What is the best way to see Jasper in one day?

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Robin Schroffel

It would take longer than a day to indulge in all the experiences Jasper offers, but luckily, it’s possible to squeeze in a little of everything when you’ve got one day to spend in town. Here’s the best way to see Jasper in 24 hours.

Wake up early and head to Connaught Drive, where the Bear’s Paw Bakery will furnish you with still-warm croissants and steaming cups of coffee. Not that the rushing waters and spray from Maligne Canyon — where you’re headed next — wouldn’t provide enough of an effective wake-up.

Maligne Canyon just might be Jasper’s biggest must-see, eloquently summarizing the power and beauty of nature with its pounding waterfalls and canyon walls smoothed over long centuries. Follow the interpretive trail, which crosses six bridges, to experience this spectacular gorge.

Next, it’s back to town, where a quick stop at the Jasper-Yellowhead Museum and Archives informs you about the town’s vibrant past. Photographs and artifacts from the days of the fur trade and early settlement leave visitors with a new respect for the intrepid people who first made this wilderness their home.

Over to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge now, where Fitzhugh’s To Go will pack you a gourmet picnic lunch. You may not get very far, however, before stopping to try a sandwich. That’s okay; you’ll need the energy for the moderate hike up to Old Fort Point.

A fairly easy 2.5 mile-round-trip, Old Fort Point is great for families and those looking for some outdoor activity on limited time. Stairs help take the edge off some of the steeper sections, and it’s worth it for the view of the Athabasca River and the town from way up high.

Once you’re down, you’ll be ready for dinner at Tekarra. An area institution since the 1950s, it’s here at this Pyramid Lake Resort restaurant that you’ll find some of Jasper’s finest dining featuring local ingredients and flavors such as maple, juniper and wild greens.

For a post-dinner cocktail, it’s worth the trip back to the Jasper Park Lodge. Cozy up in the Emerald Lounge overlooking Lac Beauvert and Whistlers Mountain — preferably near the fireplace with a decadent dessert, too. It’ll taste all the richer after the long day.

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