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Hiking Jasper National Park

I’m back with my final Canadian vacation recap: hiking Jasper National Park! If you’re just joining me and want to see our full trip itinerary, you can see it here: Western Canada Hiking Trip Itinerary.

Previous recaps: a weekend in Vancouver + hiking Lake Louise in Banff National Park + Hiking Johnson Canyon and Ink Pots + Hiking Kootenay National Park + Driving the Icefields Parkway. What an awesome trip – it’s been fun to relive it through these write ups!

hiking jasper national park

Jasper was the end of the hiking portion of our trip – we were there right before driving west to Vancouver for the trip finale. It was also our last couple days with our friends Melli and Moritz – we said farewell to them in Jasper. Sad – we always have so much fun traveling with them!

where to eat in jasper canada

We had two nights and one full day in Jasper so we had to make the most of it. Our first stop was an off the beaten path gem: the Edge of the World hike. Matt posted a thread on Reddit asking for Jasper recommendations and someone recommended that – it was hard to find but so worth it! Short and stunning.

MY OTHER RECIPES
 

edge of the world hike jasper

jasper edge of the world

From there, we headed to the Valley of the Five Lakes hike, which is about 9 km south of Jasper on the Icefields Parkway. It’s a relatively easy and beautiful 4.5km loop that features – you guessed it – five lakes! They are each a very pretty shade of green/blue.

valley of the five lakes hike

The big excitement on this hike was that we saw a BEAR! It was the only bear of the trip that we saw while actually hiking vs. driving; thankfully it was across the lake from us. Whew! Can you spot it in the picture below strolling right next to the water?

valley of the five lakes hike bears

Here he is zoomed in!

bear valley of the five lakes

After the bear excitement, we forged on loudly in hopes the bear wouldn’t continue walking and be near us (the other side of the lake connected with the area we were hiking towards)!

valley of the five lakes hike

valley of the five lakes

Loved the wildflowers!

canada hiking wildflowers

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We had lunch during our Valley of the Five Lakes hike (our usual bread + hummus + guac + veggies that we packed with us). Yum!

hiking food healthy

We didn’t have any specific hiking plans for the afternoon, but on our way back to Jasper we stumbled upon a nice lake – Patricia Lake – and decided to hop out of the car and do a little exploring.

patricia lake jasper national park

We hiked around one side of it and then found a trail that led back to the street through a beautiful birch forest. Magical!

jasper national park birch forest

That evening was our last night all together as a group – so sad! We had a fun dinner out together at The Raven Bistro – their seafood stew was awesome. (I also recommend Syrahs in Jasper, where we went the first night but I didn’t get any photos because it was dark – it has a cozy ambiance and great upscale food.)

the raven bistro jasper

The grand finale of our time together was a trip to see Jasper the Bear, the town’s mascot…

jasper the bear

… and a trip to Tim Horton’s for donuts! We were told by Melli and Moritz that we basically weren’t allowed to leave Canada without trying Tim Horton’s – apparently it’s a Canadian classic! We saw it everywhere and the only two police officers we saw the entire time we were in Canada were in Tim Horton’s, so I have to assume their statement was true. ;)

tim hortons jasper canada

I will leave you with a tip: if you find yourself making the drive from Jasper to Vancouver, break up the drive by staying overnight in or near Clearwater and Wells Grey Provincial Park! And keep your eyes peeled for bears on the drive: only about 15 minutes outside of Jasper we saw two grizzlies just chilling on the side of the road. Whoa! (This is zoomed in!)

grizzly bears jasper national park

Another tip: on the drive to Clearwater, about 45 minutes outside Jasper, stop for a hike at the Berg Lake trail.

berg lake trail

It’s a long overnight camping trail but we just did the first 5k to a pretty lake before turning back for 10k total. Nice way to break up the drive! It was a bit drizzly when we were there but still gorgeous.

berg lake trail first 5k

berg lake trail

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If we did the drive again we’d make time to quickly stop at Helmcken Falls in Wells Grey Provincial Park on the way, too – I mistakenly thought it was on our way to Vancouver so we saved it for the next day but turns out it would have made more sense to go on the way from Jasper to Clearwater. It would have been too out of the way to check it out the next day – oh well!

To break up the drive to Vancouver, Matt and I stayed overnight at an adorable spot off a very rough country road out in the middle of nowhere near-ish to Clearwater called Alpine Meadows Resort.

alpine meadows resort

It was such a cute and cozy place – they have a restaurant on site that was really good and also have a lake with free kayaks, paddleboats, and canoes that you can take out whenever you like.

alpine meadows resort lake paddle boat

alpine meadows resort kayak

What a fun adventure we had in Canada – thank you for sharing it with us through my recaps! If you like my travel posts, check out my travel page – it includes both personal and blog-related travel of note, so there’s a lot more where this came from. :)

What does your ideal vacation look like? In case you couldn’t guess, mine is like this trip – almost entirely outdoorsy adventures! :)

Comments

  1. 1

    This is super random but curious if you had hiking pants on? Hard to tell from the pictures. I’m trying to find a good pair for an upcoming trip.

  2. 4

    I love love love reading (and writing) trip recaps- thanks for sharing. One of my best guy friends just did a huge hiking trip in CO and I sent him links from your trip and told him this is where he should go next!

  3. 6

    Too funny you stopped at Tim Hortons! It is certainly a Canadian thing, especially on the East Coast. Enjoyed your recaps! Took me back to my travels to Banff and Jasper in 2015.

  4. 7

    Ohh I had to laugh at the Tim’s …it’s just like Dunkin Donuts..which we used to have but I guess couldn’t compete….it’s true though, the country is divided between Starbuck’s lovers and Timmie’s lovers….but pretty much you see one on every corner!

    Can’t believe you saw bears, so jealous!! I’m so glad you had a great time! Come back any time -the East Coast and Ottawa (where I am ) are awesome too! ;)

  5. 9

    Wow! You sure know how to VACATION. Love love love it! Thanks for inspiring me on so many fronts!

  6. 10

    Thanks for sharing all your trip recaps! This trip is on my bucket list and one that I hope to complete in the next few years. It is such a beautiful place!

  7. 11

    I loved these posts! Thanks for the recap post too – I will use that when we go back to that area. I agree – one of the most beautiful places.

  8. 12
    Roadrunner says:

    Breathtaking stuff, Anne. Very nice!

  9. 13

    Loved your vacation recaps. I’ve definitely been bit by the travel bug now. We coincidentally have some friends who are currently honeymooning in the same area so it’s been fun to see both adventures unfold.

    Also- a Tim Horton’s double double and honey cruller is high on my list of favorite little pleasures.

  10. 15
    Darrell says:

    Hi Anne,
    Came across Your blog today, I’m lucky enough to live in Edmonton on 4 hrs from Jasper, so get there often, going this weekend and saw you did the edge of the world hike, tried to find it before bit couldn’t, do you remember how to het there? I’m familiar with the ski road as we go skiing there in winter, also do you think dogs can do this hike?

    • 16

      The Edge of the World hike is a really short hike – I’d think it would be dog friendly. I’d google “edge of the world hike directions” – that’s how we found it! Good luck and have fun!

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