We decided to hike to Maligne Canyon this morning. Frommer’s suggested starting at Sixth Bridge, hiking to the canyon (20 minutes), and starting from the bottom and walk up to the top. I agree with starting at the bottom but there is really no reason to start from Sixth Bridge. The hike is uninteresting. There is a Fifth Bridge parking lot that actually starts at the bottom of the canyon. This would have saved us quite a lot of time and we would have been able to see the entire canyon then. The canyon was nice but after seeing Mistaya Canyon and Johnston Canyon (2007), I had seen enough. We had to get back to the hotel to check out by 11 AM.
After our tramway afternoon, we headed back to town to shop a couple of stores we missed earlier and read some dinner menus. We originally had reservations for Andy’s Bistro but their menu was a little too extreme for me. We settled at Evil Dave’s. We had a very good meal here and it was reasonably priced. We definitely over ate because we missed lunch.
Forbidden Fruit Martini’s were ($9) and a beer was ($6). We had the Lollipop Shrimp as an appetizer ($12). Sean got potato soup ($7) and I had a Caesar salad ($9). Sean ordered meatloaf for dinner which was the best he ever had ($22.50). i ordered the Riddler (pasta dish with steak) which was very good ($22.50). For dessert we ordered Pecan Pie ($6.50) and Wicked Cheesecake ($7.50). And yes, we ate it all. We rolled our way back to our Park Place Inn across the street.
We ate breakfast at the Black Sheep Cafe. Sean had the Eggs Benedict and thought they were better than Walker’s ($10). I had 2 eggs, ham, and fruit ($9). My eggs were cooked well and I liked the fruit option over potatoes.
We shopped a bit in the morning and looked at brochures for tours hoping to take a tour before we checked out of the hotel in the AM. We were hoping to get a tour to see the wildlife in the area but it didn’t work out with our timing. Two nights doesn’t really work because you spend a day driving, then one day in town, then the next day driving again.
In the afternoon we headed to the Jasper Tramway. It took 10 minutes to get there. We waited 20 minutes in line to purchase our tickets. Tickets are $25/pp but someone gave us vouchers for free tickets because they couldn’t wait. After buying the tickets, we were assigned a time. There was a 60 minute wait but the it was a nice afternoon. We should have brought a book. The mountain was cold and visibility wasn’t great due to clouds. We hung out for awhile and hiked a bit. We took some pictures. Some people went in flipflops!
After arriving in town we tried to make reservations at Andy’s Bistro but they didn’t have an opening. So our second choice was Fiddle River. I’m so glad we went here. I loved the restaurant and the menu was unique. We ordered the Moroccan Dates stuffed with feta cheese as an appetizer. These were actually really good. Rabbit Stew ($26) for Sean and the Vienna Schnitzel ($23) for me. I had a beer ($5) and Sean had a Martini ($7). Cheesecake for dessert ($8.50). The Schnitzel was good but I had it at the Chateau in Lake Louise and it was better so this was a little disappointing. Sean loved the rabbit stew. It was so nice to walk to the hotel from the restaurant after the 20 minutes from Moraine Lake.
Recipe for Amaretto Martini:
sugar as needed
We are staying at Park Place Inn ($269) in Jasper. It’s in the middle of town. I got us the suite. I knew we would be needing more space after Moraine Lake Lodge (small room). We have Suite ‘J’ and it’s gorgeous. Totally updated. The bathroom was small but had an awesome shower with two shower heads and three smaller nozzels on the opposite side. There’s a jacuzzi in the bedroom area which we used our first night (hiked to Parker’s Ridge). There was free Internet (wi-fi) and a little den with a fireplace. I was able to shut Sean in there while he talked on the phone to work (yes, we had service again). I would recommend this hotel and it’s location.
I was really excited about our drive to Jasper and Jasper National Park. I wanted to come last year but we didn’t have enough time. Jasper National Park was established in 1907 and is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies with 10,878 square kilometres of mountain wilderness. The town of Jasper is quaint and shaped like a boomerang. It’s very small (pop. 4,100) and easy to get around. A train runs along the outer edge of Jasper. Here is a nice map of the area.
We passed up Sumwapta Falls but I talked Sean into stopping for the Athabasca Falls. I’m glad I did. I really liked it. It was completely touristy. There were ramps and stairs for easy, casual walking. Plus the falls were really beautiful with great views. The headwater comes from the Columbia Glacier about 70 kilometers south. The water rushes through a narrow gorge to be one of the more powerful falls in the Rocky Mountains.