Jasper is one of those easy trips from Edmonton that we find ourselves making frequently when we’re in the mood to get away from the city. Whether you’re searching for outdoor adventures, a winter escape, or festivals and events – there’s always something to explore.
Not all adventures though, are kid friendly. For parents with young children, we wanted to share some of our favourite family-friendly activities that include a bit of adventure, still being accessible for toddlers and small children.
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH YOUNG KIDS IN JASPER?
- Hike: Path of the Glacier
An easy, kid-friendly trail that comes with a short walk for a big view, in the words of our kids, the path of the Glacier Trail is 1.2 km return, and paved – stroller friendly but we recommend skipping it and going for a baby carrier. The gorgeous views and exploring opportunity are worth the trek, but the trail can get quite busy. Tip: visit early in the morning, or around 4pm to avoid the crowds.
- Raft: Jasper Raft Tours
It’s not so often that we find an activity that’s suitable for the skill levels of all three kids: aged nine, seven and two. Jasper Raft Tours has a family-friendly float trip that’s got some class two rapids for exciting moments, and gentle enough for a two year old to fall asleep. Tip: if you want to skip getting wet, sit in the middle. Read about our full experience of the Jasper Raft tours.
- Explore: Jasper Sky Tram
It’s worth the splurge! Travelling with young kids, we’ve yet to make it up to the top of Whistler’s mountain above the Jasper Skytram – but there’s always next time! Even if you don’t make it all the way up to the top of the mountain, there’s plenty to explore. Kids can try to spot marmots, hop on the rocks, and catch a view in every direction. Guides up and down the Skytram are always willing to provide the kids with fun tidbits of information.
- Eat: Folding Mountain Brewery
(and drink). Kids will love the grilled cheese, the gorgeous patio at Folding Mountain Brewing, and the enormous bowl of poutine. Parents will love the selection of beer, board games to entertain the kids while you wait for your food – and the gorgeous, gorgeous patio and indoor space. We can’t wait to cozy up here during a winter visit – and try everything on the menu. The grilled cheese is the best we’ve had and you can’t get better than $8 flights of beer for your chance to try your way through the brewery.
- Soak: Miette Hot Springs
Miette Hot Springs is a must-do on every trip to Jasper. On your way up the mountain, make a quick stop at Punch Bowl Falls for an impressive look down the canyoning falls, and look for wildlife on the tipsy winding road. An inexpensive outing for the family, your kids will go back and forth between the cold and hot pool, and toddlers will appreciate the kid-friendly gradual entry pool.
- Hike: Source of the Springs Trail
Another kid-friendly favourite, the Source of the Springs Trail is a great trail before you soak in the hot springs. Up the stroller-friendly trail, you can explore the original hot springs location, and the abandoned buildings. The kids will love the fact that they can see the springs coming out of the ground. It’s an easy, 2.1 km out and back trail, that’s perfect for all ages of kids (and toddlers).
- Paddle: Guided Canoe Tour on Pyramid Lake
Taking a guided canoe tour with Wild Current Outfitters comes with many perks: snacks – lovely, local baked goodies and hot cocoa or refreshments, and your chance to spot wildlife and learn a bit more about the lake, with a local expert. The kids loved this tour, that started with an introduction to paddling. Our guide, Mike, even included our toddler in the paddling, and spent the tour answering equations from the kids. The best part about a guided tour? It’s only your family on the tour. That means you don’t have to be on eggshells when you’re traveling with young children!
- Ride: Explore by Horseback at Jasper Stables
For families traveling with kids aged 6+, Jasper Park Stables has an hour-long out and back trail ride that’s suitable for beginner riders. Even if the closest that your kids have gotten to riding has been pony rides at a birthday party, they’ll be trail ready after a quick introduction by the experienced guides. The hour-long tour brings you along the Athabasca River, spotting wildlife along the way – we even got to spot a close-up Osprey nest on the ride!
- Cruise: Maligne Lake
On this cruise, you’ll sail along the 14 km of Maligne Lake to Spirit Island with Maligne Lake Cruise. Along the way, you can sit inside the boat or step outside and get a view of the terrain without a window in between. This kid-friendly adventure is a little bit of a splurge, but well worth it – as you have time when the boat arrives at Spirit Island, to explore, before heading back to your starting point.
- Walk Across Jasper Lake
This one’s magic for the kids – and a go-to stop before you embark back to Edmonton after your weekend filled with mountain magic has come to and end. At Jasper Lake, about 30 km east of Jasper, you can walk across the entire lake – it’s that shallow! It’s shallow, walkable, and kid-friendly, but it’s very cold. We’ve always got something inflatable on hand for when the kids get cold feet. Trust us though, taking the time to walk to the other side is well worth it – few people make the trek.
Family-friendly activities, a variety of accommodations from cabins to hotels, and everything in between – you’re going to want to include these family-friendly activities in your next weekend trip to Jasper with the kids.