Winter Wonderland in Jasper
By Jane Marshall
Jane Marshall talks with Parks Canada about how to enjoy winter in Jasper
It’s time to head to the mountains! To help us seek out fresh new experiences, I tracked down Rogier Gruys, Visitor Experience - Product Development Specialist at for some inside information. Here’s what he had to say.
Jane: What makes Jasper beautiful in winter?
Rogier: It’s the combination of mountains, snow, scenery, quite, and peace. Coming out of the city, it’s a winter wonderland.
Jane: How are you expanding winter offerings in ?
Rogier: In winter people mostly come to Jasper for downhill skiing. But there’s so much more! We want to provide more opportunities for visitors
This sport is getting popular, so we’re track setting by using a snowmobile with a roller. At night the trail freezes, so its great for biking and snowshoeing. You can rent fat tire bikes in town or at Jasper Park Lodge.
The terrain and type of snow we have is perfect for snowshoeing. It’s a fast growing activity that takes about 30 seconds to learn. It’s inexpensive—you can use your own boots—and is a great family adventure. We have many safe locations near town where you can try it out.
Cross Country Skiing
At Marmot Meadows Winter Hub in Whistler’s Campground we’ve purpose-built a new challenging track using expert advice. It has lots of ups and downs, and we maintain the trail. We installed a new stove at the shelter and improved the insulation so people can warm up.
We have another winter hub at Whirlpool Winter Camp just 20 minutes’ drive from Jasper. It has an insulated shelter and wood stove, and you can winter camp. When you wake up, the ski trail’s right outside your tent or RV.
At Marmot Meadows we’re installing a rink. Other rinks include Mildred Lake at the and . Be sure to bring your skates.
Jane: What are the top places people visit?
Rogier: There’s for downhill skiing. is a favourite for sightseeing, snowshoeing, and skiing. is beautiful in winter; you can walk above or enter the canyon with a guide (visit for operators). Athabasca falls has beautiful ice formations and is an easy 30 minute drive. We maintain the area; strap on snowshoes and walk along the riverside.
Jane: What animals will people see in winter?
Rogier: Bighorn sheep, elk, and mule deer.
Jane: Can you tell us about the interpretive programs?
Rogier: You can make bannock, hear Aboriginal stories, look at animal tracks, start a fire with a flint and steel, and snowshoe under dark skies. Programs are offered on weekends.
Jane: Favourite thing for your pack?
Rogier: A thermos with tea. And a camera.
Final thoughts: Our visitor guide will be available soon. Pick it up at the park gates or , or check the web.
Jasper has an embarrassment of riches. You need a quiver of tools—skates, snowshoes, skis. Come try out everything!