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Perfect Banff and Jasper Itinerary 7 days

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Discover the beauty of Alberta’s majestic landscapes with our Banff and Jasper itinerary 7 days! Embark on an epic journey of discovery as you explore some of the most stunning sites that Alberta has to offer. 

Banff National Park

From taking a dip in one of the hottest hot springs in Canada to an engaging ice walk at the Johnston Canyon or cross-country skiing in the winter, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience as you explore Banff and Jasper National Parks. 

This comprehensive guide will provide all the information you need for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! 

Banff and Jasper itinerary 7 days

Banff and Jasper road trip itinerary

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Before we get into the details, here is a quick snapshot of the 7 day Banff and Jasper itinerary

  • Day 1 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Arrive in Calgary, drive to Banff National Park and explore (Banff welcome sign, Banff Gondola, Bow Falls, Cave, and Basin Historic Site, Cascade of Time Gardens,)
  • Day 2 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Explore Canmore town and Banff (walks and hikes, hot springs, join a distillery tour)
  • Day 3 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Vermillion Lakes, Lake Minnewanka, Two Jack Lake, Johnston Canyon
  • Day 4 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Lake Louise (& Moraine Lake in the summer)
  • Day 5 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Drive the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper National Park to the Athabasca Glacier. Stop at Bow Lake, go hiking or do a guided ice walk or ride a snow coach on the glacier. Take in all the scenic mountain views
  • Day 6 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Pyramid and Patricia lakes, Jasper Skytram, Jasper town
  • Day 7 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake, Marmot Ski Resort, Athabasca falls, return

We will include activities for both the summer and winter months. During the off-season (spring and fall) some of the attractions, and hiking routes may be closed or inaccessible, we will include travel tips along the way! 

So, let’s get started,

Planning a trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks

Banff and Jasper National Parks are the crowning glories of the Canadian Rockies. Jasper is the largest of them all, and Banff is undoubtedly the most popular in the whole of Canada. 

Two Jack Lake – Banff National Park

Showstoppers like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are all located in Banff National Park. 

Jasper National Park, on the other hand, is filled with rugged beauty and charming landscapes that are hidden away from too many crowds (and in a good way).

Jasper in winter

Both Banff and Jasper are located in the province of Alberta in Canada. 

  • The nearest airport to Banff is Calgary YYC International airport (about 1.50 hour’s drive). Shuttle transfers available here
  • The nearest airport to Jasper is Edmonton YEG International airport (about a 4 hour drive. Calgary to Jasper is about 4.50 hour drive one way)

When planning your trip to the Canadian Rockies, book your flight tickets for Calgary, and then drive to Banff National Park. 

You can spend a night or two in Calgary – there are lots to do in the largest city of Alberta. 

For the purposes of this itinerary, we will kickstart in Banff, assuming you are in town the night before or in the morning hours. 

National Parks Entry Fees

There are entry fees at all the National Parks in Canada including Banff and Jasper. You can purchase a day pass or an annual pass for an individual or family/group. It’s payable at the gate as you drive/enter the park borders. 

For an adult entry, expect to pay $10.50 CAD, or $21 CAD for family/car – per day. 

Minnewanka Lake Banff National Park

Discovery Pass: We live in Alberta, and visit the National Parks often so an annual pass is worth it. 

The Discovery Pass provides unlimited admission for a full year at over 80 Parks Canada places that charge a daily entrance fee, valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. You can buy it online on the Parks Canada website. 

Views of Banff from Cascade of Time gardens

Note: Hotels do not cover park entry fees. And the entry fees are per day (valid until 4:00 p.m. on the day after purchase). 

So if you are in Banff for 1 to 24 hours, regardless of your accommodation, you will pay for a 1-day entry fee. Similarly, if you stay for additional nights, you pay per day for park entry fees.

If you are not entering the national parks but are traveling via the Trans Canada Highway, you do not need to pay any park fees.

Where to stay in Banff and Jasper National Parks?

When traveling to Banff and Jasper National Parks, there are a plethora of accommodation options available to suit any budget. From cozy bed & breakfasts to luxury hotels and resorts, you can easily find the perfect place for your stay.

During the summer months, it is possible to reserve camping spots in Banff and Jasper. 

Canmore Staycation - tosomeplacenew
Canmore Staycation

You can also find affordable accommodation in towns like Canmore (20 minutes from Banff), or stay in places like Hinton (1 hour from Jasper) or near the east entrance of the National Park for cheaper room rates. 

We will share our top hotels for each mountain town below, but for the purposes of this one week itinerary – plan to reserve rooms in both Banff and Jasper

If interested you can squeeze in one night in Lake Louise. 

