The quiet hamlet of Jasper, Alta., located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies in Jasper National Park, is a stunner year-round. But those in the know visit in autumn, when fewer cars clog the magnificent Icefields Parkway (the road that connects Banff to Jasper), and changing leaves set the green-robed mountains ablaze with yellow, orange and red. Days are cooler, but it’s easy to warm up by hiking, golfing or soaking in nearby Miette Hot Springs. In fact, most activities and attractions are open through mid-October. Be sure to take the Jasper SkyTram to the top of Whistlers Mountain for a panoramic view of the park’s peaks and valleys.
The iconic Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge offers packages for Thanksgiving weekend and a discount of 20 per cent off the best available rate for residents of B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. Tourism Jasper also lists deals that include savings on tours and activities.
Jasper sits in the middle of one of the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserves—an area free of artificial light pollution—and every fall, the mountain town hosts the Jasper Dark Sky Festival. It takes place October 18 to 27 this year and celebrates the natural beauty of the night sky through talks and outdoor nighttime events such as aurora watching, moon viewing and stargazing. This year’s speakers include Canadian astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk.
Average Fall Temperature: Daytime highs sit at around 17 Celsius in September and fall off to 10 Celsius by the end of October.
[This story appears in the November 2016 issue of WestJet Magazine and has since been updated.]