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Staying in Jasper

• A WorldWeb.com Travel Guide for Jasper, Alberta.
Jasper, and the national park of the same name, is a mountain paradise in the Alberta Rockies. It is quieter and has a lower profile than Banff—its neighbour to the south, but it is equally spectacular. Jasper appeals to those who like a totally natural experience and enjoy getting away from the crowds of larger resorts. That is not to say that Jasper is lacking in facilities. Jasper has many good restaurants and a lively, albeit informal entertainment scene. The accommodations in this area include luxury world class resorts, back country lodges, fine hotels, reasonably-priced motels of a high standard, and an outstanding selection of bed and breakfast accommodations. The WorldWeb.com Travel Guide for Jasper offers tips and detailed information on a large and varied selection of places to stay in the Jasper Area including the towns of Hinton, Grande Cache and Valemount, across the border in British Columbia.

JASPER TOWNSITE

The town of Jasper is attractive and certainly does not intrude on the majestic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. The town has some good restaurants and some lively watering holes. All the basics plus a wide range of souvenirs are available in the stores here.

Accommodations in Jasper cover the whole range—from a world famous luxury resort hotel to simple budget motels, and from basic hostels to elaborate backcountry lodges. Jasper is sure to have the accommodation to suit any visitor's requirements. Away from the townsite there are several hostels within the park that benefit from magnificent locations, as well as backcountry lodges—the ultimate wilderness accommodation experience.

OUTSIDE JASPER NATIONAL PARK (JNP)

Although these communities are relatively far from the Jasper townsite, they are close to the boundaries of Jasper National Park and have certain advantages over staying within the park itself. The main advantage of staying in one of these places is that accommodation prices tend to be much cheaper.

Hinton
Hinton is located just outside the gates of Jasper National Park—72km northeast of Jasper townsite. Hinton has a wide range of services not available within the park. There is a good range of accommodations in Hinton including high quality medium category hotels with well-known brand names. Several backcountry ranches are also available near to Hinton.

Grande Cache
Grande Cache is situated 211km by road from the Jasper townsite. ‘As the crow flies’ it is only about 100km to the northwest. Grande Cache is a community that is full of character and is well worth visiting for its stunning location close to so much wilderness country. Accommodations in Grande Cache are mostly simple motels, but this peaceful town appeals to the sort of people who are trying to get away from the rat race and are looking for simplicity. There is also a good selection of campsites in the vicinity.

Valemount
Valemount is 137km west of Jasper. This British Columbia community is a perfect retreat for a mountain getaway, and is popular for a variety of outdoor activities all year round. Accommodations in Valemount consist of some attractive family run motels and lodges, some of them very unique. A variety of cabins and chalets are also available.

TYPES OF ACCOMMODATION

In addition to hotels, resorts and hostels, there are many other types of accommodation in the Jasper area. If you are looking for something a little different, try out one of these possibilities:

Bed & Breakfasts
An increasingly popular type of accommodation, bed and breakfasts are well represented in the Jasper region. They range from simply furnished rooms with no private facilities to designer rooms and suites that are the epitome of comfort and elegance. Bed and breakfasts are a great way of meeting local people who will gladly share information and tips about the area with their guests. What they lack in privacy they make up for in charm and intimacy. They also are often a cheaper alternative to hotels of a similar standard.

Home Accommodators
The town of Jasper has an accommodation category that is unusual: home accommodators. These are rooms in private houses—similar to a bed and breakfast but without the breakfast and often not as elaborate. Home accommodators provide everything from simple rooms with shared bathrooms to well-furnished and very comfortable bedrooms and sitting rooms with full facilities. Food is not provided, although sometimes coffee makers and other small appliances are. Some rooms have their own private entrances well others share an entrance with the rest of the household. Home accommodators provide a great way to meet local people and of course the relatively low price is a great advantage.

Camping
Another accommodation alternative in the Jasper area is to utilize one of the many campsites there. Some are well equipped and these are particularly suitable for families and often have special facilities for children. Others are more Spartan and offer more of a wilderness experience. Camping offers the advantage of considerably less cost and offers complete independence and flexibility. Be warned that the area can get very close indeed and temperatures at dawn can be close to freezing—even in the height of summer.

Backcountry Lodges
For a perspective of the Rockies that is unusual and away from the mainstream, the backcountry lodge provides an excellent choice. These usually are situated off the beaten track; sometimes they are only accessible on foot (cross-country skis or snowshoes in winter) or by special vehicle. Accommodations are usually in chalets or cabins, and these range from simple but warm and comfortable to deluxe. Food is often of the self-catering variety or lodge employees do the cooking, this often consists of good plain camp cooking, but some back country lodges even employ gourmet chefs. Facilities also vary from rustic to luxurious. The main focus is obviously on outdoor activities such as horse riding, seasonal sports, hunting and fishing.

WHEN TO GO

High season in the Jasper area and all the Canadian Rockies is definitely summertime and all accommodations tend to be heavily booked from late May through to September. It is strongly recommended to book accommodations as far in advance as possible. Winter is also a very busy season, with world-class skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports being an increasingly popular activity available throughout the area. However accommodation operators often have enough space to allow for limited last minute bookings, especially for mid-week stays. The spring and fall are the best value times to visit the Jasper area. Spring offers a rebirth throughout the dramatic landscape, though it still can be cool. Many accommodations offer last minute specials and interesting packages at these times. It is always good to check the websites of the various properties some cases; these of course can be accessed through the WorldWeb Accommodation Directory for each place.
Whistler Suite at Mount Robson Inn Jasper
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Photos of Jasper  Whistler Suite at Mount Robson Inn Jasper
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