Hotels in Banff and Lake Louise + Canmore:

  • Rimrock Resort Hotel: In Banff, you can choose from several luxury hotels such as the Fairmont Banff Springs, and Rimrock Resort Hotel. Rimrock Resort Hotel is a beautiful 4 star property with modern amenities and it makes for a perfect stay in the heart of the Rockies. They have an outdoor pool, luxury spa, fine dining, paid parking, and is pretty close to everything that Banff is known for. Click to view availability here
  • Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa: This is a modest 3 star hotel with a restaurant, spa, and free parking on-site. Rooms ooze a rustic, yet cozy vibe. They are located just minutes away from Banff downtown. Book your stay here
  • Elk + Avenue Hotel: We love the centrally located Elk + Avenue Hotel in Banff. They are a 3 star property, with many rooms offering mountain views. Rooms are spacious and on-site you will also find a hot tub, a sauna, and ski storage, with a restaurant, and cocktail lounge. Check availability here
Inside Basecamp Lodge Canmore
  • Fairmont Château Lake Louise: The iconic 5 star Fairmont Château is perfect for an overnight stay in this Banff and Jasper itinerary. The gorgeous lake is just steps away from the hotel, and of course, the suites are absolutely luxurious. Book your stay here
  • Basecamp Lodge Canmore: When looking to stay in Canmore consider the Basecamp Lodge/Resorts. They are located in a great spot in town, and you get free parking and basic breakfast at the lodge. The rooms are very clean, and the staff was very friendly. Check availability here
  • Falcon Crest Lodge by CLIQUE: Falcon has been our favorite in Canmore for years. You can choose bigger rooms (1-2 bedrooms) with a kitchenette – this was amazing when we visited Banff with our family from India. They also have 2 hot tubs on-site. Book your stay here

Now, let’s get on to the Banff and Jasper itinerary 7 days

Day 1 of Banff and Jasper itinerary 7 days: Arrive in Calgary, drive to Banff National Park and explore 

Start your adventure in the town of Banff from Calgary. It will take 1.50 to 2 hours to get to Banff from the airport. Drop off your luggage and let’s start exploring. 

Banff Avenue 

No trip to the Banff area is complete without a visit to Banff Avenue! 

Famous fire hydrant photo spot in Banff 🙂

Located in the heart of downtown Banff, this vibrant street is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. 

Stroll up and down the avenue to window shop at one-of-a-kind boutiques, enjoy a meal at one of its unique restaurants, or take a break and people-watch at one of the many cozy cafes. 

Pop by one of the cafes for a warm beverage (our favorites: Everlyn Coffee Bar, Whitebark, and Good Earth Cafe), or enjoy a nice meal before embarking on sightseeing. 

Pro tip: On your way out of Banff Avenue, plan to stop by The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre for a quick picture of the ‘Banff Sign’. 

Banff Gondola

The first attraction of the day is the Banff sightseeing gondola ride.

Banff Gondola is open all year round and is particularly beautiful in the winter as it gears up for the festive season with the Christmas on Mountaintop event. 

The perfect 5 day Banff Itinerary for non-hikers. Enjoy a gondola ride, hot springs with mesmerising mountain views, relax by lakes & gardens in Banff!
View from Gondola Summit

The gondola takes you to the top of Sulphur Mountain and offers some of the most breathtaking views of six mountain ranges, glacial lakes, and pristine valleys. 

This stunning 8-minute ride (one way) offers a bird’s eye view of the area’s spectacular landscape. When the weather is great, you can hike one way, and then take the gondola ride back down.

Banff Gondola in winter

At the summit, you can explore the interpretive boardwalks, and the Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site, and eat at the Sky Bistro restaurant.

At the base of the Banff gondola centre, you will find cafes, washrooms, and souvenir stores. There is ample parking space on-site. 

The Banff Gondola provides an unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever. 

Bow Falls

From the gondola site, drive to see the Bow Falls, located near Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. It is a short and easy walk to see the falls from the parking lot.

Bow Falls with rainbow
Bow Falls

They are easily accessible with a well-maintained path leading directly to the viewing area. 

In the winter months, the falls are still accessible, but the path could be slippery. 

Pro tip: Because this spot is located close to the Fairmont hotel you can stop at the complex for a Castle food tour, or just a walk around the grounds and gardens – it’s one of the prettiest hotels in the Rockies.  

Alternatively, you can go on a 45 minute hike to the Bow Falls Viewpoint. It is an easy 2.7 km (1.6 miles) out-and-back trail and is open all year round. 

From there, explore the Cave and Basin National Historic Site before heading to the Cascade of Time Gardens. 

Cave and Basin National Historic Site

Nestled at an altitude of 4,610 feet lies the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, a sanctuary of natural thermal mineral springs. 

