We’re not sure if it’s the fresh mountain air, the wide-open spaces, the abundant wildlife, or the sweet maple syrup and Canadian bacon, but there’s something about Jasper, this small town in the Canadian Rockies that sets it apart from any other mountain destination in North America.
Jasper, Alberta, Canada is both a town and a national park. The town itself is located within Jasper National Park and much like Canada itself, the community invites the world to visit, explore, relax, and indulge. It is so welcoming, in fact, that it seems to celebrates pride every day–although the actual pride festival is in April.
After flying into Edmonton International Airport, pick up a rental car and make the 3.5-hour drive west into the Rockies. Scenic cruises around Jasper and the famous Icefields Parkway are the best way to see this place. Within Jasper’s borders, you’ll find a charming, diverse, LGBTQ-friendly local community replete with modern amenities for visitors: luxury accommodations, spas, a large ski resort spanning multiple mountain faces, dining, shopping, and of course an abundance of four-season adventure.
Imagine a luxury property that is an adult-version of what summer camp used to be. Log cabins nestling the shores of a mountain lake, winter and summer activities, and freedom to explore. This Fairmont property is like no other Fairmont around. Each cabin and room is unique in location and layout, and is everything you’d expect from a cozy Canadian Rocky Mountain getaway. The larger lodge is centrally located to the cabins and its restaurant serves up Rocky Mountain and Canadian culinary favorites. It also features a spa, a year-round outdoor pool and hot tub, games rooms, and a gathering common area situated next to grand stone fireplaces and cabin-chic decor.
The hotel has on-site winter rentals for biking, skating on the lake, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and the on-site Jasper Planetarium experience. Jasper National Park is the world’s largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve and the Fairmont is home to the largest telescopes in the Rockies and experts to help you make sense of it all.
Marmot Basin is a large ski resort with small resort crowds. Expert and beginner terrain both offer stunning Rocky Mountain panoramas. Enjoy more laps on the mountain than you can handle because there’s no waiting in lift lines here, even on a fresh powder day. Marmot Basin is a hidden gem offering everything you’d expect from a large resort destination–except the high prices.
Sightseeing & exploring
This Rocky Mountain destination begs to be explored, and Jasper has adventures in store you probably didn’t even know existed. Explore the pristine countryside in day trips organized by Sundog Tours. Excursions include a dramatic ice walk through Maligne Canyon on a frozen river deep in a canyon. Along the way, you’ll see dramatic ice formations, caves and winter wildlife up close. The drive along Icefields Parkway, rated among top in the world, shows off waterfalls and glaciers. There are also enchanting dogsled and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Wanna get outside your comfort zone: Try an introductory ice climbing excursions.
Dine & indulge
After the adventures of the day, relax and enjoy an Après, a Jasper tradition not to be missed. Canadian Rockies craft beer was born here using the freshest glacial water and Jasper Brewing Company serves up delicious brews to match the bites. Evil Dave’s Grill serves local Canadian favorites bison, elk, and Alberta beef to satisfy those big mountain appetites.
The next morning, Coco’s Cafe is the perfect morning stop to power up on the way to day of exploring.
The eateries are conveniently located in Jasper. The Fairmont (a 10-minute drive outside of the townsite) boasts the scenic Emerald Lounge. Overlooking the lake and beside the crackling fire, indulge in a custom Old Fashioned, cocktails with local spirits, and a first-rate food menu to compliment it all.
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Watch as we explore Jasper and its pride through the eyes of its LGBTQ locals: