Jasper National Park, Alberta

A Guide to the Best Places to Run in Jasper and Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is the largest in a series of national parks in the Canadian Rockies, bordering Banff National Park to the south. Some 2 million people visit this geographically spectacular area every year to enjoy its soaring mountains, countless lakes, glaciers, and deep woodlands. Like Banff, the area is also an outdoor playground, popular for hiking, skiing, and cycling, among other pursuits. There are also excellent running options, using the area’s extensive system of paths and trails and extensive roadways. The JNP Site has excellent maps for downloading: Summer Guide, Hiking Guide, and Cycling Guide.

Our guide to running in Jasper National Park is divided into four sections: best spots in the town of Jasper, the area’s commercial center; the network of paths and trails within a few km of town that are good for running; some gorgeous sections of the 233 km Icefields Parkway — one of the most spectacular drives in the world; and some quieter roads suitable for running. For more, see our guide to the neighboring Banff/Lake Louise area.

Notes:  Some roads/trails might be closed/not maintained in winter. It can be very cold — bring appropriate clothing! And be aware of bear and elk, in season. We recommend bringing bear spray and not running alone on more remote trails.

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Some of our favorite runs in Jasper National Park, Alberta

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The climate in Jasper is very similar to that of Banff — except it’s a little drier and the altitude in town is about 1,000 feet lower. The area features cold, occasionally bitter winters and pleasantly mild summers. Mid-summer high temperatures are typically sunny and average a perfect-for-running 21C (70F), with cool nights, dipping to 8C (mid-40s). Always have a layer! Winters are cold and snowy. Average high temperatures in January-February are -5C (20F), and lows are -14 (10F). BUT, there can be bursts of bitter cold, well-below zero. In winter, be prepared for snow and ice that can last from late October to early April. See also information on roads/trails that are closed in winter.

Source: Environment Canada

Most of the hotels are located in and near the town of Jasper. Of course, there’s the famed Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. There are also numerous camping areas.

Running Stores

There are no running-specific stores in the Jasper area. But there are several outdoor sports stores in town where you can find running gear, though a bit more oriented toward trail running. See our area overview map for names and locations.

Ahotu Marathons has a good page listing running events in Alberta. You’ll have to search by preferred area.