The perfect 5 day Banff Itinerary for non-hikers. Enjoy a gondola ride, hot springs with mesmerising mountain views, relax by lakes & gardens in Banff!
Inside of the Sulphur Cave Banff National Park Alberta

You can explore the underground tunnel that leads to a spectacular grotto. 

On the site you can find a restored 1916 swimming pool and as you explore you will also get to learn about Banff’s history through interpretive displays. 

There are viewing platforms that welcome you to uninterrupted mountain views. 

Viewing platform from Cave and Basin Historic site

Furthermore, you can go on hikes or snowshoe trails throughout the area. From the Cave and Basin Historic Basin, there are 2 boardwalk trails that are worth exploring – the Marsh Loop and the Sundance Canyon Trail. 

Take a journey through the Marsh Loop, where you can take in breathtaking views of Mount Norquay and the Bourgeau Range all while completing it in just 45 minutes. 

Alternatively, explore Sundance Canyon Loop with its paved walking/cycling paths, biking options, and picnic area – available to traverse within 1.50 hours!

  • Address: 311 Cave Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1K2
  • Tickets: $8.50 CAD for adult entry

Cascade of Time Gardens

Finish off the sightseeing for the day by taking a walk in the gorgeous Cascade of Time Gardens! 

Mayuri in Cascade Gardens in Banff
Cascade Gardens in Banff

The Cascade of Time Gardens is a mesmerizing paradise, evocative of an enchanting fairytale. Its beauty is enhanced by the breathtaking mountains and its stately Tudor Gothic Revival-style administrative building.

It is one of my favorite places in Banff, and it is very close to the downtown area – so don’t miss it. Plus access is FREE!

  • Address: Cave Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1K2
  • Tickets: Free

From here, make your way to Banff Avenue for dinner and drinks!

Day 2 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Explore Banff and Canmore town (hot springs, join a brewery tour)

On day 2 of the Banff and Jasper itinerary, split your time between Banff and Canmore. Canmore is only a 20 minute drive from Banff town. 

Canmore in winter

Canmore is a pretty town, we personally enjoy our walks, hopping between cafes and local shops here. 

Here is what you can explore in Canmore in 4 to 8 hours before returning to Banff for dinner

Main Street

Hang out in Main Street, which is Canmore’s downtown area. This is where you can grab coffee, lunch, or shop for souvenirs. In the summer months, there are outdoor cafes and live music. 

View from Blondies Cafe
Blondies Cafe

Favorite coffee places: The Blondies Cafe, K Bakery, The Summit Cafe (and restaurants – The Spice Hut, The Blake, Canmore Brewing Co.)

Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk

Policeman’s Creek is one of my absolute favorite spots in Canmore. This is a short hiking trail located very close to Main Street. It is accessible all year round. 

Canmore: Policeman’s Creek

It is an easy trail and fur babies are allowed to cross the wooden boardwalk that runs through the creek, connecting the main road to a residential block. 

It’s a beautiful spot where you can take amazing photographs of the Canadian Rockies.

Canmore Banff National Park
Canmore Banff National Park

Policeman’s Creek is located near the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) Barracks. The Barracks was built in 1893 and served until 1929. It was declared an Alberta Provincial Historic Resource in 1990. 

Big Head Sculpture

Right across the road from Policeman’s Creek is a cool sculpture of a human head, half-buried and deep in thought, called the “Big Head.” 

Canmore is a great alternative to staying in Banff. Amazing views of Canadian Rockies from anywhere in the town-site. This article features a quick guide to Canmore, Alberta
Big Head Canmore

Did you know? The town’s name, Canmore, originated from its namesake town in Scotland – Ceannmore, meaning “Big Head ” in Celtic. 

Outdoor activities in and around Canmore

Canmore welcomes you to the views of the gorgeous Three Sisters! The name originates from its three peaks – Faith (Big Sister), Charity (Middle Sister), and Hope (Little Sister). From all corners of Canmore, one can revel in their beauty. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, Canmore is the ideal location to explore nature – boasting over 70 km (44 miles) of trails within its boundaries. 

3 Sisters in the winter

Here are two of the popular hikes,

Grassy Lakes: Embark on an awe-inspired journey through the Upper Grassy Lakes trail and loop! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, this 3.2 km (2.7 miles) path is suitable for all levels of hikers. During the summer months, be captivated by the mesmerizing turquoise blue waters on your route. 

Grotto Mountain Winter Hike: Winter wanderers, if you find yourself in Canmore this season, embark on an unforgettable journey through the Grotto Mountains!

Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who will show you all that the snow-covered terrain has to offer – spectacular icefalls, majestic rock formations, and more in a 4.50 hour tour. 

If you are not into hikes, you can join a brewery tour in Canmore such as The Grizzly Paw Taproom. They have an hour’s tour of the facility with samplings. Plus you get a discount to eat at their restaurant (and they have amazing views, you guys!)

