15 Best Hikes in Jasper National Park, Canada

The best hikes in Jasper National Park offer jaw-dropping scenery, potential (likely) wildlife encounters, and an unforgettable way to immerse in nature. With many trails to explore and several things to know before you go, this guide to hiking in Jasper will help you plan your trip. 

Valley of Five Lakes Jasper National Park Canada

In the Canadian Rockies, rugged beauty unfolds in literally every direction — and hiking in Jasper National Park is one of the best ways to experience it.

Nearly double the size of Banff but significantly less crowded, there’s a ton to explore in Jasper. On any given trail, you may see glaciers, glassy alpine lakes, wildflowers, wildlife, or all of the above. 

Best of all, there are perfect hikes in Jasper National Park for everyone, and they’re ALL incredibly scenic. You’ll ooh and ahh just as much on leisurely strolls as you will huffing and puffing through the park’s renowned multi-day backpacking routes. 

Jasper National Park Hiking Guide

We’ve included some extra info for planning your trip hiking in Jasper National Park. Jump to the following sections (or just keep scrolling to see it all!).

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1. Valley of the Five Lakes

Valley of Five Lakes Jasper National Park Canada
  • Distance: 4.82-kilometer/3-mile loop
  • Elevation gain: 161 meters/528 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Moderate
  • View the trail guide

Delivering a tremendous bang for the buck, the family-friendly Valley of the Five Lakes trail takes you right past five stunning turquoise lakes on an easy-going loop. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular hikes in Jasper!

Even with the relatively short distance, the scenery is diverse, guiding you through dense forest, open meadows, and of course, to the glassy lakes. You can go in either direction, and there are also options for extending your hike, creating a fun choose-your-own-adventure hike.

Don’t miss the pair of iconic red Adirondack chairs between lakes 3 and 4! 

2. Path of the Glacier

Mount Edith Cavell Jasper National Park Canada
  • Distance: 1.77 kilometers/1.1 miles out and back
  • Elevation gain: 83 meters/275 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Easy to moderate
  • View the trail notes

Super accessible and easy, Path of the Glacier is one of the best hikes in Jasper National Park. It’s actually the first leg of the Mount Edith Cavell Meadows trail, but is also a worthwhile hike in its own right. 

The paved trail takes you to a viewpoint across from Angel Glacier, overlooking Cavell Pond. The glacier is extremely active, so watch (and listen!) for calving ice falling into the pond.

Most people turn back after the pond. If you’re up for a bigger challenge, continue beyond the pavement toward Mount Edith Cavell Meadows. 

3. Mount Edith Cavell Meadows

Mount Edith Cavell Meadows Trail (Angie Boger) 3
Image by Angie Boger via Alltrails
  • Distance: 7.4-kilometer/4.6-mile loop
  • Elevation gain: 555 meters/1,820 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Moderate
  • View the trail guide

This hike combines the best of the Rockies: sweeping mountain views, glaciers, and wildflowers. 

Even better, the Mount Edith Cavell Meadows trail it’s moderate and approachable. Other than a fairly aggressive incline and the high altitude (don’t underestimate the severity of altitude sickness!), this is one of the more straightforward Jasper trails.

The first stretch follows the Path of the Glacier. Once the pavement ends, your climb starts. Stick with it, because the wildflower meadows and near-360 views above the treeline are breathtaking. 

Cavell Road, which leads to the trailhead, is only open in the summer. The park also often doesn’t fully open the trail until mid-July. That’s okay, though, because the wildflowers peak in early August

4. Sulphur Skyline

Sulphur Skyline Trail (Lisa Hodges)
Image by Lisa Hodges via Alltrails
  • Distance: 7.89 kilometers/4.9 miles out and back
  • Elevation gain: 656 meters/2,152 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Challenging
  • View the trail notes

If you’re into panoramic summit views and hot springs (who isn’t?!), Sulphur Skyline doesn’t disappoint. This challenging trail is tough from the very beginning and never lets up, but the jaw-dropping view at the top is well worth it. 

Note that we say “view at the top” — to be honest, Sulphur Skyline is somewhat boring overall compared to other hikes in Jasper. However, the 360-degree views at the summit more than make up for that. 

