An escape from the rain and grey of Vancouver was calling to me. After thinking about different destinations, a trip to Jasper was settled on. I missed having a snowy, sunny winter and I’ve never been anywhere in the Rockies.
After arriving via train on Via Rail, I walked over to my accommodation, B & B on Balsam, fetched the key and unpacked before heading out to explore. A tip if coming to Jasper, check out the rooms available in people’s homes. Hotels can be expensive and the hostel isn’t in town but many residents will rent out accommodation in their homes. Price can vary and you can either get a room or a separate apartment in their home. I enjoyed my stay and would recommend staying there, it was reasonably priced, comfortable, quiet and the hosts were friendly. The owner even gave me a ride to the train station so I wouldn’t have to walk far with my luggage.
While I was in Jasper, I lucked out on the weather, everyday there was sunshine and above average temperatures (just below zero and getting above zero at points in the day). I had my base layers and many more ready to go but most days I ended up being warm and would take some layers off. It was the winter that I missed (as I had grown up experiencing Ontario winters). The town of Jasper is small, I was able to take walks around town after my days activities. You don’t need a car in Jasper but it’s handy if you would like to get out to different parts of the park and if you are not interested in doing a tour or long walks.
Since it was my first time in Jasper, I was curious if it was always as I experienced. I was told Jasper is quieter in the winter, unless it is an event weekend. I would see people walking around but it wasn’t crowded and the restaurants weren’t that busy. I loved the quiet, peaceful atmosphere. People would smile and say hi to you when you walked by, the customer service was excellent at the restaurants, shops and sights. You were able to get service quickly and people had the time to chat with you. I was really happy during my entire trip and was sad when I had to leave. I could have spent more time there if it wasn’t for work waiting for me to return.
Food, like accommodation is expensive in Jasper (if you compare it to Vancouver or Toronto). The main reasons for it is it’s a resort town and further away from any major cities. My meal costs were more than I would have paid back home however all of the meals were delicious and worth the expense.
I saved money by bringing my own snacks, having a large breakfast and usually skipping lunch and enjoying an early dinner. If I was staying longer, I would have explored getting a place to cook but since it was three-day trip, I indulged.
Some of my favourite experiences and things I would recommend doing while visiting Jasper in the winter is:
- Maligne Canyon
- Skating at one of the outdoor rinks. I picked Mildred Lake on Fairmont Jasper Lodge, it’s free to skate there
- Jasper Yellow-Head Museum (great if you have bad weather but also worth visiting to take a break and learn more about Jasper)
- Candy Bear Lair (treats for the train and a treat for the evening)
- Walking around town, spotting animals and relaxing.
I didn’t expect to enjoy Jasper as much as I did. The views and nature in and outside of the city, captured me. I really fell for the town, met some great people and enjoyed being out in the fresh air and sunshine. I’ll be back Jasper, I left a part of me there.
Other recommended posts: Jasper – Free things to do in the Winter