After a day of sightseeing in Canmore, come back to Banff and soak in the warm waters of Upper Hot Springs.

Banff Upper Hot Springs

The Banff Upper Hot Springs was discovered in 1883. They are perfect to enjoy the ethereal view of Mount Rundle while relaxing in the outdoor pool. 

The best part they are open until 10:00 pm for the most part of the year. They are also super affordable. Be sure to pack your swimsuit and flip-flops. You can rent them on-site as well for a fee. 

  • Address: 1 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1K2
  • Tickets: $16.50 CAD for single entry

Finish your day with an amazing dinner at the Juniper Bistro with your loved ones!

Day 3 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Vermillion Lakes, Lake Minnewanka, Two Jack Lake, Johnston Canyon

Start with a morning walk at the Vermillion Lakes near downtown, and then embark on your day checking off pretty landscapes in Banff National Park. 

For breakfast today, stop at the popular TouLouLou’s. They can get super crowded for breakfast, so start early and fuel up for the day!

Vermillion Lakes (quick stop)

If you are looking for a tranquil and peaceful destination, look no further than Vermilion Lakes! 

The perfect 5 day Banff Itinerary for non-hikers. Enjoy a gondola ride, hot springs with mesmerising mountain views, relax by lakes & gardens in Banff!
Vermilion Lakes

A mere 5-minute drive away from downtown Banff along Mount Norquay Road will bring you to this stunning scenery with its series of lakes set against the majestic backdrop of Mount Rundle. 

This picturesque landscape is truly one of the most breathtaking locations in all of Banff National Park – so make sure to take some time here to enjoy it!

Lake Vermillion Banff photography

For this itinerary, Vermillion Lakes is just a quick stop. You can take a leisurely walk along Vermillion Lake Drive to admire the stunning views of Mount Rundle. 

Or stop for a few minutes to capture unforgettable mountains. 

Tip: It is possible to go on hikes in and around the Vermillion Lakes. Fenland Trail is an easy trail that we love to go on. You can also enjoy fishing (permit required) or go kayaking. 

Two Jack Lake

Two Jack Lake is a breathtaking lake located on the iconic Lake Minnewanka Loop – it’s an absolute must-visit! Two Jack and its neighbor are both majestic lakes with unique features that should not be overlooked. 

Two Jack Lake

As for Two Jack, summer months provide ample opportunity to relax in tranquility and take part in activities like swimming, kayaking or simply lounging around while enjoying a picnic or reading your favorite book. You will find picnic tables by the lakeside!

Lake Minnewanka

Immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of Lake Minnewanka which is a mere 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) away from Banff town. The picturesque views make it one of the most sought-after photo spots in Banff! 

We enjoy walking along the lakeside and you can do it! It is perfect for summer days. 

You can also join the Minnewanka Lake Cruise, which is a seasonal activity (June to September). Taking place on the iconic turquoise waters of Minnewanka Lake, this cruise offers up-close views of some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in all of Canada.

The two-hour tour departs from the lakeside and you can enjoy a glass of wine and snacks and admire the towering mountain peaks and serene wilderness that surround them. 

The Minnewanka Lake Cruise is an unforgettable experience, perfect for couples and families looking to explore the beauty of Banff National Park. 

Hiking: For those wanting to hike, embark on the 40-minute Stewart Canyon Trail

Hiking or icewalk in winter at the Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon is one of Banff National Park’s most visited attractions due to its stunning views and accessible trails. 

It is located just 32 kilometers (19.88 miles) west of the town of Banff, making it the perfect day trip destination for those looking to explore this beautiful part of Canada.

You can visit the site all year round, but it is particularly wonderful in the winter. There are options for ice walks in the morning or late afternoon with a guided tour. 

Now the main attraction in Johnston Canyon are its two waterfall hikes – the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls. Lower falls are easy for casual hikers and families with small children. 

Johnston Canyon hike

The Upper Falls is a moderately rated 5.1 kilometer (3.2 miles) hike that includes a suspension bridge for fantastic views of Johnston Creek and the canyon walls. It is one of the most popular places in Banff National Park, particularly during summer when visitors can enjoy its spectacular beauty.

Lower Falls

The Lower Falls, on the other hand, is a 2.25 kilometer (1.4 miles) hike and it is amazing in winter when the canyon walls are covered in ice. 

Along this trail, hikers will get to experience an array of stunning waterfalls that cascade down Johnston Creek as it makes its way through a deep limestone gorge.

No matter what time of year you choose to visit Johnston Canyon, you’ll be sure to leave with unforgettable memories of its almost surreal beauty. 