Then there’s the hike’s crown jewel: Miette Hot Springs. They’re well-known as “the hottest hot springs in the Canadian Rockies,” and they’re right near the trailhead! One of the only things that can make hiking in Jasper better? Following it up with a soak! 

5. Bald Hills

Bald Hills Loop (Sarah Espen)
Image by Sarah Espen via Alltrails
  • Distance: 14.97-kilometer/9.3-mile loop
  • Elevation gain: 763 meters/2,503 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Challenging
  • View the trail notes

Hiking the Bald Hills is difficult, but your efforts will be rewarded ten-fold. You’ll likely find yourself hiking a bit slower than normal, because once you spot Maligne Lake, you’ll want to stop for photos every two minutes. The views are THAT good!

Much of the trail follows an old gravel fire road, and it eventually splits to create the loop. To the left is a shortcut that shaves off about 1.5 kilometers, but it’s significantly steeper

Because of this, most hikers recommend taking the fire road (the longer, easier path) up and the narrower trail back down. If you take this advice, the “wow factor” comes six kilometers in, when the views open up to spectacular Maligne Lake. 

6. Maligne Canyon

Maligne Canyon Loop (Adnan Ali)
Image by Adnan Ali via Alltrails
  • Distance: 3.7-kilometer/2.3-mile loop
  • Elevation gain: 124 meters/406 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Easy to moderate
  • View the trail notes

Short, sweet, and close to Jasper townsite, the Maligne Canyon Loop is one of the most popular hikes in Jasper. We’re talking tour bus popular, so start your hike early!

Maligne Canyon itself is a geological wonder, a deep, narrow canyon carved by erosion. The hike offers a unique perspective, following the canyon rim and crossing six scenic bridges. The Second Bridge is the canyon’s high point, while the best views are between Bridges 1-4.

This trail is accessible in the winter (but bring microspikes — it gets icy!), allowing you to get up close to frozen waterfalls. Watch for adventurous ice climbers on the falls, too! 

7. Sunwapta Falls

Sunwapta Falls (Em Reiter)
Image by Em Reiter via Alltrails
  • Distance: 3.2 kilometers/2 miles out and back
  • Elevation gain: 146 meters/479 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

A short yet rewarding stroll, Sunwapta Falls checks all the best boxes. It’s right off the Icefields Parkway, accessible year-round, and ever so slightly less busy than more famous Athabasca Falls. 

From the parking lot, take the (very) short path to Upper Sunwapta Falls. You’ll have an excellent view from the bridge, but be sure to walk downhill for some other perspectives.

While the upper falls are more scenic, it’s well worth hiking the extra kilometer to Lower Sunwapta Falls. Most people only go to the upper cascade, so with just 15-20 minutes of effort, you can enjoy a rarity among hikes in Jasper: a quiet trail! 

8. Pyramid Lake Loop

Pyramid Lake Loop (Dan Aarsen)
Image by Dan Aarsen via Alltrails
  • Distance: 5.95-kilometer/3.7-mile loop
  • Elevation gain: 211 meters/692 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Easy to moderate
  • View the trail notes

Close to town and easy but with stunning views from an overlook, Pyramid Lake Loop is highly underrated. Because it’s one of the easier hikes in Jasper, expect to see families, dogs, and trail runners. 

Being a loop, you can hike in either direction. However, taking the loop clockwise from the parking lot, following the Overlook Loop trail, knocks out the ascent (and offers excellent views!) right away. 

The trail takes you through dense forest before reaching the overlook, where you’ll have sweeping views of multiple lakes and Jasper townsite. Take a side trip to Pyramid Island, especially if you can time it for sunrise or sunset.

The Pyramid Lake area has several other trails to explore. You can even rent bicycles, fat bikes, snowshoes, or boats from the lodge

9. Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls (Ashley Bond)
Image by Ashley Bond via Alltrails
  • Distance: 0.97 kilometers/0.6 miles out and back
  • Elevation gain: 8 meters/26 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Easy
  • View the trail notes

Accessible just off Icefields Parkway, Athabasca Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the national park. While it’s perpetually busy, it’s one of the best hikes in Jasper for families and first-time visitors. 

