Jasper is a gem in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, but gets far less fanfare than its nearby cousin, Banff. It’s much smaller and less developed than Banff, and all you have to do to get out into nature and feel wild is drive a few minutes outside of the downtown area. Because it is much quieter, it is also great for wildlife viewing.
Jasper National Park has over 53 mammal species living in it, including wolves, moose, elk, cougars, and grizzly bears. We loved Jasper because of the abundance of natural beauty and the incredible hiking trails we found just outside of town.
You HAVE to make it out to Maligne Lake at sunrise if you can swing it – we even saw a pair of moose (mama and baby) along the lake as the sun rose!
There are a couple of things to consider when you’re thinking about where to stay in Jasper, and it will essentially depend on how much driving you are willing to do, and whether you want to be surrounded by nature, or in the downtown area where you’re surrounded by all sorts of restaurants and bars, among other things.
Staying outside of Downtown Jasper means you have the serenity of a mountain or lakeside retreat, but you will need to drive into Downtown Jasper if you want to try a restaurant or head to a bar.
Whatever your style and budget is, you’ll find something that fits in Jasper.
This guide to where to stay in Jasper National Park will help you find the perfect place to stay, depending on the type of vacation you’re looking for.
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Where to Stay in Jasper: A Complete Guide to the Best Hotels, Lodges, and B&B’s
Jasper is both the name of the small town, and also the beautiful national park which attracts all sorts of travelers with its stunning scenery. Getting out in nature should be at the top of your to-do list in Jasper, no matter which form that takes.
Here are some outdoor activities as well as other things to do while you’re in Jasper.
- Water sports – The lakes and rivers in Jasper are so clear, there is no better way to soak in your beautiful surroundings than on the turquoise glacial waters. In the national park, there are seemingly endless opportunities to canoe, kayak, raft, stand up paddleboard, and go fishing.
- Mountain biking – Between May and October, the weather is perfect for mountain biking. There are hundreds of miles of trails suitable for different levels, so everyone can get out and explore.
- Stargazing at the Jasper Planetarium – While the lack of light pollution means that you can see the stars from your hotel in Jasper, by visiting the planetarium, you will learn all about the stars you are seeing. They host regular talks and Q&A sessions, as well as giving visitors the chance to look through their telescopes.
- Taste the local beer at Jasper Brewing Co. – Try locally brewed beers at this brewpub and eatery. They offer tours of their facilities so you can learn a little about the brewing process and what makes their beer different. Even if you don’t book a tour, be sure to try the sample servings of their six famous beers and stop in for a bite to eat. They had cider when we were there, for gluten free folks.
- Jasper SkyTram – The Jasper SkyTram takes visitors up to Whistler Mountain in seven minutes. A guide in the SkyTram will tell you all about the mountain and the view you are admiring during the trip. At the top of the SkyTram, there are viewing platforms, hiking trails, and some restaurants. It’s worth a trip, especially if you’re not up for hiking. You’ll get all of the views with minimal effort.
On our trip, we stayed in this cozy Airbnb near Downtown Jasper. It’s small and it doesn’t have a full kitchen, but it’s affordable. Which is what we cared about at the time.
The Most Central Place to Stay: Downtown Jasper
If you want to be in the middle of all the action – bars, restaurants, shops, etc – then Downtown Jasper is the best choice for you. You’ll have everything you need for your trip basically right outside your front door, and to get to the mountains, you just need to hop in the car and drive a few minutes in any direction.
Why Stay In Downtown Jasper?
Downtown is the best place to stay in Jasper for those who like the convenience of having plenty of things around them – restaurants, bars, shops, and more.
One of the best ways to see the Canadian Rockies is by train, and both VIA Rail and the Rocky Mountaineer stop at the train station in Downtown Jasper. There are some rental car places if you want to pick up a car so you can explore Jasper National Park and all the hiking trails.
There are a lot of great places to stay in the town of Jasper; hostels, B&Bs, lodges, boutique hotels, and apartments. Even though there are plenty of restaurants around, a lot of hotels will offer rooms with kitchen facilities if you prefer to prepare some of your meals.