Day 4 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Moraine Lake in the summer, Lake Louise (optional overnight)

Set aside day 4 of this itinerary to visit Lake Louise. You can explore this Canadian Rockies poster icon on a day trip or stay here overnight to continue on the next leg of the week long trip. 

Frozen Lake Louise

From Banff, there are two routes to get to Lake Louise,

Route 1: The quicker option is Trans Canada Highway 

Route 2: Travel via the Bow Valley Parkway which is a more scenic alternative

You may like: Banff day trip to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake (summer months)

In the summer months, we recommend adding Moraine Lake to your itinerary. The road access to the lake is open only from mid June to mid October. 

The perfect 5 day Banff Itinerary for non-hikers. Enjoy a gondola ride, hot springs with mesmerising mountain views, relax by lakes & gardens in Banff!
Lake Moraine

Moraine Lake is one of the popular spots in Banff National Park, and you must start super early like 05:30 am or so, otherwise you will be waiting for a while, or struggling to find a parking spot. 

Moraine lake activities:

  • Hiking: You can go hiking in and around Moraine Lake. The Larch Valleyhike is one of the easiest hikes in the area, and lasts for 1-2 hours. Sentinel Pass is a continuation of the Larch Valley hike and will take you higher above for incredible views of the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of 732 meters. It’s a 12-km hike (round-trip)
  • If hiking is not your thing, take a short walk to admire epic views or go kayaking!

Lake Louise 

Lake Louise is a stunning turquoise lake that has become famous for its beauty and tranquility. It is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations and attracts millions of visitors each year who come to enjoy its grandeur and take part in various activities like kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and camping.

The perfect 5 day Banff Itinerary for non-hikers. Enjoy a gondola ride, hot springs with mesmerising mountain views, relax by lakes & gardens in Banff!
Lake Louise

Lake Louise can be explored all year round. When visiting from Moraine lake or Banff the driving time are as follows

  • Moraine Lake to Lake Louise is 20 minutes by car
  • Banff town to Lake Louise is 45 minutes by car

The lake itself is absolutely gorgeous and the perfect spot to take in views of towering mountains, glaciers, and dense forest. 

During summer months, you can enjoy a leisurely walk along its shoreline or set out on guided hikes in the area. For those looking for a breathtaking experience, taking a kayak across the lake is a must.

In the summer, the lake showcases its stunning turquoise blue waters. And with the long daynight hours you can be out exploring for longer, after visiting the Moraine lake in the morning. 

In the winters, popular activities include ice skating when the lake turns into a natural rink. Or you can head to the Lake Louise Ski Resort for skiing and snowboarding. 

And don’t miss out on the activities at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The hotel stands by the lake and it makes for an amazing place to enjoy afternoon tea, or go on horse-sledding. You can rent skates at the hotel. 

Note: You can stay overnight in Lake Louise on day 4. In doing so, you can start at the Peyto Lake on day 5, and then embark on the Icefields Parkway scenic route. 

Read: One day in Lake Louise itinerary

Day 5 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Drive the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper National Park to the Athabasca Glacier – ride a snow coach on the glacier. Stop at Bow Lake, go hiking or do a guided ice walk

The Icefields Parkway is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. It stretches 227 kilometers (183 miles) between Lake Louise in Banff and Jasper National Parks. 

Aerial view of vehicles on scenic Icefields Parkway highway between Banff and Jasper National Parks during summer in Alberta, Canada.
Scenic Icefields Parkway Between Banff and Jasper in Alberta

This spectacular highway connects two of Canada’s most beautiful mountain parks and provides visitors with some of the most picturesque views imaginable.

If you are driving from Banff to Jasper non stop, it will take you about 3 hours and 40 minutes. You will save about 40 minutes if you drive non-stop from Lake Louise to Jasper town. 

Good to know: Saskatchewan River Crossing is the only place offering basic services between Lake Louise (southern end of the Icefield’s Parkway) and Jasper. These services are closed in the winter so ensure you have enough gas, and food when road tripping. 

Along this route, there is so much to see and experience a variety of sights and activities, so you can easily set aside a day for this scenic drive, and then book your stay in Jasper for the night. 

Peyto Lake Views
Peyto Lake in Banff National Park at sunrise

From majestic glaciers and pristine blue lakes to lush green valleys and snow-capped peaks, the Icefields Parkway is truly a sight to behold.

  • Peyto Lake: Take a tour around Peyto Lake, one of the most beautiful and photographed lakes in Banff National Park
  • Bow Lake is also stop-worthy along the way
  • Columbia Icefield adventure: Stops along the route include the Columbia Icefield which is home to Athabasca glacier that can be seen from the specially designed Ice Explorer vehicles. Columbia Icefield Skywalk is a must see here
  • Visit Sunwapta Falls – a powerful waterfall that is one of the natural wonders of the Icefields Parkway

You may like this tour: Banff: Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour

Stay overnight in Jasper town

In Jasper National Park, accommodation options range from luxury resorts like Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge to rustic cabins and lodges. 

