Planning A Canadian Rockies Road Trip: What To Do In Jasper In Fall

If you have already made it to Banff National Park, you will not want to miss the opportunity to explore Jasper! After hitting all the attractions in Banff, Monica and I hit the road again and headed north along the Icefields Parkway. The spectacular scenic drive took us deep into the Rocky Mountains, wide glaciers, and impressive valleys until we arrived at Jasper National Park. From outdoor activities, wildlife watching to sightseeing, there’s never a dull moment. Wondering what to do in Jasper in fall? These 10 activities are not to be missed!

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

Top 10 Things to Do in Jasper in Fall

1 | Walk on Athabasca Glacier

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

When thinking about what to do in Jasper, glacier walking is the first thing that popped into my head. Imagine how cool it would be to stroll on a glacier! We were extremely lucky to have Athabasca Glacier readily accessible to us. So, when we found out Athabasca Glacier Icewalk offers guided ice walk tours at the Columbia Icefield, we immediately jumped on this precious opportunity to hike on 10,000-year-old thick ice!

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

Athabasca Glacier has kept us in awe with its ice-carved landscapes. The rugged terrain, bottomless crevasses, and icy blue creeks are evidence of Mother Nature at her most raw and powerful form. Standing on the massive glacier amidst towering mountains, we couldn’t help but feel small and insignificant. At the same time, we were rendered speechless.

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

Everyone should do the guided ice walk at least once! This is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Jasper and will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Remember to bring an empty bottle. Because you’ll want to bring back the fresh glacier water as the souvenir!

Note: You do not need any prior experience to participate in an ice walk. The 3-hour tour is fairly easy. Consider staying overnight at Glacier View Inn so you don’t feel rushed.

2 | Chase Waterfalls at Beauty Creek

There is an endless amount of waterfalls in Jasper National Park. For waterfall fanatics, consider the Beauty Creek hike to Stanley Falls! This short, scenic trail will take you through a narrow canyon and a cascading set of 8 waterfalls!

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

The best part is that this is not a crowded tourist attraction so you’ll have the falls all to yourself. This hike is about 4 km return so be sure to set aside 2 hours for this activity.

Note: Finding the trailhead can be challenging. Drive 15.5 km north of the Columbia Icefields Center and there will be a small, unmarked parking area on your right. You’ll see a small hiker sign, that’s all. Follow the trail that meanders through the woods and it will lead you to the waterfalls!

3 | Admire the Breathtaking Athabasca Falls

Is a hike too much for you? I’ve got a better option: Athabasca Falls.

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

This 23-meter falls might not be the tallest in the Canadian Rockies, but it is the most powerful! Standing close, you will feel the roaring sound vibrate your chest and the mist dampen your face.

Set against a scenic backdrop of forests and mountains, Athabasca Falls plunges into a deep canyon, creating a picture so stunning that looks almost unreal. Hike further down into the canyon to see how the powerful water has cut through the rocks over thousands of years!

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

4 | Visit the Awe-Inspiring Sunwapta Falls

Another waterfall worth visiting is the Sunwapta Falls. Easily accessible via Icefields Parkway, Sunwapta Falls offers another opportunity to witness the rushing water up close.

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

A short walk from the parking lot will bring you to the Upper Falls, where the turbulent flows drop 18 meters into a limestone gorge. If you desire to see more waterfalls, follow the 1.3 km trail through a dense forest. You will be rewarded with the lovely views of the 3 falls that form the Lower Falls.

5 | Hike the Valley of the Five Lakes

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

4th Lake

If you only have time for one hike in Jasper, make it the Valley of the Five Lakes. The 4.5 km loop leads you to 5 colorful lakes, each with a unique shade of jade and blue. Here, you can see the surrounding mountain peaks reflect in the peaceful waters. The pristine lakes and unrivaled beauty of the mountains will captivate you from the moment you arrive. It is tempting to stop after the first lake, but keep on going, because the views only get better and better!

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

3rd Lake

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

2nd Lake

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

1st Lake

Note: from the parking lot, follow trail 9a through a flowery meadow. You will reach the Fifth Lake first, then Fourth, Third and Second Lakes follow closely one after another. Afterwards, take trail 9b towards the First Lake and follow it to close the loop.

