Are you an early bird or night owl? Why don’t you take advantage of your favourite time of day when visiting Jasper’s most popular locations! Go early and catch the sun rising above the mountains, breathe in that fresh mountain air and listen to the bird’s chirp as they begin their day. Not a morning person, no sweat, go in the evening and watch the sunset fall behind the mountains and the hustle and bustle of the busy summer day begin to calm. This my friend, is how you avoid crowds in Jasper National Park!

Let’s face it, many visitors come to Jasper to escape the busy life, to connect with nature and take in the stunning vistas and views. Jasper National Park is a very popular place to visit, especially during the summer months. Not only is time of day a way to escape crowds, time of year is as well.

From May to October, the park is at its peak visitation – but from November to April it’s still just as special, perhaps even more so. There is something quite magical about the winter months in Jasper National Park. It may be the picture perfect snow peaked mountains or the abundance of winter activities, it’s a great time of year to visit. What’s any better than getting your daily dose of vitamin D while skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking (or whatever suits your fancy) and then warming up fireside in the evening? Now that’s the magic of winter in Jasper!

What’s another way to avoid crowds in Jasper? If you answered, ‘time of week’ then you are correct! This isn’t always the case during the summer months, but most often Monday through Thursday is less busy.

So now that you have the scoop on how to avoid the crowds, here are some more tips and tricks and best times to visit Jasper’s most popular locations and some lesser explored locations too.


General advice

Jasper National Park is the second most visited national park in the country, and for good reason – it’s breathtakingly beautiful. But with this level of attraction, comes a price, and it’s in the currency of visitors, many visitors. During the summer months the townsite is near capacity, but there are ways to avoid the crowds:

Go early

Most of Jasper's popular areas get busy around 10 am. Escape the crowds and visit these heavily attended spectacular places bright and early!

Tip: Eat breakfast en-route, or consider bringing a snack to enjoy on site. Make sure to always clean up after yourself and dispose of garbage properly. Human food and garbage kills wildlife.

 
 
Go late

Jasper's summer evenings are long. Take advantage of the late afternoon and evening sun to explore areas when most people have finished for the day.

Tip: Evening light makes for even better photographs. Bring a tripod for better dusk photos! If you’re really a night owl, take in the stars in the world’s second largest dark sky preserve (you read that right!). If you’re really lucky, you may experience the incredible auroras.

‘BYOB’

Bring Your Own Bike’ or rent one! Avoid traffic and full parking lots all together. Pack a lunch and use pedal power. Jasper National Park’s bike trails connect many popular areas from your hotel doorstep or tent flap. It’s a win-win for your health and the well-being of the park. Many small efforts together make a big difference.

Tip: Take it easy while biking, some rental locations rent e-bikes. They provide a bit of assistance while peddling and are a great way to get from the campgrounds/town to the beaches and other popular attractions.

Visit lesser known places

If you are still looking for gorgeous views and a little walk, but want to avoid the busy hot spots, check out these lesser known places in the park.

Tip: Many of these locations have small parking lots – best to try to go early in the morning or later in the afternoon/evening, if possible.

Jasper House short hike 

Jasper’s most popular locations

Whether you are travelling by bike or car, here are the Jasper ‘hot spots’ and the busiest times of day:

Around town
Lake Annette

Around Town
Popular locations Busiest time of day # of parking spaces Bike option from town or campground Vehicle size restrictions
Lake Annette and Lake Edith 10 am - 5 pm 164 Yes Yes: 7.5 m
Pyramid Lake Island 10 am - 5 pm 8 Yes Yes: No RVs
Pyramid Lake Beach 10 am - 5 pm 58 Yes Yes: 7.5 m
Valley of the Five 10 am - 5 pm 110 Yes No restrictions
Maligne Valley
Maligne Lake
Maligne Valley
Popular locations Busiest time of day # of parking spaces Bike option from town or campground Vehicle size restrictions
Maligne Canyon 9 am - 6 pm 134 Yes No: *Overflow parking available
Medicine Lake 10 am - 6 pm 14 No Yes: 7.5 m
Maligne Lake – main or day-use area parking 10 am - 5 pm 297 No Yes: 7.5 m (RV parking in upper lots)
Maligne Lake – Bald Hills 10 am - 5 pm 85 No Yes: 7.5 m (limited space)
Jasper East and Miette Hot Springs
Miette Hot Springs
Jasper East an Miette Hot Springs
Popular locations Busiest time of day # of parking spaces Bike option from town or campground Vehicle size restrictions
Miette Hot Springs / Sulphur Skyline 10 am - 4 pm 200 No Yes: 7.5 m
Jasper Lake 10 am - 4 pm 75 No Yes: 7.5 m
Mount Edith Cavell
Mount Edith Cavell
Mount Edith Cavell
Popular locations Busiest time of day # of parking spaces Bike option from town or campground Vehicle size restrictions
Mount Edith Cavell Path of the Glacier Trail 10 am - 5 pm 124 No Yes: 7.5 m
Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93)
Columbia Icefields
Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93)
Popular locations Busiest time of day # of parking spaces Bike option from town or campground Vehicle size restrictions
Athabasca Falls 10 am - 7 pm 93 No No: but limited space
Sunwapta Falls 10 am - 6 pm 30 No Yes. 7.5 m (very limited space)
Columbia Icefields Centre / Glacier Gallery 11 am - 5 pm 530 No No restrictions
Toe of the Glacier 11 am - 5 pm 85 No Yes: 7.5 m (very limited space)
Wilcox Pass Trailhead 11 am - 4 pm 26 No Yes: 7.5 m (very limited space)

Lesser known locations

Looking for an alternate location, a place that is a little quieter than the popular attractions? Keep in mind, these are easy, family friendly places to visit, if you’re looking to venture beyond and go off the beaten path, then check out our Day Hiking Brochure.

Alternate locations
Meeting of the Waters picnic area

Alternate locations
Maligne Valley Jasper East and Miette Hot Springs Mount Edith Cavell and 93A Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93)
Maligne Overlook
Beaver Lake short hike
Snaring (Moberly Homestead)
Pocahontas Mine Trail
Jasper House short hike
Moab Lake short hike, Meeting of the Waters picnic area
Leach Lake day use area
Mount Christie picnic area Red Chairs
Lower Sunwapta Falls short hike
Did you know?
 
 

Over 2.5 million visitors drive Jasper roads every year. Safe driving is key to an enjoyable holiday. You may see wildlife by the road and throughout the park. Wild animals feed and travel near roads but this does not mean the animals are tame. Unsafe wildlife encounters in the park have more than doubled in the last ten years. The number of unsafe wildlife traffic jams has increased by 92% in this same period. These incidents often result in injury, harm, or death for animals and humans. Whether you are exploring in the morning, afternoon, evening or night, please be aware that you are sharing this wondrous place with wild animals. Their survival is dependant on your actions. For your and their safety, give the animals the space they need. When on the trails, make lots of noise and bring bear spray and know how to use it.