Skiing in Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Jasper National Park, Alberta
By Caroline Shin
Ski Jasper’s fresh powder. During the winter at Jasper National Park, snow and ice mask the park’s mountains, forests, meadows, riverbanks and lakeshores, and invite skiers of all types and levels to discover the white slopes of the Canadian Rockies.
Cross Country Skiing in Jasper National Park
The park offers a variety of groomed and natural trails for Nordic skiers. You can rent equipment or hire local guides to help you find the best skiing routes in Jasper.
Novice-Level Skiing in Jasper National Park
Skiing the Maligne Lake Trail (3.5km)
This ski trail starts from the Maligne Lake Chalet and travels along the northeast shore of Maligne Lake, passing the boathouse, then reaching the old boathouse bay. It loops back to the parking lot and returns to the chalet. The trail goes through little elevational change and passes through spruce and pine forests and some meadowland.
Skiers should never venture onto Maligne Lake. The depth of ice covering the lake varies and can be a danger to the skier at any time.
Skiing the Moose Lake Trail (4.4km)
The trail leaves from the Maligne Lake Chalet, crosses the Maligne River bridge and leads to the Bald Hills fire-road. It follows the fire-road from the Bald Hills gate to the Maligne Pass trailhead, which is marked. This short section is moderately steep. From the trailhead, the trail leads to Moose Lake through mainly level terrain. It then loops back to the shore of Maligne Lake. This section is easy to intermediate skiing and has some downhill sections. The surrounding forest is largely pine.
Skiing the Upper Moose Lake Trail (7.6km)
Follow the Moose Lake trail until it turns sharply left. Continue to climb a short hill and follow the trail to a series of depressions. At the next junction turn to the left (right branch continues to Trapper Creek). Follow the gently descend trail to the lake and return along the shoreline.
Intermediate-Level Skiing in Jasper National Park
Skiing the Lorraine Lake Trail (7.3km)
The trail begins at the Maligne Lake Chalet, then crosses the Maligne River bridge and follows the road to the Bald Hills fire-road. This section has a moderately steep climb. The section from the intersection to Lorraine Lake is relatively level. Return to the chalet via the first portion of the Skyline Trail which is mostly downhill and curved. The trail passes through thin to moderately dense pine forest and some open meadow.
Skiing the Mina-Riley Loop (6.7km)
This intermediate ski trail starts at the southwest corner of the parking lot and also finishes at this point. The trail heads south to the Cabin Lake road which it follows for 1.8 km, then turns right onto the Mina Lake trail, around the loop to Riley Lake junction, turns right and starts back to the Cabin Lake road and then back to the Cottonwood Slough parking lot. The trail travels through gently sloping terrain with one or two short hills to contend with for the skier. Throughout the trail’s length, there is a moderately dense forest of lodgepole pine, aspen and Douglas fir.
Skiing Pyramid Bench (4.7km)
This intermediate trailhead starts at the far (east) end of the parking lot and also finishes at this point. It travels through gently sloping terrain covered with a moderately dense forest of lodgepole pine, aspen, and Douglas fir. It follows the edge of the bench overlooking the Athabasca River valley. Due to the many unmarked trails in the Pyramid Bench area, please watch for the blue flagging tape which indicates the intermediate trail.
Advanced-Level Skiing in Jasper National Park
Skiing Patricia Lake Circle (5.9km)
This advanced trail starts on the opposite side of the Pyramid Lake Road from the riding stable parking lot and finishes at the same point. This trail travels through moderately steep terrain. The forest cover along the trail changes frequently, with the common trees being Douglas fir, aspen and pine. You pass through a number of clearings with an excellent view of the mountain ranges to the south.
Skiing the Evelyn Creek Trail (13km)
The trail starts from the Maligne Lake Chalet, crosses the Maligne River Bridge and follows up the Bald Hills fire-road to the signed intersection. The trail then leads right and follows the hillside around to the Evelyn Creek bridge on the Skyline trail. One section through this portion has a steep decline and should be attempted by only advanced skiers. The final section along the Skyline trail offers every degree of difficulty, passing through hill and hollow. The trail passes through pine forest, spruce pine forest and open sub-alpine spruce-pine forest.
Downhill Skiing in Jasper National Park
Marmot Basin is the downhill ski area in Jasper National Park.
Ski Touring in Jasper National Park
The park offers a variety of possibilities for day and overnight backcountry travel for those with the necessary winter survival and navigation experience.