The town of Jasper also has a variety of hotels, motels, and hostels that offer affordable options for budget travelers.

Pocahontas Cabins in Jasper (east)
Miette Mountain Cabins (former Pocahontas Cabins in Jasper east)

Here are our top favorites:

  • Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge: The stellar 5 star Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge offers luxurious suites and resort rooms with spas and amazing restaurant facilities. In the winter you can enjoy stargazing and pond hockey. Book your stay here
  • Miette Mountain Cabins: Located super close to the Miette hot springs, these cute cabins are great for staying all year round (although the hot springs are only accessible in the summertime). It is a 2 star accommodation with a comfy bed, kitchenette, and fireplace. Parking is included. Book your stay here
  • Maligne Lodge: Maligne Lodge is perfectly situated in the heart of town and they also have an outdoor heated tub for you to use. Restaurants, shops, and tourist centres are located very close to this 2 star lodge. Check availability here

Day 6 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: Jasper National Park Pyramid and Patricia lakes, Skytram, Jasper town

Jasper is an alpine town in Jasper National Park that is known for its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. 

The perfect end to a 7 day itinerary exploring Banff and Jasper National Parks, this small town provides visitors with the opportunity to explore its many attractions.

Jasper town

The park is accessible all year round, and there are hiking as well as skiing and snowshoeing activities for you to enjoy!

For your very first day in Jasper town, wake up to an amazing breakfast at the Bear’s Paw Bakery, and then start for the beautiful Patricia and Pyramid lakes. 

Pyramid Lake - Get the ultimate Edmonton to Jasper Itinerary and guide, with a comprehensive list of things to do in Jasper and places to visit in Jasper National Park.
Downtown Jasper

Read: 3 days in Jasper itinerary

Patricia Lake

Patricia Lake is a captivating destination where you can relax and revel in the breathtaking mountain views while swimming, canoeing, or picnicking.

In the winter, it’s full of snowshoeing activities that rival those at neighboring Pyramid Lake. 

Pyramid Lake - Get the ultimate Edmonton to Jasper Itinerary and guide, with a comprehensive list of things to do in Jasper and places to visit in Jasper National Park.
Patricia Lake at Jasper National Park

When summer months roll in, you can enjoy a variety of canoe and kayak tours – swimming included! Not to mention it’s an ideal spot to observe wildlife within Jasper National Park’s borders.

The resort – Patricia Lake Bungalows –  at this tranquil spot includes boating facilities and rentals for more outdoor fun.

Pyramid Lake and Island

Nestled at the base of Pyramid Mountain, a magnificent and towering icon that watches over Jasper, lies Pyramid Lake. This body of water sits comfortably 1,180 meters above sea level.

Pyramid Lake Island in winter

It is one of the prettiest areas in Jasper for unwinding and admiring the natural beauty of the Rockies. 

In the summer, kayaking and hiking are popular along with picnicking. Winters are perfect for hikes as well as snowshoeing. 

Get the ultimate Edmonton to Jasper Itinerary and guide, with a comprehensive list of things to do in Jasper and places to visit in Jasper National Park.
Pyramid Lake

Other winter activities include dog sledding rides and skating. 

Pyramid Lake Resort is located near the site, and it is perfect to step in for a cuppa of cocoa in the winter.

Jasper SkyTram – Jasper Gondola

Canada’s highest and longest aerial tramway is none other than the Jasper Skytram!

Jasper Skytram

In the late afternoon, take an excursion on the Jasper SkyTram for fantastic views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. The trip duration is about 7 minutes. 

When summer is in full swing, the Skytram opens at 8:00 a.m.; when autumn arrives, it opened its doors slightly later – at 09:00 and 10:00 a.m. In the winter, they are closed for the season. 

  • Address: Whistlers Rd, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0
  • Tickets

Town of Jasper 

The town of Jasper is home to some excellent restaurants and pubs that offer delicious cuisine, ranging from local specialties such as bison burgers and elk steaks to more global fare. 

Book: Jasper downtown foodie tour

You can also take advantage of the town’s many cultural galleries as well as its unique shopping experience.

Jasper town

No matter what your interests are, you’ll be sure to find something that appeals to you in this charming mountain town. 

Explore Jasper and enjoy its stunning wilderness, bustling attractions, and laid-back atmosphere!  

Beer sampling at the Jasper Brewing Co
Beer sampling at the Jasper Brewing Co

For dinner, pop by Jasper Brewing Co for comfort food and beer samples!