6 | Explore the Picturesque Maligne Canyon

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

1st Bridge

Similar to Johnston Canyon in Banff, Maligne Canyon offers scenic viewpoints of cascading waterfalls. Walk down the canyon rim and listen to the calming sounds of rushing glacial water. The peaceful surroundings will leave you with a sense of zen that we all need!

The trail crosses the canyon six times, with exceptional views of the canyon from different angles. However, the most spectacular sections are seen at first 2 bridges at the upper end of the trail, with the second bridge spanning across the deepest part of the canyon.

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

3rd Bridge

Pro tip: The hike to the first 4 bridges is short and easy. You can do it within an hour. If you want to see the 5th and 6th bridges but can’t walk that far, drive along Maligne Road, there will be signs that take you right up to the bridges.

READ  Planning A Canadian Rockies Road Trip: What To Do In Banff In Fall

7 | Kayak at the Tranquil Pyramid Lake

Want to capture that iconic paddling photo? Try Pyramid Lake.

Just 5 minutes from the town of Jasper, the idyllic Pyramid Lake is a magical spot for nature lovers. Lined with a thick forest along the shore, the lake sets against a truly awe-inspiring mountain backdrop, providing an unbelievably gorgeous setting for half-day excursions. Besides kayaking, you can also go canoeing, paddle-boating, and even mountain biking!

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

Note: Many visitors canoe at Lake Louise ($105/hr) or Moraine Lake ($95/hr). Why pay the expensive price when you can do it for only $40/hr at Pyramid Lake for an equally awesome view?

READ  How to Tour Lake Louise in One Day (Summer Edition)

8 | Take a Scenic Boat Cruise to Spirit Island at Maligne Lake

If you ask me where is the most beautiful place in Jasper, I will tell you Spirit Island without a second thought.

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

Spirit Island

To reach Spirit Island, near the center of Maligne Lake, you have to take a boat. Some people canoe or kayak (it will take 6-8 hours), but the easiest way is to hop on the Maligne Lake Cruise. The 90-minute boat ride will take you across azure-blue waters of Maligne Lake, pass a series of rugged mountains while cruising towards the photogenic Spirit Island.

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

Once the boat pulls ashore at the dock, you’ll have plenty of time for photos and a casual stroll. It is so out-of-this-world beautiful that you will not want to leave.

Pro tip: Take the late afternoon tour for best lighting for pictures.

9 | Walk Along the Cliff’s Edge at Glacier Skywalk

Want to try extreme sightseeing? Check out Glacier Skywalk!

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

The 400-meter cliff-edge walkway promises a one-of-a-kind experience that will make you feel closer to nature. You can hear rushing waterfalls, watch birds fly, admire glacier-clad peaks, and even spot mountain goats!

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

When you finally stand on the glass-floored observation platform, the magnificent mountain scenery, the stunning Sunwapta Valley, and the gorge 300 meters underneath are guaranteed to give you goosebumps.

10 | Enjoy Incredible Mountaintop Views From the Summit of Whistler’s Mountain

For incredible views of Jasper and the surrounding mountains, head to the summit of Whistlers Mountain via Jasper Skytram.

What to do in Jasper in fall - Canadian Rockies road trip

The longest and highest guided aerial tramway in Canada will transport you 2,277 meters above sea level, with fascinating views of six mountain ranges, glacier-fed lakes, and the Athabasca River. At the upper terminal, you can continue hiking to the summit (1.2km) for an even more spectacular view. This area has a high chance of wildlife sightings so don’t be surprised if you see ptarmigan, pikas, or bighorn sheep!


Jasper offers a wealth of attractions for visitors to explore. Set aside 2-3 days to visit this area while road tripping through the Canadian Rockies. I promise – you will not regret it!

Disclaimer: This post is written in partnership with Brewster Canada and Athabasca Glacier Icewalk. As always, all opinions on For Two, Please are my own and I only recommend brands that I 100% stand behind.

Previous Post:Planning A Canadian Rockies Road Trip: What To Do In Banff In Fall Next Post:5 Reasons Why Guanajuato Should Be Your Next Mexico Destination

43 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Always love reading about the Canadian wilderness. Looks so untouched. The glacier looks out of this world.