Jasper has everything you could possibly need for your stay. There are plenty of supermarkets, grocery stores, and delis to buy food to prepare at your hotel. There are even take out places if you just want to grab food on the way back from a busy day hiking, cycling, or kayaking.
The Best Hotels In Downtown Jasper
- Crimson Hotel – Best boutique hotel: The Crimson Hotel has 99 rooms, a mix of hotel guest rooms, suites, and self-catering studios. There is an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, and fitness facility onsite as well as an informal restaurant. This hotel is right in the middle of Downtown Jasper though, so there are plenty of dining options within a short walk. The hotel even runs a shuttle service to nearby points of interest. The Crimson Hotel wants to share the beauty of Jasper National Park with local and international guests for years to come, so they use eco-friendly toiletries to protect the local area.
- Jasper Inn and Suites – Best rooms with kitchens: Jasper Inn and Suites is one of the best hotels in Jasper for traveling families, including their pets. There are one and two-bedroom suites with plenty of space for everyone to get a little bit of quiet time to reflect on the activities of the day. They all have kitchenettes as well so you can whip up a quick breakfast or picnic lunch to take out on your adventures. Jasper Inn and Suites has free parking onsite, as well as an indoor pool and steam room and sauna to relax your tired bones after a day of hiking.
- Whistler’s Inn – Best mid-range hotel: Whistler’s Inn is right in the center of Downtown Jasper, by all the restaurants and shops. If you are traveling around Canada by train, it is right across the street from the Jasper train station. They offer standard rooms and a range of different suites, some of which can sleep up to six people. The hotel boasts a steam room and rooftop hot tub, as well as two onsite restaurants. There are even two gift shops on site if you are pressed for time to go souvenir shopping.
- Marmot Lodge – Best value hotel: This is a small hotel, just a 15 minute walk from the center of Downtown Jasper. It offers standard and deluxe rooms, as well as apartments which can sleep up to six people and have a full kitchen. As with most hotels in Jasper, there is a sauna and hot tub, but they also offer an indoor pool and hot tub for guests. The onsite restaurant is a steakhouse, and there is a cozy lounge bar with a fireplace.
Rustic Mountain Getaways: The Best Places to Stay Outside of Downtown Jasper
Staying outside of the main strip in Jasper will be a more rustic experience. You’ll pretty quickly find yourself in the woods as you drive outside of Jasper in basically any direction.
Why Stay Outside of Downtown Jasper?
While Downtown Jasper is not exactly bustling, a lot of people look to stay further away for a quieter vacation. The Jasper accommodations below are where to stay in Jasper if you want to see wildlife from the balcony of your room. They often have hotel nature walks and nearby hiking trails for you to be able to explore when you don’t feel like driving.
You will have a mix of different options available to you. There are hotels that are still walking distance or a short drive from Downtown Jasper that have a peaceful, serene wilderness lodge feel to them. Other options are in the middle of the mountains, almost an hour away from the town and offer a real secluded escape.
When deciding where to stay, it is important to take into account the distance from the town. Will it be inconvenient to drive 45 mins to town for dinner? If you want to browse the shops or pick up some groceries for a picnic, is it a hassle to have to jump in the car?
You may decide that you don’t mind driving for the odd night out in Downtown Jasper, but you’re probably going to want to choose a place to stay with a kitchenette so you can cook for yourself. Usually, these resorts will have an onsite restaurant, but you might want to have a few options for dinner. Especially cheaper options.
Best Resort Escapes Near the Town of Jasper
- Pyramid Lake Resort: (4 miles / 6 km from Downtown Jasper). The Pyramid Lake Resort is one of the best places to stay in Jasper if you want amazing lake views. Depending on your accommodation priorities, there are rooms with balconies, lake views, or fireplaces. It is only a 10 minute drive away from Downtown Jasper, so you still have access to all the shops and restaurants, but be surrounded by nature. This hotel is the only hotel on Pyramid Lake, so you get exclusive access. The Pyramid Lake Resort has a BBQ, picnic area, outdoor hot tub, and fitness center. There is also an onsite restaurant overlooking the lake that serves fresh, local produce.