The scenery is incredible, yet it requires very little effort or time. There’s a network of paved paths, all leading to different overlooks of the river, falls, and canyon. Even if it’s very crowded and you take your time, this stop shouldn’t take longer than one hour. 

10. Wilcox Pass

Wilcox Pass (Merv S)
Image by Merv S via Alltrails
  • Distance: 9.33 kilometers/5.8 miles out and back
  • Elevation gain: 486 meters/1,594 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

Wilcox Pass offers some of the best views of the famous Athabasca Glacier. It’s a very straightforward trail, essentially just an uphill climb for a little over 2.5 miles. The only technical bit is a steep, rocky scramble at the end, up to the trail’s main viewpoint. 

Located along Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff, Wilcox Pass is just far enough from both that it’s (slightly) less crowded than many other hikes in either park. 

Keep your eyes open for elk, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep. They look like tiny white moving dots from a distance.  

11. Whistler’s Summit

Whistler’s Summit (Patricia Heath)
Image by Patricia Heath via Alltrails
  • Distance: 3.7 kilometers/2.3 miles out and back
  • Elevation gain: 271 meters/889 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

A standout among hikes in Jasper National Park, Whistler’s Summit allows you to take the Jasper Skytram most of the way. Don’t let that fool you, though — this is no cake walk, mostly because of the elevation and steep ascent. 

From the tram, it’s about 30 minutes to the summit. It’s well-marked with a large cairn, and the 360-degree views are truly breathtaking. On clear days, you’ll see Mount Robson directly across, the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

The tram operates March through October, and rides start at $48 per adult. 

Note that you can hike all the way up to Whistler’s Summit from the base of the mountain…but it’s a long, very challenging hike with an ascent of 1,300 meters (4,265 feet!). 

12. Indian Ridge

Indian Ridge (@Captn Paulo)
Image by @Captn Paulo via Alltrails
  • Distance: 11.9 kilometers/7.4 miles out and back
  • Elevation gain: 955 meters/3,133 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Challenging
  • View the trail notes

If you want more of a challenge after Whistler’s, Indian Ridge certainly fits the bill. It’s significantly longer and steeper, but hiking in Jasper doesn’t get much better, either. 

After hiking to Whistler’s Summit, continue on. The entire trail is above the treeline, delivering in-your-face views the whole way.  

The vast majority of Indian Ridge involves a moderate ascent, following the ridgeline. It isn’t until the end that you encounter scree and have to do some scrambling. These sections can be treacherous, especially if you’re not used to the terrain and altitude. 

13. Skyline Trail

Skyline Trail (Eun G)
Image by Eun G via Alltrails
  • Distance: 45 kilometers/27.9 miles point to point
  • Elevation gain: 1,560 meters/5,118 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Challenging
  • View the trail notes

The Skyline is a world renowned backpacking route through the Maligne Range. Over half of it is above treeline, making it the highest trail in the park. 

Even if someone were to tackle this as a huge day hike (which is possible, but 2-3 days is recommended), it’s a point-to-point route, so hiking it requires advance planning

Most people start near Maligne Lake and finish at Maligne Canyon, which allows for less climbing. There are six backcountry campsites along the trail, all of which require hard-to-get reservations

14. Tonquin Valley

Tonquin Valley (Barry Nakahara)
Image by Barry Nakahara via Alltrails
  • Distance: 41.4 kilometers/25.7 miles point to point
  • Elevation gain: 1,073 meters/3,520 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Challenging
  • View the trail notes

Another stunning multi-day backpacking route, Tonquin Valley is similar in length to the Skyline, but more manageable because it has far less elevation gain. It’s actually one of the “easier” backpacking trips in the Canadian Rockies. 

This horseshoe-shaped trail is one of the most famous hikes in Jasper, largely because of the distinctly craggy Ramparts mountains and the sparkling Amethyst lakes.

Start at either trailhead, Astoria or Portal. People say the Portal end has better scenery (but that’s relative — this entire area is jaw-dropping), and you’ll reach camp sooner starting from Astoria.

You can hike Tonquin Valley in 2-3 days, but there are enough worthwhile side trips that you could easily spend five. 

