3 Day Itinerary for Jasper National Park in the Spring

Ashlee standing in front of frozen waterfall.

Jasper National Park is the second largest national park in the Canadian Rockies. It is also a designated World Heritage Site. I visited in the early spring when snow was on the ground, and its beauty blew me away.

If you’d like to explore the area during the winter, early spring, or for spring break, here is a three-day itinerary to help you plan a memorable, adventure-filled trip. The article is curated perfectly for when the landscape is a frozen winter wonderland. I’m sharing where to eat, stay, and play in Jasper National Park.

Pursuit Collection hosted my trip to Jasper, Alberta, and all of the recommended activities I did or restaurants I ate at firsthand are included in this guide. 

How To Get to Jasper National Park

Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada during the early spring when there is snow.

Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada.

If you’re from the U.S. (like me), the best way to get to the park is to fly into Calgary and rent a car. It is about a five-and-a-half-hour drive from the airport if you want to take the scenic route – the Icefields Parkway, which I highly recommend. the parkway is hailed as one of the most scenic drives in the world. You can see wildlife, glaciers, and incredible mountain scenery. 

From Calgary, drive towards Banff. The cute mountain town of Banff is about an hour and a half away.

Once you get to Banff, stop and stretch your legs. Take a break, and grab lunch on the main street. I loved eating at Farm & Fire. Or for a quick coffee, tea, and pasty, pop into the Wild Flower Bakery or Little Wild Coffee.

After, hop back in the car and drive to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93).

Where To Stay

Pyramid Lake Lodge in Jasper National Park.

Pyramid Lake Lodge in Jasper National Park.

Pyramid Lake Lodge is a beautiful chalet-style lodge nestled next to a lake surrounded by mountains. To say the area is gorgeous is an understatement.

The rooms at the lodge are elevated yet rustic. They have high ceilings, natural lighting, and incredible landscape views. I’m still wishing I had the local handmade soaps to indulge in from the Rocky Mountain Soap Co provided in the rooms.

What I love about staying at Pyramid Lake Lodge is the outstanding restaurant onsite, Aalto. You can also rent gear to go ice skating, snowshoeing, or fat-tire bike riding.

Day 1 – Relax 

Pyramid Lake and mountain in Jasper National Park on a blue sky day.

Pyramid Lake and mountain in Jasper National Park.

After a long drive, check into your room at Pyramid Lake Lodge. Relax, unwind, and enjoy the views. The rooms have tea from Jolene’s Tea House, which is a local brand in Alberta. So, brew a tea, sit on your patio, and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Or, enjoy the fire pit, hot tub, and sauna on site.

When you’re ready, drive into the town of Jasper and have a laid-back dinner at the Jasper Brewing Co. It’s the first brewery in a Canadian national park. Their food is pretty tasty. I’m gluten-free and got a burger on a gluten-free bun with a Canadian hard cider. It was delicious.

If you’re not feeling like a brewery, Hearthstone inside the Forest Park Lodge is another good option serving up local cuisine. For how small the town is, I was pleasantly surprised by how gluten-free friendly the restaurants in Jasper are.

Day 2 – Maligne Canyon Icewalk

Hiking in the frozen Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park.

Maligne Canyon Icewalk.

Rise and shine and head into town for breakfast at Harvest Food & Drink. I was told it’s a local favorite for breakfast and brunch; after eating there, you’ll see why. I had an epic serving of avocado toast on gluten-free bread and a chai latte.

After breakfast, head out of town to the Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen to meet a guide for an icewalk through Maligne Canyon. You’ll want to pre-book this adventure online to ensure a guide can take you. If you’re not from the area, it’s best to go with a local expert for safety reasons. They provide helmets and crampons and tell you where to step safely across the ice.

You can only do the icewalk through Maligne Canyon in the winter and early spring when the canyon is frozen. Seeing the ice formations is spectacular.

After hiking, head back to your hotel to rest and freshen up. Drive to town for dinner at Terra. It’s upscale dining, but you can dress casually – Jasper is a mountain town. Terra is big on using local ingredients, so their menu changes often.

I loved eating here. We even saw an elk walk right down the street from the windows facing the street. It was so cool.

Day 3 – Outdoor Activities Around Pyramid Lake

Ashlee sitting on a bench looking at Pyramid Lake and the mountain.

Hiking from Pyramid Lake Lodge.

Kick your last day off with breakfast at Aalto. Sleep in and walk over to the restaurant from your room. Eat a lovely breakfast overlooking the lake. I had a coffee with eggs, bacon, gluten-free toast, and fruit – it was delightful.

After breakfast, rent gear from the lodge and go ice skating, snowshoeing, or fat-tire biking. While I was there, two of my fellow travelers went snowshoeing across the lake, a few others soaked in the hot tub, and I went hiking. There are many great outdoor activities to enjoy right from Pyramid Lake Lodge.

They even offer sleigh rides around the holidays (how cute is that).

While enjoying a fun day around Pyramid Lake, book their award-winning Stargazers dinner with expert guides from the Jasper Planetarium. Indulge in a three-course meal with curated wine pairings, and then after, watch the stars through high tech telescopes.

It’s the perfect activity for couples or friends who don’t mind staying up late and are curious about the night sky.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch the northern lights. After all, Jasper National Park is the second largest dark sky preserve in the world.

Have a wonderful time visiting Jasper National Park in the spring.

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Ashlee Fechino

Ashlee Fechino is an outdoor recreation and travel writer sharing the best-kept secrets that aren’t in your typical guidebook. Her goal is to inspire people to travel with a sense of adventure by sharing hidden gems across the U.S. and beyond. She is married to an expat Argentine, Pablo. They camp in their Aliner often and love wandering the world. Follow their latest adventures on Instagram @thehappinessfxn.