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7 Magical Jasper Winter Hikes | 2022

The alpine town of Jasper in Alberta is one of Canada’s most beautiful winter destinations. The whole national park looks magical during the coldest months of the year, from snow-tipped mountains to ice formations to frozen waterfalls. 

Winter also brings the opportunity to explore the wilderness in various ways, such as snowboarding, snowshoeing, or ice skating. As a result, hiking in Jasper during winter is a truly unique experience.

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Luckily many of the popular hiking trails in Jasper remain open all year round and are well-maintained. So, if you’re planning a getaway to this breathtaking nature spot, check out these seven magical Jasper winter hikes.

Jasper in winter

Lake Annette

  • Duration: 30-60 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

If you’re after easy but scenic Jasper winter hikes, be sure to check out the 2.7km Lake Annette loop trail. The route takes you around the famous lake and follows a paved, flat pathway, making it accessible for most.

As well as walking around the shoreline, you’ll enter some forested areas where wildlife is abundant. 

Lake Annette is located just outside of the national park. The parking lot on Lake Annette Road is well sign-posted, and the trailhead is right by the lot, so you cannot miss it!

The entire loop will take you less than 1 hour, including stopping to take photos and resting on the lakeside benches along the way.

Moose Lake Loop

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy

This short and easy 1.7-mile loop is suitable for most fitness levels and offers splendid views of the lake with a backdrop of snow-covered mountains and pine trees.

As you may have guessed, Moose Lake gets its name from the frequency of moose sightings here, so keep your eyes peeled for this iconic wildlife. 

Before emerging out into the lake, a large portion of the trail goes through the forest, where there is a tranquil and magical ambiance. You’ll find the trailhead right at the end of Maligne Lake Road, by the Bald Hills Trail parking lot.

Lake Beauvert Loop

  • Duration: 1.5 -2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Lake Beauvert Loop is a 3.5km trail with a minimal elevation that takes you through the trees and along the shore. There are many beautiful viewpoints along the way, showcasing the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Often this lake is frozen over and used for skating, but be sure to check that it’s safe before heading out onto the ice. 

The Lake Beauvert Loop is one of the closest Jasper winter hikes to town, which you can access from two points.

From town, take Hazel Avenue and turn left onto Old Fort Point Road, where you will come across the official trailhead and parking lot at the south of the lake. Alternatively, you can access it from the north on Old Lodge Road.

Valley Of The Five Lakes 

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This 4.6-kilometre loop will take you around the shoreline of five lakes as well as various forested areas. There are also wonderful viewpoints where you can look down on the glistening frozen lakes from above, with the mountains peeking out over the trees in the background. 

The trail has a moderate elevation gain, but the climbs are never too steep, so it is accessible for most people and a fantastic area for snowshoeing in Jasper.

Valley of the Five Lakes is in South Jasper, and you’ll find the trailhead at the parking lot along Icefields Parkway.

Watchtower Canyon Via Medicine Lake 

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

An excellent place for snowshoeing in Jasper is Medicine Lake. While the lake itself is popular, the trail here is not, making it one of the most peaceful Jasper winter hikes, too.

It starts with a 1km route around the lake before going into the forest then down to Watchtower Canyon. Here, you will come across the magnificent site of some frozen falls and an incredibly peaceful atmosphere.  

To access, park at the main lot for Medicine Lake and then head down to the lake. Head right to follow the trail around the lake’s southwest corner and then inland towards the canyon.

Maligne Canyon

  • Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Maligne Canyon is undoubtedly one of the best places to go hiking in Jasper during winter, offering the opportunity to skate across a frozen river.

There are two possible routes from the Maligne Canyon trailhead, taking you along the upper rim or down into the canyon. If you want to access the frozen river, be sure to choose the latter. You’ll also see some super cool ice formations, caves, and frozen waterfalls inside the canyon.

Because of the potential danger of this trail, be sure to wear ice cleats or show shoes. And if safety is a concern, there is a guided ice walk tour that you can take at Maligne Canyon.

Here, a knowledgeable guide will take you into the deepest (and safest) parts of the canyon that are accessible, ensuring you see plenty of natural wonders. You’ll find the trailhead beside the Maligne Canyon parking lot on Maligne Lake Road.

Maligne canyon in winter

Sunwapta Falls

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy 

Although further from town than the other trails, the upper and lower Sunwapta Falls trail is one of the most picturesque hiking trails in Jasper.

Start with a short 100m stroll to see the upper falls before taking the 2.8km route to the lower falls. Most visitors come to check out the upper falls only, so while there may be crowds at the first waterfall, the second one is always much more peaceful.

However, if you’re trekking down to the lower falls, be sure to wear snowshoes or ice cleats, as going both up and down can be slippery. You’ll find the trailhead at a turnoff on Icefields Parkway, next to Sunwapta Falls Resort.

Sunwapta Falls Jasper Winter

Final Thoughts On The Best Jasper Winter Hikes

While this Canadian national park is beautiful all year round, there is something extraordinary about hiking in Jasper during winter.

However, when visiting Jasper in winter, ensure you have all the necessary safety equipment for trekking in snowy and icy conditions.

You can rent or buy snowshoes at various ski shops in Jasper town.

Searching for more travel inspiration in Canada? Read one of the following blog posts:

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