Most of us are hesitant to travel right now and are looking for new adventures close to home. I haven’t been out of the house much in the past four months except to pick up groceries a few times, so I took a much-needed road trip to Jasper National Park, Alberta—just a 4-hour drive from my home in British Columbia. Okay just to be clear, I had half a tank of gas before I left home which I purchased in March…this is now mid-July. Gasp! It was time for a road trip to burn off that fuel!
This visit I stayed at The Crimson Jasper. Heath-wise I’m in the high-risk category, so I need to know that the places I stay at have stringent distancing and cleaning standards in place and The Crimson Jasper did not disappoint. The rooms are thoroughly cleaned including changing all bedding and towels even if they hadn’t been used and cleaning major touchpoints in the rooms with a bleach solution. You can read the standards in detail for yourself. The staff put me at ease and I felt comfortable staying here. Currently, there is a special for residents of British Columbia for travel to Jasper and Banff.
Maligne Lake Cruise
When you’re in Jasper, you must go on a cruise of Maligne Lake to Spirit Island! The lake is protected so you can only get to Spirit Island by this cruise tour or by canoe/kayak. Canoes and kayaks can be rented from the Boathouse but be prepared, it’s an all-day adventure when the weather is good. Typically it is about 5 hours to paddle to Spirit Island and the same back. Take the cruise. 🙂 The first time I visited there was too much smoke in the air from fires in BC, so I didn’t see very much of the stunning scenery, and to top it off, it was also raining. It still was beautiful and worth the visit but this time everything was so perfect with amazing weather after the fog cleared, as you can see in my video and photos!
Health and safety was top of my mind on this visit, too, of course. I had nothing to worry about as every person on the boat had to sanitize and wear a mask and the boat was sanitized before and after each cruise. The staff were fantastic at informing everyone of the requirements and all of the visitors on my cruise were wonderful at complying. You can read more about the stringent safety precautions here.
On the drive to Maligne Lake, I spotted some typical Canadian wildlife… Canada Geese. Sadly not bear, moose, or elk this trip! Just means I need to go back. 🙂
Maligne Canyon Hike
On the way back to the town of Jasper, I stopped at Maligne Canyon to see what it looks like in the summer with rushing waterfalls. I had visited in the winter for the Ice Walk through the Canyon, which is a completely different experience. Jump over to my winter highlights and see the Canyon with snow!
This visit, I donned my mask and ventured out to walk the trail through the top part of the Canyon. People were respectful at social distancing, as everyone was there just to enjoy nature and the beauty of Maligne Canyon. There are a few options for hikes from an easy walk to a more difficult, longer hike. All are documented on signage throughout the trails.
Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen
From my winter visit, I remembered the ooey-gooey Mac ‘n Cheese and the Garlic Parsley Fries at the Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen, so I couldn’t leave without having lunch on the outdoor patio, watching the fast-flowing water nearby. I also tried the Gourmet Flatbread (Tomato Basil Sauce, Melted Leeks, Oka Cheese, Wild Boar Bacon, Venison Sausage). YUM! The leftovers were great for dinner during the rest of my road trip plus another meal the next day!
Must go back!
Other than my overnight stay, today’s adventures were done in just 6 hours. I will be making plans for a longer stay in Jasper, doing some wildlife stalking, and more adventuring in this gorgeous National Park! What are your favourite highlights of Jasper National Park?