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people are always searching for their next escape.

Seat sales.
Round the world tickets.
Backpacking through SE Asia.
Gap years in Australia...
But what about staying here

By the time I was 24 I had travelled, lived and worked in over 30 countries. I was a professional at hopping on any flight I could to get away; I needed to explore, but staying in Canada didn't seem "adventurous" enough for me.  I thought adventure could only be satisfied in foreign experiences on the other side of the world.

In my early 20's I was offered a short term contract for a travel company based in Vancouver. I had never been to Vancouver but thought "What the heck? It's only three months...just another trip and a new experience."

Long story short, it's been three years and I haven't looked back since. I absolutely fell in love with this city. Over the course of these years I was going through a lot of change, including transitioning out of the travel industry. It was SO hard to not have the option of travelling all of the time so I started packing my evenings and weekends with any adventure I could find in and around Vancouver.

Once I started exploring British Columbia, I realized how much I had skipped out on. I couldn't believe how incredible my own country was and couldn't help but wonder why I had never opted to explore my own backyard.

While I'm lucky to have seen and experienced so much traveling the world - this is my home..and I've set out with one mission:

Show people that they don't have to go far to travel.

So here it is: #TheStayCationSeries. My goal is to travel around Canada to showcase what our home is all about while supporting local, sustainable tourism and leaving you with a detailed blog on how you can re-create the trip for yourself.

Coming at your with part six all the way from Jasper, Alberta

- Ally 

 
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Jasper, Alberta

If there's one spot that blows my mind every single time, it would be The Rocky Mountains.

Jasper is a mountain town nestled in the heart of Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. It's where you'll find snowcapped peaks, glacier fed lakes, the most incredible forests and tons of wildlife.

Perfect to visit year round, this destination is packed with adventure for every heart. If you haven't been, do yourself a favour and add this spot to your bucketlist.


WHEN TO GO
This is a prime year-round destination as you can find yourself on the mountain and in the backcountry in both summer and winter.
 

GETTING THERE FROM VANCOUVER
TRAIN: We took "The Canadian" experience with ViaRail Canada. This slow ride through the mountains offers the scenic route through some of Canada's most amazing views.  LEARN MORE

DRIVE: 8.5 hour drive east from Vancouver.

FLY: Into Calgary, drive towards Banff and up the Icefields Parkway into Jasper. You can also fly into Edmonton and take the less scenic route ;)
 

 
 
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WHISTLERs INN

If you're looking to stay right in the heart of town - this is your spot. This property offers standard rooms, and larger suites along with two restaurants, a pub downstairs and a rooftop hot tub.

Whistlers Inn will put you minutes away from the start of the Icefields Parkway, 20 min away from Marmot Basin Ski Resort and steps away from anything you'll need in town.

 


 
 
 
 

the ultimate mountain getaway.

 
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Drive The IceFields Parkway

It's no exaggeration when I tell you that this is one of, if not the most, amazing drive I've ever taken in my entire life.  The sky-scraping mountains and winding roads make for some of the most dramatic 230 kms you'll ever drive as you pass through Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho, and Banff National Parks (plus three provincial parks).

Once you see it for yourself, it's easy to understand why this drive has earned a respectable reputation as one of the most spectacular drives in the world by National Geographic and many others.

Recommended Stops:  Herbert Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Glacier Falls, Mistaya Canyon, Athabasca Falls, Athabasca Glacier, Peyto Lake.  **Note that this drive will take you all the way down to Banff, so if you're looking to stay in Jasper: hit the Athabasca Falls + Glacier.

 
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The Maligne Canyon

This iconic natural landmark is the deepest accessible canyon in Jasper National Park.  We explored Jasper in the heart of winter, so we were pretty lucky to experience this spot as we explored frozen waterfalls, ice caves, and other incredible ice formations.

While you can explore this area solo, we opted for a tour with Sundog Tours. It was great to actually learn about Jasper’s Maligne Valley, Karst topography, and the mystery of the “disappearing” Medicine Lake.

This activity is available year round and is highly recommended spot in Jasper!

 
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Go On A Canadian Safari.

Anytime I'm in the car, my eyes are peeled for animals. Jasper is an incredible spot for viewing wildlife. Depending on the season, you'll find elk, deer, sheep, goats, coyotes, wolves, bears, moose and more.

While it's likely you'll see some of these cuties during your drive through the park, we again opted for a wildlife tour to learn more about the area and habitats of the animals. It's also pretty cool to not have to drive and be on full lookout mode (lol).

Keep the parks alive and wild. Learn more about the safety and respect about animal sightings here.

 
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Cozy Up At The Fairmont.

Also referred to as "Luxury Basecamp" in the rockies, The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is situated in Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The property is home to  700 acres that is home to year round activities including skating, swimming, golfing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing and more!

It was REAL cold the weekend we were there, with temperatures dropping to -30 degrees celcius. We went for an ice skate on the lake, spent a few hours in the outdoor hot pools and then cozied up inside for a dinner at Emerald Lounge.

 

 
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A Sky Full Of Stars.

If there's one thing that excited me most about Jasper, it was the opportunity to see the sky light up at night.  Jasper National Park is the world's largest most accessible dark sky preserve. This means the park has little to no light pollution, making it a prime area for star gazing. I'll also add that this is a great spot to try and catch the northern lights!

Unfortunately for us, we got hit with clouds all weekend but the tourism board set us up with an experience with the Jasper Planetarium that brought the stars to us.  I will be completely transparent when I say I wasn't sure how I felt about this going into it. I was ready for bed and not very excited - but I ended up having such an amazing time.  Our guide was incredibly passionate and knowledgeable.  On a clear day, you'll actually get to use the telescopes and learn how to shoot the night sky with your DSLR if you're just getting into night photography.

I definitely recommend this rain or shine!

 
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Coco's Cafe

A little spot that you'd probably walk by and totally miss out on. Our breakfast here was fantastic and we went back that same day for lunch and picked up some delicious wraps.  Definitely stop by for some eats here!

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JASPER BREWING CO.

Being a brewery, I was expecting to come here to enjoy basic pub classics. I was pleasantly surprised by the menu selection. The food was great and the bar was energetic. This is definitely a place to hit if you're looking for an upbeat spot - but expect to wait a bit for a table.

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Desert @ Emerald Lounge

While I was underwhelmed by the dinner service and food at the Fairmont, the desert was actually fantastic.

The environment is cozy and nice here. If you're looking for a quiet evening, order coffee and a desert by the fireplace while enjoying some good company.

 
 
 
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Special Thanks to TOURISM jasper for the transportation, itinerarY, ACcOMMODATIONS + MEALS.