As remote as it might seem, situated along the eastern slopes of the Rockies in western Alberta, Jasper National Park is still a world-renowned destination that is heavily populated with Canadians, Americans, and Europeans during the peak months of July and August. In the height of summer, the average daytime temperature is 70 degrees. June is a little less trafficked, and the mountain heather, alpine forget-me-nots, and other wildflowers are in bloom. Come September, the leaves on the aspen trees turn golden.
Banff, with its three nearby ski resorts, attracts the crowds in winter, yet Jasper is not to be overlooked. It hosts a Winter Wonderland festival every January to showcase its cold-climate recreational opportunities. Several resorts, such as Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and Coast Pyramid Lake Resort, stay open year-round, so you can cross-country ski on more than 300 kilometers of trails, ice-skate on frosted lakes, ice-climb with a guide on frozen waterfalls, and ski Marmot Basin (a 30-minute drive away). The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada has officially designated Jasper National Park as a Dark Sky Preserve, and you might very well spot the kaleidoscopic northern lights (aurora borealis) in winter. That’s a nice little bonus.