  2. These pictures are so beautiful!! Would love to walk on a glacier, never did it, but it must be amazing. And would love to see all these lakes. The color of the water seems almost fake!

  3. Wow that looks absolutely breathtaking. For the glacier walking, should you pack special shoes, or is that something they supply you with? 

  4. What lovely activities that you have listed to do I Japer in Fall. Each of these activities sounds really amazing. Hiking a glacier, chasing waterfalls, boating and all in such stunningly beautiful landscapes would indeed be a blissful experience. Walking along the edge of the glaciers on the skywalk appears to be a pretty thrilling experience

  5. I have been dreaming of Banff and Jasper since childhood! Still haven’t made it, though. But oh my goodness, your photos!! So gorgeous. I can see why you love Spirit Island so much… and the Valley of the Five Lakes is breathtaking!

  6. Wow, those pictures! They’re just perfect.. I totally fell in love with this place. It definitely looks a place for me to visit. You can do so many things over there! I’m dying to visit Jasper sometime..

  7. Um we need to go here ASAP! It’s just unreal how beautiful the Canadian Rockies are! From the stunning mountains, waterfalls, and just epic viewpoints! Your photos have me drooling, would love to experience this in person!

  8. Jasper looks incredible to visit, I don’t what I would like to do first! The walk on the Athabasca Glacier looks amazing, love your photos. I walked on a glacier in Alaska recently and loved it. The walk along the cliff’s edge at the Glacier Skywalk looks epic with the glass-floored observation platform!

  9. OMG I want to visit so bad.  I would love to do each and everyone of these activities but especially would love to see the glacier and do some kayaking. Your pictures of the amazing landscapes are one more beautiful than the other. I must visit. 

  10. Wow! I’ve never heard of this area and it is extremely beautiful. The photos are amazing! I would definitely do the glacier tour. 3 hours is pretty long, but I bet it goes by really fast. Good tip to bring a bottle to take home that fresh glacier water 🙂

  11. When I lived in Vancouver last year, it was my dream to visit Banff National Park, however, I didn’t realize how beautiful Jasper is! Or how much there is to do there. I really want to come back to Canada and see all of these!

  12. Seems like an outdoor wilderness paradise. The waterfalls and views are simply stunning while the glacier skywalk looks like something to remember.

  13. Wow, jasper is so gorgeous. I didn’t know about it until I discovered this blog. The glass floored observation bridge is amazing. I know it will scare me but I still want to do it!

  14. Canadian Rockies are always on my wish list as I love mountains and stunning waterfalls. Walking on ice must be difficult but would be a great activity. Spirit Island is heavenly and walking on 400meter cliff walk must be the best walk of life as it is over the beautiful nature. I must say you have taken wonderful pictures of this place.

  15. Walking on Athabasca Glacier is pretty amazing. Not a lot of people can say they have walked on 10,000-year-old ice. The views are as you state, breathtaking. Such a beautiful place of which also looks so peaceful. Thanks for sharing.

  16. The Canadian Rockies looks like like a winter wonderland. the glacier is so over powering and amazing. looks like it was quiet an experience!

  17. I love how blue the water is and all of the reflection shots of the mountains. It’s so pretty there. We would be all about hiking on the glaciers. That seems pretty dang epic.

  18. There is so much of natural beauty here. I loved all your pics, particularly the ones where you have caught those reflections. The skywalk looks quite scary but am sure once you are past those first few steps, you would be fine. Kayaking of course, would be prime on my list here as would be glacier walking. It is quite stunning to see those snow formations. Loved this post.

  19. Sooo beautiful! Everytime I see photos of this region, I am awed. I would love to do the Athabasca Glacier walk. I’ve never been that close to a glacier before! And the views from Whistler look stunning.

  20. Alright. That’s it. I am going to sit down and make plans to visit Jasper next year. I have GOT to walk on this glacier. And maybe the Skywalk, though that seems a little terrifying. Your posts have convinced me that this is a place I need to go, so I’m going to plan a trip there next year and now I can’t wait!

