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Jasper National Park

If Banff, Yoho or Kootenay National Parks feel too busy and commercial, then head instead to Jasper National Park – which is as big as all three combined and ideal for longer backcountry backpacking trips.

While the scenery is broadly similar this park is less visited, so the vibe a little mellower.

And, though perhaps a shade less good than the other parks for day hikes, the trail network here is unquestionably among the world’s best for overnight backpacking trips between countless primitive campgrounds in the park’s thousand-kilometre trail system.

Most pursuits centre on the town of Jasper, from which a number of low-level trails radiate to forest-encircled lakes, and the Maligne Lake area about 50km to the southeast.

Other key zones are the Icefields Parkway, and it's offshoot Hwy 93A, which go on to connect Jasper to Banff National Park; as well as the Miette Hot Springs region, where hot springs and trails lie in the eastern portion of the park, en-route to Edmonton.

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Park Passes: Adult day pass $10; annual pass to all Canadian National Parks $69; discounts for kids, seniors, families and groups.

Hwy 93A

The Icefields Parkway


Maligne Lake & Around

Text © Christian Williams

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