Renewing Jasper National Park's Visitor Experience
Part III: Trails
With over 200 km of Three Valley Confluence trails directly accessible from town, and an additional 1000 km of trails throughout the Park, Jasper residents and visitors have an abundance of choice when planning their next adventure!
Well-loved by locals, Jasper’s trails are also popular with park visitors. Approximately 40% of our 2 million annual park visitors use Jasper’s trail system, with the majority of visitors preferring to explore areas within about 3 km of the trailhead. Roughly 1% of park visitors venture into the backcountry for overnight trips.
When setting trail priorities, Parks Canada takes into consideration these patterns of trail use. The heavily used Three Valley Confluence trails are a high priority, and over the past seven years, Parks Canada has been busy implementing elements of the Three Valley Confluence Trail Plan. Existing trails have been upgraded, new trails have been constructed, important movement corridors have been set aside for wildlife, and some unofficial routes have been adopted to meet the needs of local trail users - to date, approximately 33 kilometres have been incorporated into the official trail network. One new trail that local users are excited about is the Woodpecker Trail, an Easy Trail connecting the Lake Annette day use area to Jasper Park Lodge.
Skyline Trail Kiosk © Parks Canada
Outside of the three valley area, Parks Canada has been investing in well-loved backcountry trails as well. Trail crews will be focusing on iconic areas including the Skyline, Brazeau and Maligne. Recently, Parks Canada has invested approximately $100,000 on updating, constructing and installing 48 new kiosks at trailheads throughout the park. These new kiosks provide trail users with important information including detailed maps, trail descriptions, distances and key safety messages. Some kiosks include elevation profiles and cultural or historical information.
For this year, investments into Jasper National Park’s trails will total around $400,000. This amount includes salaries, funding for additional trail crew staff, trail signage and trail publications. Funds will also be allocated towards a few key projects in the coming months, including: a designated non-commercial use trail through the commercial horse area on the Pyramid Bench; a redefined trail from the upper tramway terminal to the Whistler summit; and a reroute on the Brazeau Loop due to a failed bridge.
Parks Canada’s trail crew will be working throughout the park all summer - if you are out on a backcountry trip with your friends or just strolling with your family on trails close to town, you may run into them hard at work keeping trails in top shape for all to enjoy. If you would like to get involved and are interested in helping out, visit the Jasper Trail Alliance Facebook page or check with the Friends of Jasper for current volunteer opportunities.
Current trail information
Trails in the valley are in great shape, so get out and enjoy! Bears are still foraging at lower elevations and elk calving season is ongoing – travel smart, keep your dog on a leash, stay alert, make noise, and give wildlife lots of space. The ice is off Maligne Lake and there may still be a few spaces available in June for backcountry enthusiasts; some alpine trails are also becoming snow-free depending on exposure.
Before you go, be sure to check the online trail conditions report at www.pc.gc.ca/jaspertrails; the report is updated regularly based on Parks Canada’s observations and reports from the public. If you are out on the trails, we’d love for you to report conditions to Info staff in person, by leaving a message on the trail office phone at 780-852-6177, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the Jasper Trail Alliance Facebook page.