Day 7 of Banff and Jasper itinerary: More of Jasper National Park Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake, Marmot Ski Basin, Athabasca Falls

For your final day in Jasper explore more of its natural wonders. 

Maligne Canyon 

Maligne Canyon is a breathtaking sight to behold and just 12-15 minutes away from downtown Jasper. 

Over the years, its waters have sculpted rugged terrain filled with stunning craters that now form part of this majestic landscape. 

Pyramid Lake - Get the ultimate Edmonton to Jasper Itinerary and guide, with a comprehensive list of things to do in Jasper and places to visit in Jasper National Park.
Maligne Canyon

At Maligne Canyon, you’ll find not only waterfalls but also underground streams, birdsong, the captivating flora, and fauna – all framed by magnificent rock formations. 

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner wanting to explore nature’s beauty at your own pace; there are trails for everyone here!

Hiking or ice walks: The Maligne Canyon Loop Trail is a picturesque 3.4 km (2.11 miles) path with breathtaking waterfalls, perfect for nature enthusiasts looking to go bird watching or take a leisurely stroll. 

Rated at moderate level difficulty and enjoyable in fair weather conditions, this hike adds an element of joy and adventure to any outdoor journey!

Maligne Lake (summer)

When it comes to mountain scenery, Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park is hard to beat. Its rare turquoise waters boast an enchanting Spirit Island and are framed by soaring peaks. On a clear day, you can also spot three glaciers from the lake shore!

Great for a summer drive, the route from Jasper road to Maligne Lake provides some of the most spectacular views available within Canada’s Rocky Mountains; including majestic Maligne Canyon and Hanging Valley viewpoint.

As you traverse along the Maligne Lake scenic byway, take time to marvel at the stunning panoramic views of both the Elizabeth and Maligne Mountain ranges. 

Spirit Island

This is a journey that will captivate your senses with its glacier-fed lakes, majestic mountainscapes, and an array of wildlife on display!

Once you are at the lakeside, enjoy its beauty and go on a cruise. 

Book: Wildlife & Waterfalls Tour with Maligne Lake Cruise

Marmot Ski Basin (winter)

Marmot Basin is a great alpine ski resort located in Jasper National Park, Alberta. It sits at an impressive 8,000-foot+ elevation and offers amazing skiable terrain from mid-November to early May. 

Jasper - Marmot Ski Resort
Jasper – Marmot Ski Resort

You can pay for single or multiple visits (seasonal passes). 

Marmot Basin has 91 serviced runs. You can take your pick from a variety of terrain for all abilities, whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned expert. 

In addition to its many ski runs, Marmot Basin also features some great amenities such as the ski school, rental shop, and day lodge. 

The ski school offers lessons for all skill levels, and the rental shop has everything you need to hit the slopes. 

There are 3 day lodges which are a great place to refuel with a wide variety of snacks, drinks, and meals to keep your energy up as you shred down the mountain. The restaurant on-site is also beautiful!

  • Address: 1 Marmot Rd, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0

Athabasca Falls

A short drive (20 minutes) from the town of Jasper resides one of nature’s finest artworks – Athabasca Falls. 

A mammoth waterfall cascading over 23 meters, it has carved its way through quartzite and limestone mountains to form a jaw-dropping canyon filled with potholes illuminated by a misty glow. 

Athabasca Falls - Get the ultimate Edmonton to Jasper Itinerary and guide, with a comprehensive list of things to do in Jasper and places to visit in Jasper National Park.
Athabasca Falls

The Falls are also accessible in the winter but are wary of slippery viewing platforms (and wear cleats for safety). 

The immense force of the Falls comes from the glaciers at Columbia Icefield along the Icefields Parkway; thus making it an unparalleled marvel in all of Jasper National Park!

Note: From here you can drive back along the Icefields Parkway to Banff and then to Calgary to fly out (3.50 + hours). 

Or take the drive to Edmonton (4 hours from Jasper) and drop off the car rental in the capital city. 

4 day Banff and Jasper itinerary: A short Banff Jasper Road trip itinerary

If you drive non stop from Banff to Jasper, it will take about 3.50 hours (one way), so it is totally possible to complete this road trip in around 4 days. 

Here is a suggested Banff Jasper itinerary 4 days

Day 1: Arrive in Calgary and drive to Banff National Park. Spend a day in Banff embarking on the gondola ride, Bow Falls, downtown area, Cascade of Time gardens, and Vermillion Lakes in the evening 

Day 2: Head to the prettiest Moraine Lake (early hours). From there drive to Yoho National Park which is located in British Columbia. It is also a part of the Canadian Rockies mountain range. (Driving time is 30 minutes from Moraine Lake). 

Yoho National Park in October
Yoho National Park – Natural Bridge

In Yoho National Park, you can visit the Natural Bridge over the Kicking Horse River, Emerald Lake, and Takakkaw Falls. 