  21. That’s really amazing! It’s so icy beautiful, looks more amazing than those I’ve been to. hehe thanks! 🙂

  22. Alberta is so darn beautiful! I love its lakes and mountainscapes. I didn’t know there’s a Whistler Mountain in AB too

  23. Wow! Jasper looks gorgeous. I’ve never experienced such a cold winter every. My harshest winter has been in Europe at minus 6. The frozen glaciers would be my definite visit. The landscape looks just surreal! The valley of 5 lakes looks like paradise!

  24. OMG – the beauty of Canada generally never ceases to amaze me. I just love spending time in such awesome natural wonder and serenity. Your list of places and photos are just brilliant. You have captured some stunning images that would make most people want to pack their bags immediately.

  25. It’s easy to see why Canada is considered one of the most beautiful countries on earth. Your photos of the lakes make it so hard to know which is my favourite! The skywalk is awesome, and I would definitely do it even though I’m a little nervous of heights!

  26. So many beautiful waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies! And the Glacier Walk is definitely a fun thing to do. Too many Instagram worthy place to visit!

  27. I’ve always wanted to do this in the fall, but I see that winter could be amazing as well. Canada is just so beautiful!

  28. This is absolutely fantastic. Although I have not been to this area, I have heard about Jasper and it’s beauty is just breathtaking. My sister was in the region last summer, so I’ve just been looking at the photos and as a result have a serious case of wanderlust. Love that there is so much to do and the chance to be one with the nature adds to that. Thanks for the tips, as it really helps for whenever I will plan to go there.

  29. We are so much in awe of the national parks in Canada, the waterfalls, and the crystal clear waters amidst the lush green landscapes is enticing. We are sure the Athabasca Glacier walk and the Glacier Skywalk will be one its kind of experience and Spirit island is heavenly indeed!

  30. Oh my goodness – all the different stunning colors of water is breathtaking. I would love to do the glacier walk too as I haven’t done that. I desperately need to get to Jasper soon!

  31. That skywalk looks amazing. The glacier too! I loved how you acknowledge the level of skill needed to participate, especially for newbies like myself. The glacier just looks too amazing to pass up. 

  32. I had no idea you could go glacier hiking in Canada! I’ve been dying to explore more of our neighbors to the north, thanks for the inspiration!

  33. Wow, wow, wooow. My homeland is so beautiful and I miss it so. Have not been Jasper yet, but this makes me want to! Maybe the next time when I visit Canada next. 🙂

  34. I just read another post about Canada; yes I would really love to visit Jasper! Walking on the Athabasca Glacier seems like a dream, I can’t believe how old it is and how surreal the crevasses look. I would also want to hike in the Five Lakes. Canada is so gorg!

  35. I absolutely love the Canadian Rockies – I’ve been twice, but both trips were in the summer. This has me convinced that I need to get there! I would love to trek on Athabasca Glacier! That’s the top of my list! I’ve done a lot of the other things on your list, but the sky looks so much more crisp, blue and autumn-like. 

  36. I knew Jasper NP was gorgeous but your photos drove (or kayaked) the point home yet again. The dream road trip to Banff and Jasper is in the works, but man, it can’t come soon enough.

  37. Wow, such stunning photography and what a gorgeous region. I’ve been reading a lot about the Canadian Rockies and I’m totally sold. Now I need to get there ASAP. Great tip for bringing an empty bottle for fresh glacier water…I can only imagine how fresh it must be…. Great article!!

  38. You’ve certainly captured the utter gorgeousness of the Jasper landscape! Such beautiful photos. Jasper NP is such a magnificent part of Canada. We’ve done that Parkway, walked on the glacier and that Skywalk too – all bucket-list experiences! I’m so glad that you enjoyed your time.

  39. More reasons to visit Canada. Your photos are amazing. Ill add this to my Canada list.

  40. I recently wrote about Canadian lakes and seriously I can’t believe how insane the landscape there! And thanks for writing this very detailed guide for Jasper! I can’t wait to visit the place! 

  41. In summary, this looks like an epic trip. My husband and I both love the outdoors so this will be a great experience for us. Thanks for the Lake p
    pyramid tip! The views look spetacular.

  42. Pingback: 10 reasons the Fairmont PJ Party should be your next girls’ getaway - Globe Guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shares