As a keen winter athlete, it is still a dream of mine to do winter sports in Canada. I feel like winter sports suddenly became so much more than just skiing. In my twenties I made a great road trip through the West of Canada. After visiting Jasper National Park I knew for sure: if it is so beautiful here in the summer, how beautiful can it only be in the winter? I remember so well that just before we drove into the town we saw moose standing. You’ll never forget something like that! Why winter sports in Edmonton and Jasper are on my bucket list? You’ll find out here. In this blog I share nine tips for planning an unforgettable winter sports holiday!
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9 X tips for wintersports in Jasper National Park from Edmonton
Discover Edmonton: Edmonton is a surprisingly fun artsy city, where there are lots of great things to do both in summer and winter. It is the capital of the province of Alberta and besides nice restaurants and craft breweries, you can also shop well there. Start or end your Canadian winter sports adventure in Edmonton and you’ll actually make a trip-in trip combining both the city and nature! Discover lots of tips for Edmonton here >>
Take a winter road trip: A car is a must in Canada! From Edmonton, the winter sport areas are easily accessible, and many winter sports holidays offer a package holiday including a rental car. To Jasper National Park it’s about a four-hour drive and along the way you’ll pass enough smaller towns where you can stop to eat and drink something like Hinton. Please note that the travel time in winter may be longer depending on the weather conditions, so make sure you leave on time.
Stay in Jasper: Always wanted to stay in one of those typical winter sports lodge? This is your perfect spot! In Jasper there are several good hotels and lodges that are also catered for winter tourists. Often they have an indoor pool, cozy lobby with a fireplace, or maybe even a Jacuzzi outside. If you stay outside the village, make sure that your hotel also has a good restaurant, so you don’t have to grab the car every night to get something to eat. Distances are often not suitable to walk in Canada. Therefore, a hotel or lodge in the town itself can be nice. Then you walk right into the main street in the evening to grab a bite to eat and you can try a new restaurant every night. Check out tips for Jasper >>
Skiing in Marmot Basin: About a 20-minute drive from Jasper you’ll find the Marmot Basin ski area. Skiing in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is known for its special powder snow. Also nice: the ski area is snow sure! The snow falls between October and May and because it is so high you can ski here until very late in the season. The average ski season in Marmot Basin lasts six months! There are 7 lifts, 91 pistes and the longest descent is 5.6 kilometers in a while. On the slopes there are several restaurants, such as Paradise Chalet and the Eagle Chalet. Travel companies affiliated with Snow Sure Deals often offer trips that include a ski pass, ski gear can be hired on site from one of the ski shops.
Jasper National Park: Did you know that Jasper National Park, which includes the town of Jasper and marmot basin ski area, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? The area is about 11,000m2 in size and in addition to impressive nature, glaciers, cliffs and forests you will find many wild animals, such as bighorn sheep, coyotes, beavers and elk. Highlights that are impressive to see: Columbia Icefield with the world famous Athabasca Glacier and the famous Maligne Lake. In the summer world famous for the green water, in winter a white fairy tale landscape.
Take a winter wildlife tour: Even in winter, Jasper National Park offers plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities. On an excursion, you’ll take an experienced wildlife guide to the lower-lying areas like the Athabasca Valley. With a van, this tour will include a chance to spot wolves, elk, bighorn sheep, deer and perhaps coyotes. Fun: this tour can also be made with children from two years old onwards.
Dark Sky Experience: What makes winter sports in Canada so special are the other activities you can also do there. As stargazing during a Dark Sky Experience at the Planetarium at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. There you will also find the largest telescope in the Rocky Mountains with which the starry sky can be seen extra well. And did you know that at the jasper national park also has a chance to spot the Northern Lights!
Husky track in Valemount: I was allowed to do this in Lapland once and it’s so special. If you ever have a chance to book or undertake this, you should definitely do it. About a 90-minute drive from Jasper, valemount takes you on a 5-6 hour tour with a dog sled through the Yellowhead Pass. Tip: A transfer can be arranged, so that after this special experience you don’t have to drive back to Jasper.
Ask the expert: My last tip is not to want to invent the wheel yourself, but to enlist the help of an expert who knows the area – especially in winter. On Snow Sure Deals, you can get a lot more inspiration for a future winter sports trip to Western Canada. They work together with the real Canada connoisseurs who have been planning winter trips to the Canadian Rocky Mountains for years. For example, Tioga Tours, which have already put together three beautiful trips ranging from nine to eleven days. You always combine Edmonton with several days on the slopes! Because of Tioga Tours tailor-made travel, it is always possible to adapt elements from the trip to your personal wishes. Think of an upgrade in terms of hotels, but also for example adding specific excursions. This way, your winter sports trip to Jasper will really be a bucket list trip to remember. Check out three example winter sports trips to Edmonton & Jasper >>
Dream now, travel later
Fly with KLM to Edmonton International Airport as soon as the weather makes it possible. This airline will take you to this gateway of the Canadian Rocky Mountains the fastest and most comfortable. Keep an eye on travel advice for Canada and check klm’s website for more information about tickets and the flight schedule.
Have fun planning your winter sports trip in Canada! Something special for your bucket list and certainly a trip where the preparations already contribute to a good dose of anticipation.
Dream now, travel later!
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