One of the greatest things about Valemount is it’s proximity to Jasper National Park. Being the closest community to the west of Jasper Park makes it a great option for easy day trips there. Not only for people who live in Valemount but people from all over the world will enjoy a magical vacation in Jasper National Park. This article will give you the details on traveling to Jasper with your family whether your traveling from near or afar.
We totally get how difficult it can be to travel as a family, especially those with young children. Making sure you pack all the hockey equipment, the snowboards, the helmets, the toques and all those little mittens (that seem to get lost in outer space) – the list goes on and on. If you’re reading this, you probably already heard and read about Jasper, Alberta. It comes as no surprise that Jasper National Park was recently voted North America’s #1 Ski Town by USA Today. This quaint and humble town is situated deep in the Canadian Rockies and offers a perfect mix of tourist activities with a small town feel in addition to a great family friendly ski resort called Marmot Basin.
Where to Stay in Jasper
To get a feel for all that Jasper National Park has to offer at the most convenient travel plans, we recommend staying in the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This (affordable) 5 star luxury lodge hosts many styles of accommodation from basic hotel rooms to luxury cabin rentals situated along the scenic shores of Beauvert Lake. Not to mention, the hotel is also VERY pet friendly (and we know how important dogs are in the family). Their hotel ambassador is a dog named Stanley, and he’s pretty cute. For those who don’t plan on skiing at Marmot Basin, you literally never have to step foot off your resort and will have everything you need right at your doorstep and still experience all that Jasper has to offer.
What to do in JFPL
For those who enjoy the luxuries of a relaxing getaway, the JFPL has a world class spa offering massages, body spa treatments, facials, manicures, pedicures and much more. Pamper yourself in the hair salon while your kids take a dive in a heated outdoor pool & hot tub. You will also find an array of spa related activities like a sauna, steam room and fitness centre. Each day the lodge offers different activities such as yoga and zumba. For the kids, you can find activities such as s’more making, movie nights and a planetarium for stargazing. If shopping and art is right up your alley, you will find a vast array of boutiques and art galleries to keep you busy for an afternoon.
Situated Among the Property of JFPL
Our favourite thing about JFPL is that the property offers all of the outdoor activities you can find in town without ever having to drive anywhere (which makes traveling as a family so much easier). Spend an afternoon ice skating on the groomed ice at Mildred Lake and don’t forget to bring your hockey sticks for a family game of hockey in one of the many hockey rinks they have designed inside the outer rink. Don’t worry if you forget to bring any gear, the lodge offers a shop for all your rental needs. Located outside of the rental shop is a beautiful toboggan hill where the kids can burn off some energy playing in the snow. If you need to warm up indoors, the lodge offers two indoor ‘play’ areas. One play room is designed for younger children to get creative and use their imaginations with some toys and colouring opportunities. And for the older kids, a game room with a pool table, playstation, foosball, shuffleboard, and ping pong to stay busy.
What to Eat in JFPL
JFPL offers 5 restaurants with breakfast buffets, Italian fusion, gourmet sushi, pub style and more. Our favourite part of the day is having a seat in front of the cozy fire in Emerald Lounge, talking about our day while enjoying a delicious meal with the family. The best part is that children 5 and under eat totally free! YES, FREE. While kids 12 and under eat 50% off the regular menu making your family vacation that much more enjoyable (because who doesn’t love to save money?). Don’t feel like leaving your room? You’re in luck because they offer a great menu that can be delivered right to your door.
Traveling to Marmot Basin
Getting the family gathered up in their skiing/snowboarding gear can be quite the struggle so let the lodge handle your problems. The lodge offers a free shuttle to Marmot Basin that leaves at 8:15am for the early risers and 10:30am for the late risers with two shuttles coming back from the ski hill in the late afternoon. One thing we noticed immediately is that Marmot Basin can be difficult to find parking as the only parking lot is situated midway up the ski hill with the only way to the base being on your ski equipment or walking about a kilometer down a very sketchy and windy road. However if you let the lodge handle your ride, you will be dropped off right at the ticket counter and can enjoy all of the amenities the hill has to offer without stressing over the parking.
While the locals describe this hill as ‘small’, the resort does host a day lodge with a cafeteria, a coffee shop, a restaurant at the base of the mountain and a mid-mountain day lodge as well. We find the runs are pretty diverse offering great options for novice to expert riders. The hill also offers child minding services with the option for your child to join one of their snow school programs. For any last minute needs or for a little shopping, there is a store that offers anything and everything you may need on your ski trip. While the hill may be small, it does have everything you need.
Activities Around Jasper
Our favourite winter activity, which also happens to be close to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, is visiting Malign Canyon to enjoy a relaxing walk and the scenery of frozen waterfalls and ice sculptures on the canyon.
Driving into town, you will pass many local fields where the animals like to relax and hang out so have your cameras ready for those (on the side of the road) pictures. The town is quite small and can be walked from one end to the other in about an hour. Our suggestion: stop into the Bear Paw to grab a hot drink and baked goodies before browsing the local shops.Hopefully this information gives those traveling with families to Jasper some insight and helpful tips on visiting the park. For more blogs on family travel in Canada, check out The Great Canadian Family. If you have any suggestions or comments, please leave them in the comments below! We would love to hear them.