When you think of escaping your everyday life in the dead of winter, how do you picture it? As a speck on a magical landscape of snow and ice, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing between mountains so majestic that they make your worries seem insignificant in comparison? Climbing a frozen waterfall under the glow of a full winter’s moon? Soaking in rejuvenating natural hot springs?
Visiting the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies in winter is like holidaying in a Christmas card come to life. As you wander amid snowbowed evergreens the only sound is crunching snow beneath your feet. Cruise down the world’s most scenic highway, or head to Marmot Basin to carve down steep, high alpine bowls and chutes or glade ski through verdant pine forests. Marmot Basin offers 1,675 acres of superb slopes on nicely varied terrain with 86 marked trails. The ski and snowboard runs are split evenly between easy, intermediate and advanced, making this an ideal destination for the whole family and all abilities. And when you’re not kicking up your heels hanging with the locals or reliving the colourful history of one of North America’s most fascinating frontier towns, you might find yourself literally walking on water over the frozen Maligne Canyon, its waterfalls transformed into glistening ice sculpted by wind and time.
Escaping to Jasper in winter can also mean finally getting the chance to read those six books you bought this year and haven’t yet cracked. Dining on everything from Canadian game to Neapolitan pizza. Sampling beers made from some of the freshest water on earth. Curling up by a roaring fire and listening for the distant howl of a wolf across a frozen lake. Or catching emerging musicians jamming long into the night at a local bar. All this and more is waiting for you to experience in the little town in the big park. All you have to do is start dreaming. We’ll do the rest.