And now … we bring you the conclusion of our series, “A Dog Friendly Tour of the Canadian Rockies.”
Everyone we told about our trip to the Canadian Rockies said we had to go to Jasper. Apparently a lot of visitors stop at Banff and Lake Louise rather than traversing the 144 miles up the Columbia Icefield to see this ruggedly beautiful resort town. Once again, the advice we received from our fellow travelers was spot-on! If you’re coming this far, do not leave without spending some time in Jasper.
The drive up the Icefields Parkway is worth the trip all by itself. About 35 miles up the road is Bow Lake, the source of the Bow River. From here you get a great view of the Crowfoot Glacier and can hop on the 2.2-mile trail back to Bow Glacier Falls.
About half way between Lake Louise and Jasper is the Columbia Icefield. It’s not pet friendly, but they have tours from here that will take you in a massive vehicle up to the glacier so you can walk around. This is the best place we found if “experience a glacier” is on your bucket list.
This town has a unique personality – definitely a tourist destination, but with a sensible, frontiersy feel about it. The restaurants and pet friendly hotels in Jasper were packed at the end of August, and the sidewalks were lively with folks taking advantage of the fine end-of-summer weather. Spending time in the outdoors is the main form of entertainment – for good reason – though you’ll also find shops, spas, museums, and galleries in town.
They’ve even recently added a nice, big dog park near the RV parking lot downtown, which Buster and Ty were quite happy to find.
Jasper is a great base for many of day trips in the area. One of our favorite things to do was drive across the river the walk the path around Lake Annette. I’m sure you’ll understand why …
Miette Hot Springs
In an interesting juxtaposition with the snowy mountain peaks, we found a plethora of hot springs in the Canadian Rockies! Though they’re not pet friendly, we drove up to check out the Miette Hot Springs – more for the scenery than the pools.
This is the welcoming committee hanging out in the parking lot …
And we saw this big boy on our way back to Jasper …
We later learned his name is Albert and he’s quite a celebrity for posing along the highway for the tourists.
No trip to Jasper would be complete without a visit to Maligne Lake. You can rent a canoe (they’re pet friendly!) and have a paddle up the lake or stick to the land on one of the trails. Two of the five marked trails welcome pets on leash and we had no trouble finding enough places to walk the boys. When they were good and tired popped them in the car for a snooze and took a boat tour up the lake to world-famous Spirit Island.
On the way back to town, these ladies were in the road. I think this one likes the camera!
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