THE LOCAL'S GUIDE TO JASPER
Deep in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains sits a laid back alpine town called Jasper
The kind of town that treats guests like locals and has you booking your return before you’ve even left.
The drive to Jasper is enough to make you melt into a landscape of ice waterfalls, ancient glaciers, endless skies and the famed Columbia Icefields. Add a thriving craft brewery scene, an adventure menu filled with the great outdoors and the hidden gem ski resort known as Marmot.
To live like a local you have to go where the locals go. Start at Coco’s Café for a breakfast wrap in downtown Jasper. Coco’s is an intimate locally owned den dedicated to artisan coffee and food made with care for those with food sensitivities.
Head up the road to Marmot Basin and click into your skis or snowboard ready to rock the 1675 acres of skiable terrain with over 900 metres of vertical. Not bad for a local ski hill, right? Say hi to the locals on the chair and discover what makes this region get under your skin and into your soul.
Local Aussie turned Jasper-ite, Erin Reade, starts her day on Tranquilizer run. Why? It’s a good leg warmer with fun, roller filled terrain that’s always impeccably groomed and a good starter before getting the freshies off the Knob Chair.
You know the snow is going to be super light and dry because the base village is the highest in Canada and sits at 1698 metres above sea level. When your legs need a rest head into the mid-mountain stop, The Eagle Chalet, for a hot chocolate and a retro ski vibe with photos and ski gear from days gone Jasper by.
For après ski then you have to have a locally brewed beer at the Jasper Brewing Company where the beer is made with pure natural mountain water from the Canadian Rockies. The brewery is the first Canadian brewery from a National Park. Come for a beer tasting and gourmet fare at the brew pub with classic poutine, elk carpaccio and Ora King salmon.
Locals know the beauty of Jasper, that’s why you’ll notice they always look up. It’s the sky. The area is a Dark Sky Preserve. This means that almost no artificial lighting is visible at night. Translated? Some of the world’s most spectacular star gazing, including the northern lights. Head on over the Jasper Planetarium for a guided astronomical tour.
Smart phone, DSLR, action cam, whatever equipment you have you’ll want to keep it close as Jasper is also home to vistas coveted by the world’s best photographers. Check out Maligne Canyon for frozen waterfalls clinging to spectacular gorges, snow shoe across the frozen Maligne Lake, the largest glacial fed lake in Canada or head to Pyramid Lake and take the jetty to the island. Trust us, your Facebook friends and Instagram followers will thank you.
You might come to Jasper for the skiing at Marmot Basin but you’ll stay for the locals.