For an overnight stay, you can either book a place in Lake Louise or head back to Banff. 

Day 3: Drive the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper National Park to the Athabasca Glacier (for Columbia Icefield adventure). 

Stops include Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls

Day 4: Explore Patricia and Pyramid Lakes in Jasper, along with its cute town. Soak in the waters of Miette hot springs in the summer. Stop by Maligne Canyon, before heading back to Banff/Calgary to fly out

Sightseeing Map: Banff Lake Louise Jasper Itinerary 7 days

Click to view the full map

Additional Tips: Exploring the Wonders of Banff and Jasper in 7 Days 

Here are some more travel tips for your upcoming Banff and Jasper trip,


Here in Canada, the sole accepted currency is the Canadian dollar. In Banff and other national parks throughout our country, credit cards and debit cards are widely used for payments. 

If you need to take out cash from an ATM, those machines can be found at banks, hotels, and shopping malls across Banff.

When is the best time to visit Banff?

The popular time to visit Banff National Park is during the summer. The months of June, July, and August are usually warm and sunny. 

Summer time in Banff Ave
Summer time in Banff Ave

During this time, many outdoor activities are available such as hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, and much more. 

Because of the higher elevation, however, temperatures can still be cold in the evenings and early mornings.

During the winter months, Banff and Jasper National Parks transform into a winter wonderland. Skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing are just some of the activities available during this time and the views of sparkling white landscapes will take your breath away. 

Winter hikes in Jasper

However, be aware that temperatures can drop to very cold levels so it is important to bring adequate warm clothing.

In our experience visiting the Canadian Rockies over 12+ years is that – fall is the best time to explore the parks. This is where crowds have disappeared and hotels are slightly cheaper. Plus restaurants and trails are not busy, etc. 

Driving and transportation tips for visiting Banff and Jasper National Parks

The Canadian Rockies are vast, unique, and beautiful. To make the most of your time in the national parks, it is important to plan ahead when it comes to transportation. 

Here are some useful tips on getting around:

Driving in the Rockies

Car rental: Renting a car is a great way to explore both Banff and Jasper. It allows you to travel at your own pace and visit the attractions that you want to see most. 

You can reserve a car online, and pick it up when you arrive at the Calgary airport. It is possible to drop off the vehicle in Edmonton (an alternative airport to fly out)

Bus: If you don’t feel like driving, taking the bus is another economical option for getting around the parks. Both Banff and Jasper have public transportation networks, so you can easily get to where you need to go.

From Calgary to Banff town, shuttle buses can be booked (private or small group transfers). ROAM buses are available to connect you inside the national park. Or a hop on and hop off bus pass can be bought.

To travel from Banff/Lake Louise to Jasper, you can use Sundog Connector. You can choose your pick-up and drop-off location when booking tickets online. 

Icefields Parkway in winter
Icefield Parkway from Jasper towards Banff

Sundog Tours operates a scheduled bus service from downtown Jasper to Lake Louise. The journey takes about 3.50 hours. You can also book bus tickets via Busbud. 

In Jasper, you can reserve shuttle buses to the ski resort or book day tours. 

Tour companies: There are a variety of tour companies that offer private and guided tours of the national parks. This is a great option for those who want to explore but don’t want to drive or take the bus.

Read: Our 7 day Canadian Rockies itinerary 

More Canadian Rockies travel tips

When visiting the beautiful Banff and Jasper National Parks, it’s important to take a few precautions in order to ensure your safety and that of the wildlife. 

Here are some top tips for making sure you have an enjoyable trip:

Respect the wildlife – never feed or approach wild animals as they can be unpredictable and dangerous

Pack appropriate clothing and supplies – the weather can change quickly, so bring layers and rain gear

Stay on marked trails – it’s important to stay on designated trails in order to avoid getting lost or injured when on hikes

Be aware of your surroundings – keep an eye out for signs warning of wildlife, hazardous terrain, and other potential dangers 

Plan ahead – book accommodation and transportation in advance to avoid disappointment during peak season

Budget your spending – there are plenty of budget-friendly options for accommodations and activities in the parks

Check: Our Canadian Rockies Road trip itinerary ebook

Banff and Jasper National Parks are two of Canada’s premier destinations, offering breathtaking natural beauty and plenty of activities to explore. 

With the right preparation and planning, you can make the most of your visit, ensuring an unforgettable experience. So start packing your bags and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! 

Read our Canada travel guides:

Pin: Get a Taste of Canada’s Finest: A 7-Day Banff and Jasper itinerary

One week in Banff and Jasper Itinerary

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One Comment

  1. Thank You Mayuri. Your blog has been a good resource for us to plan our Rockies trip later this year

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