Alberta’s other mountain town offers an incredible array of sights and tastes for local travelers – TheYYSCENE


It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful walks on the planet.

The stretch from Banff to Jasper remains one of those truly breathtaking trips – a few hours where the wonders untouched through the windshield are all the entertainment you need. (Radio silence extends from Exit 93 of Highway 1 to the township, but ensures that for the ill-prepared.)

The colors, the countryside, the clarity, it all comes into focus as you take this four hour hike – when Calgary is your base – to one of the most beautiful and relatively understated and heartfelt mountain towns in the world that you will find anywhere. no matter where the peaks are high.

If you add a little fall into things: wow.

Maybe that’s why there are pick-up points seemingly every mile on the way, so you can take a perfect shot of a lake, waterfall, wildlife, mountains. , glaciers, not to mention a morning dawn, a beautiful sunset or the stars above.

We often take this for granted, but thanks to Ma Nature’s addition of fall colors to her palette, her brush makes her all the more vivid and inviting to travel from late September to early November.

You will typically arrive in Jasper for a stay of one, two or more days. Damn, if you’re going to drive eight hours round trip you’re going to want to be worth it and relax.

Right now, the city is also starting to pull back from its busy summer season just before it embarks on a white winter, so many hotels and hostels are starting to offer deals and lower prices, which are suitable for all budgets – with, again, most of them have gone from their hot-month to cold-month rates.

A few recommendations: the magnificent Chateau Jasper or the Sawridge Inn and Conference Center – both with sensational restaurants (Walter’s and the Silverwater Grill respectively) that offer particularly generous and satisfying breakfasts to start the day off right – or the central location and the very comfortable The Crimson, which is the newest hotel in town.

In fact, just about all the rooms for rent in Jasper are quite good and practical, given that most are on or just off the main thoroughfare and shopping hub Connaught Drive, which has an array of boutiques from gifts, shops, restaurants and, of course, the Jasper Brewing Co.

It also means you’re a 15-minute drive from some of the area’s most scenic destinations.

In one direction, you can take a quick jaunt down the Patricia and Pyramid Lakes route. The fall colors and vivid skies make it all the more spectacular, but at any time of the year it’s ridiculously scenic.

As with the drive to Jasper, you might as well make even the quick trips worth it, sticking around and tasting the tastes after taking in the views.

Pyramid Lake, just outside of Jasper, AB.

In this case, it would be the acclaimed restaurant The Pines in the Pyramid Lake Resort – open for breakfast and dinner – which sits on the shores of the beautiful body of water.

The food is a fantastic blend of rustic and sophistication, a Canadian inspired menu featuring a “unique selection of fish, meats and fresh local produce”.

And the view? There’s a reason the resort and dining room is a popular wedding setting. And right now, the scenery is all the more appealing, which is why The Pines offers Stargazers Lakeside Dinner, a “three-course culinary delight before stepping out to the telescopes of the Jasper Planetarium under the dark skies.” The options of chicken breast, prime rib, or arctic char make this a pretty tough decision, but you won’t regret it no matter what appetizer you choose, no matter which area of ​​the sky you are heading towards. point your telescope later.

The 15-minute drive the other way out of town is equally plentiful in the area’s culinary and photographic activities – Maligne Canyon, which “is the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park, with depth. more than 50 meters in some places. ”

As promised, “hikers of all skill levels can explore this incredible natural monument by crossing six bridges built across various points in the canyon.” Whether for half an hour or as a couple, this is a manageable walk among another natural wonder.

Maligne Canyon just outside of Jasper, AB.

And when you’re done, or even to get started, you’ll want to head to Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen, the tour’s starting point.

They offer on-the-go lunches, complete with delicious artisanal sandwiches and wraps, which you can take with you or enjoy in their dining room or on the peaceful patio.

Or, you can plan accordingly and make a reservation for a cooking dinner after the hike. Highly recommended for hungry carnivores, the Wilderness to Share Platter, featuring crispy grilled chicken thighs smoked at home, smoked prime rib, brisket and Kuterra salmon, served with garlic and parsley fries, homemade pickles, green beans, beetroot gnocchi and fried bread.

A real puzzle.

This time of year, like their sister Pyramid Lake, they also have a Stargazers Canyon dinner, which offers a different three-course telescope experience with the Jasper Planetarium.

It will be something you will remember on the most beautiful return to Calgary you will ever have.

(Note: Before you go, please check each site’s websites for their COVID protocol.)

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