Outbound Collective logo

5 Reasons Why You Should Explore Jasper National Park This Winter

Adventure doesn't hibernate, neither should you.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

An excursion north to Jasper National Park is a must-do for anybody looking to escape the routine and get into the mountains this winter. With endless potential for playing in the snow, tasty food and drink, and comfortable digs to crash in every night, Jasper has you covered. Pack up the car or book your flights today and prepare for the ultimate winter adventure getaway.

Snowshoe to Wilcox Pass | Photo: Matt Clark

1. Explore Jasper Without The Crowds

Winter is the time to experience Jasper without the distractions of other visitors. Only 20% of Jasper’s 2 million annual visitors come between November and April, which means you’ll practically have the place to yourself. The world’s second largest dark sky preserve feels even bigger and the stars seem brighter when you’ve got it to yourself. Popular spots that are usually full of people in the summer will be tranquil winter wonderlands during this time of year and you won’t have a hard time finding a seat at the bar after a day of exploring.

2. Winter Adventure Playground

Jasper’s reputation for outdoor adventure doesn’t fade at all in the winter. Check out one of the always beautiful and iconic waterfalls like Sunwapta Falls or Athabasca Falls for a unique view of the falls iced over. If you want to get a little further out there, then try this snowshoe trip to Wilcox Pass. Pyramid Lake, which is gorgeous in the summer, freezes over in the winter and provides a whole new way to explore the lake. There’s also, of course, fantastic skiing nearby at Marmot Basin.

Explore Pyramid Lake | Photo: Jonathan Sinclair

3. Jasper In January

If you’re thinking about starting a new family holiday tradition, a retreat to Jasper should top the list. The Jasper in January festival embodies everything that is amazing about winter in Jasper. Indulge in all things winter adventure ranging from snowshoe lessons, to wildlife tours and, of course, happy hours.

4. The Mountain Town Vibe

Although Jasper is a popular tourist destination, it has refused to lose the authentic mountain town vibe. The focus remains on the beautiful landscape and the many different ways to enjoy it rather than on creating a Disneyland in the Rockies. With a limited amount of tourist shops downtown and a permanent resident population of about 4,500 outdoors lovers, Jasper stays true to its roots.

Explore Athabasca Falls | Photo: Jonathan Sinclair

5. Great Places to Eat, Drink, Sleep, and Chill

Fun fact: Jasper Brewing Company is the first brew pub in a national park. That’s not the only reason to check it out either...their six signature beers are brewed on-site with a very special ingredient, mountain water sourced straight from the surrounding Rockies. If a day of exploring in the snow has given you a craving for some authentic fire roasted pizza, check out Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria. Head to Evil Dave’s Grill for a funky, upbeat vibe and “wicked” food and drinks. With a full day of adventures, a delicious meal, and a couple drinks, you’ll be ready to crash. Check out one of the many cozy options for lodging that Jasper offers and rest up to do it all again the next day.

Explore Sunwapta Falls | Photo: Jonathan Sinclair

Cover photo: Matt Clark

Don't see your favorite Jasper NP adventure on The Outbound? Show us by creating an adventure.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


10 Things you need to do in Baja

wyld honeys

Journey to Wyoming’s premier snowmobiling destination: Togwotee Mountain Lodge

Samuel Brockway

A peek through God's window

Heather Arnold

Big Bend Bound: Crafting Your 3-Day Adventure

Erin Newman-Mitchell