- Tekarra Lodge: (Just over 1 mile / 2 km from Downtown Jasper). Tekarra Lodge is only a fifteen-minute walk from Downtown Jasper, but it has a much more peaceful, wilderness feel to it. It is right by some of the most popular hiking trails, and they offer bike rental on site so you can explore the area. They also run activities like live music, outdoor fires and smores, and interactive talks about the area. All of the cabins have kitchenettes and fireplaces to make your stay as cozy as possible. The hotel is also focused on the environment, so there are no TVs in the rooms, and wifi is limited.
- Overlander Mountain Lodge: (32 miles / 50 km from Downtown Jasper). The Overlander Mountain Lodge is nestled in the Rocky Mountains, on the edge of Jasper National Park. The Lodge offers guest rooms, cabins, and chalet-style accommodations depending on your group size. It is a 40-minute drive from Downtown Jasper, but the hotel offers a gourmet restaurant onsite as well as a craft brewery. Be sure to book a room with a mountain view to make the most of the scenery.
Best Cabins and Bungalows Outside of Jasper
If you want to go EVEN MORE rustic, there are some great cabins and bungalows outside of Jasper that would make a perfect home base for exploring the area.
- Pocahontas Cabins – Family mountain getaway: (27 miles / 43 km from Downtown Jasper). The Pocahontas Cabins are a great family option for cabins in Jasper. They have a mix of different one and two-bedroom cabins equipped with kitchens; some even have decks or fireplaces. In the summer the heated outdoor pool is open for a cooling dip and all year round the outdoor hot tub is open to guests. Pocahontas Cabins are 30 minutes away from Downtown Jasper, but there are plenty of nearby activities. A few minutes away is the remnants of Pocahontas, an old mining town. Today there is a trail which takes you through the ruins to tell the history of coal mining in Jasper. Miette Hot Springs and the nearby hiking trails are also just a few minutes away.
- Pine Bungalows – Riverfront cabins: (2.5 miles / 4 km from Downtown Jasper). Right on the banks of the Athabasca River, the Pine Bungalows offer amazing water views and wildlife opportunities. They have cabins that can sleep up to six people for larger families or groups traveling to Jasper. All of their cabins have fireplaces and heated floors, and the majority have kitchens as well. It is only a short walk or a really quick drive to Downtown Jasper though, so food options are plentiful. Pine Bungalows offer wildlife talks and BBQs, as well as walking paths and benches by the river. They pride themselves on being the best place to come to unplug and unwind, so there are no TVs in the cabins or guest rooms. Just grab a book and sit by the river, or spend time going on adventures with your family.
- Jasper House Bungalows – Cozy mountain escape: (2.5 miles / 4 km from Downtown Jasper). These cabins are all about soaking in the best of the natural surroundings. All of the cabins are built of cedarwood, and they all feature large windows to bring as much of the gorgeous surroundings into your cabin as possible. Even though it is only a short walk to Downtown Jasper, there is a restaurant on site, the Elk Village, which offers breakfast and dinner. All of the suites and cabins have kitchens, and there are a number of rooms designed especially for families. Free local newspapers are available, and there are talks by a local nature guide so you can learn about Jasper National Park and the local wildlife. The Jasper House Bungalows staff are happy to suggest walking trails or the best cafe in town, but they can also help you book activities while you are staying in Jasper. They can help you with horse riding, boating, fishing, or trips to nearby hot springs.
Camping in Jasper National Park
Camping is a fantastic way to experience the Canadian Rockies, it is extremely cost-effective, and you get to see wildlife up close. While free camping is not allowed in Canadian National Parks, there are a number of campgrounds to choose from. Book as far in advance as possible, because campsites book up extremely quickly, especially in spring and summer. Most campsites will have rules to follow to preserve the environment and for guest safety, especially in regards to storing food so you don’t attract bears.
Some of the most popular campsites in Jasper are:
All three of these offer sites for campervans and tents, depending on your preferred style of camping. There are some first-come, first-served style campgrounds in Jasper National Park, but it can be extremely tricky to get a space, especially in peak season.
Here’s a great guide to camping in Jasper if that’s the direction you want to go.
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