There are plenty of free things to do in Jasper. From hiking on picturesque trails to fishing in its clear rivers, the options are endless. This national park is famous for its mountain town, abundant nature, and wildlife. Get ready to make memories and experience the natural splendor of Jasper with these activities that have no charge beyond your park pass. They will give you a taste of the natural beauty and outdoor adventures the park and town have to offer — without breaking the bank.
Do know that all visitors to Jasper National Park are required to have a valid National Park Pass. Many tour operators do provide passes on visitors' behalf.
At Canadian Train Vacations, we specialize in making personalized itineraries. Our travel experts know how to help you get the most out of your trip to Jasper. The following guide outlines some of our top picks for things to do in Jasper for free.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends and family and get exploring!
1. Athabasca Falls
If you're looking for an incredible sight that's free to enjoy while in Jasper, head to Athabasca Falls. This thundering waterfall is located in the heart of Jasper National Park and is accessible by car or shuttle bus.
Athabasca Falls is best visited in the morning or evening when the light is best for photography. The waterfall is located just a short walk from the parking lot, making it easy to get to. Be sure to bring your camera along, as you're sure to want to capture the beauty of this spot!
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2. Maligne Canyon
There are plenty of hikes, but one of the best things to do in Jasper Canada is to visit to Maligne Canyon. This stunning natural attraction is located just south of the town and offers a scenic hike.
The canyon is over 50 kilometers long and is filled with all sorts of incredible geological features, including waterfalls, limestone caves, and fossil beds. There's also a lot of wildlife to be seen in the canyon, so keep your eyes peeled for bears, deer, and even coyotes. A visit to the canyon is also one of the best free things to do in Jasper in the winter.
To get to Maligne Canyon, you can take the Jasper Tramway from the town center. The tramway operates year-round, and tickets are free for anyone under the age of 6. The ride up is definitely worth it, as you'll get some incredible views of Jasper and its surroundings.
The canyon is open every day from 8 am to 8 pm during the summer months, and from 9 am to 5 pm during the winter months. Make sure to leave plenty of time to explore this amazing natural attraction!
3. Pyramid and Patricia Lakes
Pyramid and Patricia Lakes are great places to spend a day. This beautiful outdoor spot has mesmerizing views, great places to take pictures, and lots of room to explore. You can take a Canadian Train Vacations tour or a bus from the Jasper town station to get there. The lake is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm, so the best time to go is in the morning or early afternoon.
You will love every minute of your time here, whether you take a slow walk around the emerald waters or ride a boat along them. If you have an hour to kill, this is a great place to spend some quiet time in nature.
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4. Bald Hills
The next free thing to do in Jasper is to the Bald Hills trail. Taking the Jasper tramway will bring you up to the top of Maligne Range, where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies, including Mount Edith Cavell and Pyramid Mountain. The Bald Hills are accessible from 9 am – 5 pm each day, and it's best to visit around mid-day for optimal visibility. Taking the tramway up there should take about 35 minutes, and you're likely to spend 1–2 hours exploring the area and taking in all its beauty. So put on your hiking boots and get ready to explore one of Jasper's most majestic spots!
5. Jasper Information Centre
The Jasper Information Center is a great place to start exploring the city for free. It's open daily from 9 am to 11 pm from late May to early October and from 10 am to 6 pm from early October to late May. This center is the perfect place for visitors and locals alike, with knowledgeable staff and helpful displays that provide information on events, attractions, hiking trails, and more. You can also pick up free brochures, maps, and an up-to-date list of activities that are either free or discounted throughout Jasper. It's worth visiting to make the most of your trip!
6. Old Fort Point Loop Trail
Ready for a nature hike? The Old Fort Point Loop Trail is the perfect activity for you!
This challenging hike will take you through a variety of landscapes, from forests to river gorges. The trail is about 8 miles long, so be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks.
To reach the trailhead, take highway 16 to the east gate of Jasper National Park. The trail begins just past the information center. Be sure to visit during the daytime, as the trail is not well-lit at night.
The Old Fort Point Loop Trail is a must-do for any nature lover visiting Jasper National Park!
7. Mountain Galleries Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
The stunning views of the Canadian Rockies are an extra perk of visiting the Mountain Galleries at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This world-famous art gallery showcases an impressive collection of over 4,000 pieces of artwork, all with a focus on nature and the outdoors.
