier. The Forefield Trail takes you across moraines and glacial debris before joining up with the Toe of the Glacier Trail.

Along the Toe of the Glacier Trail, you’ll see signs stating that the glacier used to be at that point several years ago. It’s fascinating (and kinda upsetting) to see how much it’s receded over time.

You can no longer walk on the glacier unless you’re part of an organised tour but this walk is still one of the top hikes in Jasper National Park.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance:
1.4km
Time: 
30 minutes – 1 hour
Elevation change:
60m

Wilcox Pass

wilcox pass day hike jasper

image: reddit

Wilcox Pass is another popular day hike in Jasper. It begins at the entrance of Wilcox Creek campground and starts off steep but soon levels out. There’s a high chance of spotting a bighorn sheep here! You can make this hike shorter by just hiking to the red chairs (which you’ll see throughout Canadian National Parks), or add another 2.6km by going to another viewpoint.

Time it with the wildflower season to make this the best hike in Jasper National Park!

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance:
6.8km or 3.4km to red chairs
Time: 
2-3hours
Elevation change:
390m

Sulphur Skyline Trail

sulphur skyline trail day hikes in jasper

image: reddit

This is one trail I really wanted to do but ended up accidentally doing the Source of the Springs trail instead and then heading to the hot springs early…next time for sure since I’ve heard it’s up there as being the best hike in Jasper.

It’s supposed to be a beautiful (but fairly busy) day hike in Jasper.

It tends to be one of the first snow-free alpine hikes which is great if you’re visiting in late May or June. It’s pretty steep the whole way up but you’ll get fantastic views of Utopia Mountain, The Fiddle Valley and Ashlar Ridge too. And then at the end, you can chill out in the Miette Hot Springs!

Difficulty: Moderate/Hard
Distance:
8.8km
Time: 
4-6 hours
Elevation change:
700m

Maligne Canyon

maligne canyon (1 of 1)

Again, this one is arguably more of a walk than a hike but it’s nice whatever you count it as is one of the best Jasper day hikes for the whole family.

This trail takes you past all six bridges in Maligne Canyon. The first 3 have some of the better views where the water is more powerful and the canyon narrower and deeper but you’ll still be impressed with those further down too.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance:
4.4km return (for all bridges)
Time: 
1-3 hours
Elevation change:
100m

The Whistlers Summit Trail

Make your hike super easy by taking the Jasper SkyTram to the top of the mountain and then hiking just 2.2km to Whistlers Summit. At the top, you’ll have 360-degree views of the Athabasca Valley and the surrounding peaks. BEAUTIFUL!

Difficulty: Easy
Distance:
2.2km return (for all bridges)
Time: 
1 hour
Elevation change:
150m

Want more posts from the Canadian Rockies?

Hiking Jasper National Park isn’t the only thing to do in the Rockies, check out these ideas: