Not everyone who reads our blog is a mountain climber, and we get it.
The goal of our blog from the start is to make the outdoors attainable and fun, so we decided to give it that twist for this post.
We recently visited Jasper National Park, known for its stunning mountains, landscape, and epic hikes. While we love all of that, we wanted this post to focus on easy hikes in Jasper National Park, to introduce some trails to someone who maybe isn’t quite ready for that 3000ft mountain peak ascent.
We want to share the straightforward, beautiful hikes that Jasper provides, and give a chance to experience the beauty of Jasper in the great outdoors! Enjoy!
10 Easy Hikes In Jasper National Park To Introduce You To The Great Outdoors
By the way…Parks Canada created a fun and unique way to discover different hikes in Jasper National Park.
If you’re feeling adventurous, read about Jasper’s famous Red Chairs, which are located all around the park. These six sets are located in some of the park’s most popular attractions, and it’s a fun challenge to try and collect them all!
Make sure to share them on social media and use the hashtag #sharethechair so that others can discover your photo!
1. Maligne Canyon Trail
Distance: 4.4-kilometer out and back trail OR loop trail
The Maligne Canyon is considered one of the most interesting places in Jasper to discover waterfalls, fossils, plant life, and rich forests.
Each year, the rushing water carves this canyon deeper and deeper, creating beautiful twists and turns in the rock formations. There are many interpretive signs along the trail that inform you of the unique features of the canyon.
In the winter season, you can have the amazing opportunity to explore INSIDE the canyon for a unique hike in Jasper National Park.
Winter in Jasper National Park is the perfect time to see frozen waterfalls up close and learn about the changing seasons at Maligne Canyon. Make sure to bring ice picks and wear crampons on your shoes for added stability on the slippery surface!
2. Valley Of Five Lakes
Distance: 4.5-kilometer loop
This loop trail can be accomplished in a single morning or afternoon. The Valley of Five Lakes trail takes you on a scenic walking tour of, you guessed it, five gorgeous lakes, each with its own unique features.
One of the six sets of Jasper National Park’s red chairs are situated on the third lake, so make sure to grab a picture and discover all the sets! This beautiful hike also made our most instagrammable places in Jasper list!
Come early in the day to avoid larger crowds, and make sure to pack bug spray and sunscreen! We also caution against wearing casual shoes on this hike, although the short distance may persuade you otherwise.
This trail has some steep sections, rocky parts, and lots of tree roots crossing the path, making it challenging for the unprepared!
3. Moose Lake Loop – Maligne Lake
Distance: 2.7-kilometer loop
This easy and peaceful hike takes you along the shores of Maligne Lake and up into the forest to the beautiful Moose Lake.
The trail cuts through an ancient debris pile from a landslide from thousands of years ago. Along the way, you’ll discover lichen-covered boulders, mossy trees, and fascinating forest views! Expect this to be a 1-2 hour hike.
This place is a common area for wildlife viewing. Make sure to keep your distance and remember to bring bear spray!
4. Lake Annette Trail
Distance: 2.4-kilometer out and back trail
Difficulty: Easy – Wheelchair Accessible
This newly paved trail is a beautiful and scenic trail around Lake Annette. It’s suitable for wheelchairs, strollers, and people who are looking for an easy lakeside stroll.
We saw many young families taking advantage of this lake’s large beachfront and amenities like playgrounds along the way, as well as picnic shelters, and access to the beach.
If it’s a hot summer day, consider wearing your bathing suit and jumping into the lake whenever you get too toasty!
5. Old Fort Point Trail
Distance: 3.8 Kilometer out and back trail
While this trail is a bit steep, it provides an incredible view of the town of Jasper and the valley below.
If you’re hoping to challenge yourself with a slightly more difficult hike, consider Old Fort Point Trail as a stepping stone for hiking larger peaks in the future.
The trail is a common place to spot bighorn sheep and the occasional bear! There is also one of Jasper’s famous red chairs located on the trail, so make sure to snap a pic of all six sets around the park!
6. Athabasca Falls
Distance: 2 kilometers round trip
Difficulty: Easy (paved walking trails)
Athabasca Falls is one of the most powerful falls in the Canadian Rockies.
Forming a magnificent canyon, this waterfall carves away the limestone walls, cutting the canyon walls deeper and deeper every year! Some trails and bridges allow you to feel the spray of the falls, so come on a hot day for a cool hike.
This area is simply a series of trails to view the falls from different perspectives.
There are many paved trails and bridges to explore, and not one set path to take. Make sure to stay on designated trails, however. The surrounding rocks are slippery and can be extremely dangerous to stand on!
Athabasca Falls is about a 30-minute drive south from the Jasper townsite on Highway 93 (The Icefields Parkway).
7. Lower Sunwapta Falls
Distance: 2.4 kilometers out and back trail
This picturesque hike is perfect for people of all ages.
Just a short distance from the parking lot gives you picturesque views of Sunwapta Falls and its famous island sitting just above the plunging water. If you want to get up close to the falls, you can walk right up to the rim and feel the power of the water rushing past you!
Take a short trail down to reach the bridge across the canyon (the best views of the falls) but if you want to see lesser viewed waterfalls, continue down the trail. *However, don’t take the turnoff to Fortress Lake – it’s a very large hike.*
The trail to Lower Sunwapta Falls is a steady decline but it’s an easy climb on the return trip. Keep walking on this trail to get different perspectives of the falls and many perspectives of the canyon.
In addition to being a fun and easy hike, this place provides amenities like bathrooms, picnic tables, garbage cans, and plenty of parking space for a fun evening picnic by Sunwapta Falls. This area gets busy during the day like most of the attractions in Jasper, but it is worth a visit in the quieter mornings or evenings!
8. Toe Of The Athabasca Glacier
Distance: 1.8 kilometers out and back trail
The Athabasca Glacier is one of the six outlets of the Columbia Icefield.
This huge icefield is the largest one in all of interior North America! While challenging hikes or climbs are required to reach many of the glaciers, Athabasca Glacier is accessible to the average tourist.
This short hike allows visitors to stand right at the very foot of the ice to experience the huge crevasses, streams, and glacial pools up close. These icefields are ever-changing, so come back in a few years to see the difference the climate does to the ice.
You can reach the trailhead of this hike by driving south on Highway 93, towards Banff National Park.
Make sure to pack sunscreen and water for this hike because there is no shade cover!
9. Source of The Springs Hike (Walk)
Distance: 1.2 kilometers out and back trail
Take a historic walk up to the ruins of the original Miette Hot Springs bath house on this easy, paved walk.
Along the way, you’ll parallel the stream of hot water that pools enough in some places for you to actually sit and soak (if that’s something you’re brave enough to do!). The elevation gain is around 150 meters, which is perfect for all hiking levels.
The bathhouse, now fenced for safety reasons, was established in 1938 and eventually closed due to the frequent rockslides that threatened the area.
The new facilities provide modern amenities and temperature regulated water for an amazing mountain hot springs experience!
While the trail itself is not difficult at all, it’s nice to reward yourself with a good soak at the Miette Hot Springs afterward. 🙂
Read more about this hike from the Modern Hiker where they share lots of pictures and in-depth details of the trail.
10. Pyramid Island Loop
Distance: >1 kilometer
Difficulty: Very Easy
With no elevation gain, this is an incredibly easy and relaxing “walk” through a woodsy trail on Pyramid Lake. One of the most accessible and easy hikes in Jasper National Park, it’s more of a leisurely stroll in a picturesque setting.
Here, you’ll find picnic tables, benches, and covered overlooks scattered around the island. This is the perfect place to pack a picnic and spend the afternoon on the water.
This is definitely one of the most picturesque and easy hikes in Jasper National Park! If you’re curious about other places you can explore nearby, check out our list of beautiful photo spots in Banff National Park!
What are some of your favorite easy hikes in Jasper National Park? We’d love to add them to this list and share them with other readers!
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