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Edmonton to Jasper Drive (& other travel options)

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We say this all the time, we are lucky to live in Alberta cause there is so much natural beauty at our doorstep. As Edmonton residents, traveling to the Canadian Rockies is a must look forward road trip for us all year round. In this post, we will share the various ways to get from Edmonton to Jasper National Park, with planning tips, sightseeing options, and our recommendations (after multiple trips in the province).

How to get from Edmonton to Jasper Alberta?

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Driving from Edmonton to Jasper National Park: Distance, seasonal conditions, road trip map and park fees

Distance from Edmonton to Jasper National Park

The distance from Edmonton to Jasper is about 365 kilometres and it roughly takes about 4 hours to reach, if you drive non-stop. The entire route is done via Highway AB-16. 

Possible road trip delays could be due to wildlife on the way, traffic during summer weekends or severe winter conditions (slippery roads, poor visibility, etc).

From Edmonton, you will hit rest stops at every hour (gas station, walking trails, provincial parks along the way), until you reach Jasper town.

Edmonton > Entwistle/Pembina National Park > Edson > Hinton > Jasper

Map of Edmonton to Jasper Road Trip Tips

At Jasper National Park: Fees

Being a Canadian National Park, you have to pay park fees upon entering the area. Fees are as follows (2020-21)

  • Adult – Person 18 to 64 years of age – $10 CAD per day or 24 hours*
  • Family/Car – $20 CAD – per day or 24 hours
  • Senior – $8.30
  • Youth (up to 17 years) – Free
  • Commercial group (per person) – $8.30

The 24 hour pass means that you pay for $10 CAD per adult for one day inside the National Park. If you are a frequent visitor to National Parks in Canada, we recommend opting for the Discovery Pass. It is definitely a money saver. The Discovery Pass is valid for one full year from the date of purchase and it allows you to access over 80 historical, and nature parks in Canada for a set price of $69+ CAD (for adults).

Edmonton to Jasper by Car

COSTS: Gas: $20- 35 CAD one way + Car Rental starts at $23 CAD per day

Our favorite way to travel to Jasper National Park from Edmonton is by car. We like starting early in the morning while stopping along the way and reaching Jasper in the evening (and then visit a local brewery in Jasper town). 

Roads from Edmonton to Jasper Drive
Roads from Edmonton to Jasper

With a car rental, you can make stops along the way just like us, whilst enjoying times at the Pembina Provincial Park and Hinton (good options for 2-3 hours break). You can easily rent a car from the Edmonton International Airport (options include Avis, Enterprise, Budget, etc.) to Jasper. You can book it online, ahead of time via  Expedia and Rentalcars/Booking – two of our favorite travel services sites.

From Edmonton, you can embark on the AB-16 Highway and follow signs for Jasper. If this is your first time in Alberta or the Rockies, we recommend using GPS or Google Maps to make your drive easy. 

If you are driving in the winter, we have to caution you about blowing snow, and slippery road conditions. Many times we were caught in the snow with poor visibility driving through Hinton to Jasper (in the evenings), so exercise caution, and if not prepared to drive in such conditions, take a break and stay in a nearby town instead, until the weather clears up. 

Maligne Lake Road in winter
Maligne Lake Road in winter

As always ensure you are driving slow, take car insurance, have winter tyres on, keep a blanket and some snacks with you!

READ: How to plan a road trip in Canada

Edmonton to Jasper Bus

COSTS: Starts at $89 CAD, takes 5+ hours one way

Is there a bus from Edmonton to Jasper?

Of course, there is. And probably the best option if you don’t like to drive or are uncomfortable in the winter. Sundog Tours operates a scheduled bus service from downtown Edmonton to Jasper. The journey takes about 5 hours. 

  • Downtown Edmonton to Jasper – $99 per adult, $59 per child
  • Jasper to West Edmonton Mall – $89 per adult, $49 per child
  • Jasper to Edmonton International Airport – $99 per adult, $59 per child
  • Ride to Hinton, or originating from Hinton are $15 to $20 cheaper.  

Sundog Connector offers reliable transportation between Edmonton, Edson, Hinton, and Jasper, on a daily basis. You can also book a shuttle service to Edmonton Airport and Edmonton Downtown.

Cold Shot is another bus service that runs from Edmonton to Jasper. During winters, sometimes the buses don’t operate so do check their site and or book online prior to your trip. As compared to Sundog Tours, this route provides pick up and drop off from the Cold Shot passenger terminal.

