We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

3 *or* 5 nights in Jasper with kids?

Which Jasper hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
New Mexico
Level Contributor
16 posts
Save Topic
3 *or* 5 nights in Jasper with kids?

I'm mom traveling with 2 children 10 & 12 and hope to be in Jasper the 3rd week in June. We'll be coming up from Seattle. We will go to Jasper from Vancouver (as well as returning to same) by VIA rail.

Due to the VIA rail schedule, we have a choice of either staying 3 nights or 5 nights in Jasper. Which would be better? Will 5 nights/days seem too long in that one area?

Since we won't have a car, I might guess we'd have to rent a car for some of the sights and activities. But I'm hoping that if we stay at a home stay type accommodation in town, we'd be able to get to some things without a car?

lost in Ohio
Level Contributor
2,255 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 3 *or* 5 nights in Jasper with kids?

You will go TOTALLY out of your mind for that long in Jasper without a way to get around. There isnt much of a town -- just two streets of two or three blocks, mostly with restaurants and some shops.

Unless you are staying at one of the places outside the main town where your kids can run around and have a good time -- like Pyramid or Becker -- you will not have a successful visit.

What do you want to do in Jasper? That will decide how long you want to be there. If you want to hike, you could spend a month. If you want to walk around town, then an afternoon will be enough. You get the point.

There are maybe a half dozen "sight seeing spots" in the area -- none of which you can get to without a car. So unless you rent a car, hire a guide, or call a cab, you cannot do it.

Places to consider seeing include:

The town itself, with the Visitor Center and the RR Station

Maligne Road, and Maligne Canyon -- the Canyon is just outside town, the Road takes you to Maligne Lake in about an hour.

The boat to Spirit "Island" -- not my thing, but it sure is popular.

Mount Edith Cavell -- may not be open by then, probably will be -- it a long windy road to the edge of a famous glacier that is hardly there anymore. Good hiking area too.

The Gondola -- again not my thing, but it will get you into the alpine zone quickly. You can hike from there too.

Miette Hot Springs -- the smell will gross your kids out. The dont call it Sulphur Ridge for nothing.

Mt Robson -- which is an hour to the west by car.

Sunwapta Falls, Athabasca Falls -- about 1/2 hour by car to the south.

Again -- if you are a hiker/walker, there is more to do than can ever be done. Otherwise, I wouldnt recommend you linger past the 3 days

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
18,414 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 3 *or* 5 nights in Jasper with kids?

If you are without a car, you will probably want a home accommodation that is more centrally located, so that you can walk around town, to restaurants, the pool etc. At the Jasper Home Accommodation Association website - www.stayinjasper.com , there is a map of the town, with block/address numbers. Jasper is only about two miles long, with the 100 numbers starting at the north end of town, ending at 1200 at the south/west end. Downtown is the 500 and 600 blocks. The pool is, I believe, at 400 Pyramid, so also quite centrally located. So, pay attention to the street address of the accommodation, it will give you some indication about how close they are to downtown. (300 to 800 will be closest to downtown.)

It is difficult to see the sights of Jasper NP without a vehicle. It seems like most things are about an hour's drive from town - the Miette Hotsprings, Maligne Lake, the Columbia Icefields, Mt. Edith Cavell, and Mt. Robson (in Mt. Robson Provincial Park in BC). Rafting is available right from town - the rafting companies bus you out to the "put-in" and bring you back to town when it's over. The stables are both about 15 minute drive from town - or about a 45 to 60 minute walk. You could always walk one way and taxi the other. If you are trying to keep the cost down, you could rent a car for some of the time. There is a shuttle from town to the Jasper tramway, and Maligne Tours also operates a shuttle up to Maligne Lake.

The VIA train arrives and departs Jasper in the middle of the day (and is often a litle bit late), so even though you might have five nights, you really only would have four full days, plus the two partial ones. Three nights might be a little short, in that you'd have two full days, and two partials. I guess it depends on your travel style and how much ground you want to cover. I personally prefer longer stays and fewer transfers - checking in/out and getting to/fro tends to eat up a lot of time.

New Mexico
Level Contributor
16 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: 3 *or* 5 nights in Jasper with kids?

Thanks to the both of you; CanadaRockiesNut and krp239----- these are very insightful thoughts and observations. Sometimes one just gets so MEGO (my eyes glaze over) when planning and thinking about things. It really helps to have others who know the territory clarify things.

Renting a car would be fine; others have mentioned to be sure and book the car ahead. It seems like there is plenty to do for the alloted time and we like the outdoors. I agree that on an extended trip, it's kinda nice to settle in for a few days before hitting the road, er, rails again.

Thanks guys!