The gallery is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily, so there's plenty of time to fit it into your sightseeing schedule. And don't forget to take a stroll through the exquisite grounds of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge while you're there!
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8. Jasper Discovery Trail
The Jasper Discovery Trail is a must-see for any tourist. It is an easy, 4km loop that takes you around scenic spots including Patricia Lake, Pyramid Island, and the Whistlers Mountain Valley. You can access the trail from several points in downtown Jasper. The best time to visit is either sunrise or sunset, as it offers incredible views of the lake and mountains in the area. On average, it takes two hours to complete the loop but you can spend as much time as you want, taking in the stunning landscape.
9. Jasper Art Gallery
For art lovers, a visit to the Jasper Art Gallery should be at the top of your list. This gallery is located in the heart of Jasper and boasts a wide range of artwork from local and international artists. Visitors can browse a variety of paintings, sculptures, and photographs from some of Canada's best up-and-coming talents. The gallery is open every day from 11 am - 4 pm, so if you're looking for something to do during those hours come on in and explore! Transportation options like Canadian Train Vacations' train tour packages can get you there in no time, so don't miss out on this unique opportunity.
10. Two Brothers Totem Pole
This famous landmark stands across from the Jasper visitor centre. The pole is approximately 13.7 metres tall and is painted in traditional Haida colours of red, black and blue. It tells the story of two Haida brothers who travelled from Haida Gwaii off the west coast of Canada to the Rocky Mountains.
11. Jasper Train Station
The Jasper Station, which is right in the middle of town, is a must-see. Visitors can look around the building on their own and learn all about the station's history and what it means to the town of Jasper.
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12. Mount Edith Cavell
Mount Edith Cavell is one of the most beautiful places in Jasper. It's a great destination for a day trip because it's only a 40-minute drive from downtown Jasper. Get an up-close view of this stunning mountain from Cavell Meadows, just a short hike on the Cavell Meadows trail.
13. Sunwapta Falls
You won’t want to miss out on Sunwapta Falls, one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the Canadian Rockies. Sunwapta Falls offers a breathtaking view of the Athabasca River. The view of the upper falls is easily accessed from the parking lot. A short hike 1.3 km hike will take you to the lower falls. It's recommended you visit early in the morning or in the late afternoon to avoid crowds and to get your incredible scenic photos. So don’t forget your camera!
14. Maligne Lake
Take a trip to Maligne Lake, one of the most beautiful bodies of freshwater in the world! This emerald-green lake is easily accessible from Jasper and is a great spot for nature lovers to come and explore. If you come right at sunset, you’re likely to witness a breathtakingly beautiful view of clear blue waters surrounded by lush green mountains. Although there isn’t an official time limit for how long you should stay here, it’s suggested that visitors plan to spend at least two hours exploring the area.
15. Jasper National Park of Canada
This stunning park is home to an incredible variety of wildlife, including bears, elk, and moose. Take a hike on one of the many trails that wind through the park, or take a drive along the scenic Icefields Parkway. The park is open year-round, and visitors can enjoy activities such as camping, fishing, and skiing in the winter. With over 11,000 square kilometers of stunning natural beauty, Jasper National Park is a must-see destination for any traveler to Jasper.
When it comes to exploring the beautiful Canadian Rockies, Canadian Train Vacations can help you plan your best trip. Our train tours take you through some of the most scenic routes in Canada, including Jasper National Park. With our expertly curated packages, you can enjoy the best of Jasper's activities without having to worry about transportation or planning. Treat yourself to a stress-free and unforgettable vacation with Canadian Train Vacations.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
How do I spend a day in Jasper?
Enjoy hiking and sightseeing, fishing, and exploring the natural beauty of Jasper National Park.
What is the best month to go to Jasper?
The best time to visit Jasper is from May to October when the weather is mild and the scenery is at its best.
How many days are enough for Jasper?
There's no wrong answer here, it just depends on your interests and travel style! A minimum of 3 days is recommended to fully experience the beauty and activities Jasper has to offer.
Is the Jasper Skywalk free?
No, the Jasper skywalk has a fee.
How long is the glacier Skywalk tour?
The average time spent on the glacier skywalk tour is 2-3 hours.
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