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.
I thought I wanted to walk on a glacier but when we arrived, all I wanted was food. The hike up to Parker’s Ridge made me so hungry. We hadn’t eaten lunch. We stopped at the Icefields to get something to eat. The welcome center was very nice and offered accomodations and two restaurants. We ate in the cafeteria which was open for lunch. I got a hamburger, fries, and a slice of chocolate cream pie and a coke ($15) and Sean had a chicken sandwich, a slice of blueberry pie and a Sprite ($12). We also picked up some cookies and candy bars. I wouldn’t recommend eating here but it is convenient.
I was still hesitant about the whole glacier experience and Sean was exhausted so we headed, one again, toward Jasper.
I’m an Illinois girl born and raised but there is something about those mountains that keep calling me back. I have planned and prepared for this trip as only a librarian can. I have directions, a packing list, hotel reservations, hiking trails, tour schedules and recommended restaurants in each of the areas. I can’t wait!
I still love coming to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Banff can be crowded but there is so much more to do. Kayaking, Minnewanka Boat Tour, the gondola. Banff has nice shopping, great restaurants, lots of hotels, lots to do but tons of people. Lake Louis is quite and good location for white water rafting, hiking, the lakes, the surrounding towns and relaxing. Jasper had reasonable prices, good hiking, cruise of Maligne Lake and more but it’s far (3 hours drive from Lake Louise).