15. Berg Lake Trail

Berg Lake Trail (Alan Barp)
Image by Alan Barp via Alltrails
  • Distance: 37.8 kilometers/23.5 miles out and back
  • Elevation gain: 1,316 meters/4,317 feet
  • Difficulty rating: Challenging
  • View the trail notes

Although it’s actually not in Jasper, the Berg Lake Trail highlights one of the park’s most distinct features: Mount Robson. The hike is in Mount Robson Provincial Park, about one hour from Jasper. 

People embark on this trail for that iconic view of glacier-clad Mount Robson looming over Berg Lake, the glacier flowing right into the lake.You’ll have to work for it, though — Berg Lake is nearly 19 kilometers (12 miles) from the trailhead, one way.

Despite the challenge, this is one of the most popular backpacking trips in Canada. Understandable, because you’ll pass other lakes, waterfalls, and 16 glaciers

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Best time to go hiking in Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park Canada

The best time to hike in Jasper is mid-summer to early fall. You’ll have the best weather, trail conditions, and accessibility. Several roads and trails close for much of the year, typically opening by early July and closing again in October. 

Where to camp at Jasper National Park

There are 14 campgrounds in Jasper, five reservable and nine first-come, first-served. Only Wapiti is open year-round, while the rest have varying open and closing dates from early May through mid-October.

Campsite amenities also vary. Most are rustic with just a fire ring and/or picnic table, but a handful of the park’s campgrounds have running water or electricity hookups. 

In order to camp in the park, you MUST have a permit. There is no dispersed camping here; you’re only allowed to camp in designated areas. Permits become available at the beginning of the year, and go quickly for prime sites and weekends. 

What to pack for hiking in Jasper

Valley of Five Lakes Jasper National Park Canada

Depending on what type of hiking you are planning to do in Jasper National Park, here is a detailed list of things you won’t want to forget. 

  • Navigation: we recommend using Alltrails+ to download the offline trail map
  • Hiking daypack
  • Water bottles and/or bladder for your Camelbak
  • Dry bag (we always carry one with us for our valuables in case of rain)
  • Bug repellant
  • Sun protection: sunscreen, hat, sun glasses
  • Headlamp (if hiking near sunrise or sunset)
  • Camera/tripod (this one’s our favorite for hiking)
  • Lots of layers (here is a great resource if you’re wondering what to wear hiking)
  • Rain jacket
  • Comfortable hiking boots or shoes
  • Microspikes (if there is any chance of snow and ice)
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Bear spray (just in case)
  • Plenty of snacks: check out our favorite hiking snacks here!

Additional gear for multi-day hikes

  • Hiking backpack
  • Way to purify your water (we love our Grayl water bottles, and before them we always brought along our Steripen)
  • Bear canister (to properly store your food)
  • Multi-tool
  • Lightweight tent (find out the best 2-person tents for backpacking)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Toilet kit: toilet paper, small shovel, bag for packing out TP, hand sanitizer 
  • Bag for your trash
  • Camp stove/fuel (we love our Jetboil!)
  • Mess kit
  • Biodegradable soap and towel
  • Battery pack (if you are relying on your phone)
  • Permit** (when necessary)

**Don’t forget to pack your permit! 
Be sure to download our FREE hiking packing list before your next trip and never leave another essential behind again!

Hiking Packing List | Go Wander Wild

Round up of the best hikes in Jasper National Park

Here’s a roundup of all the best hikes in Jasper National Park so you can see everything in one place.

  1. Valley of the Five Lakes
  2. Path of the Glacier
  3. Mount Edith Cavell Meadows
  4. Sulphur Skyline
  5. Bald Hills
  6. Maligne Canyon
  7. Sunwapta Falls
  8. Pyramid Lake Loop
  9. Athabasca Falls
  10. Wilcox Pass (Iceridge Parkway)
  11. Whistler’s Summit
  12. Indian Ridge
  13. Skyline Trail
  14. Tonquin Valley
  15. Berg Lake Trail
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Best hikes in Jasper National Park | Go Wander Wild
Best hikes in Jasper National Park | Go Wander Wild

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Which of these epic hikes at Jasper National Park has you most excited to lace up your hiking boots?? Have you done any of the Jasper hikes on this list? Was your experience like? Leave your comment below and let us know!

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