Prairie towns while road tripping from Edmonton
Prairie towns while road tripping from Edmonton

Edmonton to Jasper by Private Transfer

Instead of taxis and Uber, you can book a private transfer from Edmonton International Airport to Jasper National Park. This is a great option for those who don’t wish to take the bus, and prefer privacy.

SunDog Tours offers private transfers, and you can also book a sightseeing tour, or additional stops to make the most of your trip. 

Mountain views in Jasper
Mountain views in Jasper

Edmonton to Jasper by RV and Campervan

COSTS: $75 and $150 CAD per night to rent campervans or small trailers. Renting an RV is great for longer trips is a good idea as the costs can average to less than $75 CAD per day.

Here are some tips if you are traveling from Edmonton to Jasper by RV. Of course, the distance and time traveled is the same as driving by car. 

It is very common to see campervans in Jasper and Banff National Park, road tripping through the Canadian Rockies. There are many RV and campervan rental companies that you can use to book. 

Edmonton to Jasper by Train

COSTS: Starts at $75 CAD

Is there a train from Edmonton to Jasper? 

Unlike trips starting in Calgary to Lake Louise, there is a direct train service from Edmonton to Jasper train via – VIA Rail. You can book an economy class ticket or a sleeper class, with roomy seating options and meals. Note that there is no wifi on this route, but views of the small Prairie towns to the Rockies are amazing to keep you busy.

Trains take you from Edmonton to Jasper
Trains take you from Edmonton to Jasper

The cheapest train tickets from Edmonton, Alberta to Jasper cost $75 CAD. On average, you can expect to spend around $115 + CAD for your train ticket.

Edmonton to Jasper by Guided Tour

COSTS: $400 CAD per person (includes return trip, sightseeing) 

At the time of writing, there are no guided tour packages for Edmonton to Jasper route. However here is what you can do. 

Sundog Tours offers both transportation/shuttle buses and stand-alone sightseeing tours, so you can book both. Accommodation is additional. 

Other Jasper Sightseeing tours are via GetYourGuide, our favorite tour provider.

Edmonton to Jasper to Banff Road Trip 

Edmonton to Jasper, and further to Banff/Lake Louise is a great way to explore the Canadian Rockies. From Jasper, you can embark on the scenic Icefields Parkway route to visit Lake Louise, and then in 50 minutes from there, you will be in Banff National Park. 

Athabasca Falls
Athabasca Falls Jasper National Park

After exploring Banff, you can leave your car rental at the Calgary International Airport (YYC) and fly out of the city. 

If you wish to complete the entire list of things to do in Edmonton and Jasper listed below, here is how your itinerary would look like

  • Day 1: Fly to Edmonton/arrive. Pick up a rental car, explore downtown Edmonton
  • Day 2: Spend a day in Edmonton exploring various attractions
  • Day 3: Start for Jasper, explore the towns of Entwistle, Edson, and Hinton. 
  • Arrive at Jasper National Park in the evening, same day.
  • Day 4: Explore Jasper (day 1) Breakfast in Jasper downtown, visit Pyramid and Patricia lakes, canoe or snowshoe (depending on the season), Jasper SkyTram, Jasper Park Lodge for dining
  • Day 5: Spend day 2 in Jasper, drive to Athabasca Falls, Maligne Canyon, Medicine Lakes, Edith Cavell Meadows Trail 
  • Day 6: Leave Jasper for Lake Louise via Icefields Parkway, stop at Sunwapta Falls. Arrive in the evening in Lake Louise. Or book a winter transfer from Jasper to Banff or Lake Louise
  • Day 7: Explore Lake Louise, Icefield Parkway Glacier tour (by Brewster, seasonal)
  • Day 8 to 10: Head to Banff, spend 2- 3 days
  • Day 11: Arrive in Calgary, drop off car rental at the airport. Fly

(Another way to explore the Rockies is to arrive at Calgary International Airport (YYC) and then drive from Calgary to Banff and then from Banff to Jasper. You can book a transfer from Calgary to Jasper direct as well.)

Things to do on a road trip from Edmonton to Jasper Itinerary

Edmonton > Entwistle/Pembina National Park > Edson > Hinton > Jasper

Early fall colors in Edmonton Alberta

Edmonton

  • Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta. There are quite a few things to check out in the city, before heading to the mountains. Book a guided tour here
  • Start at the Alberta Legislature (in the downtown area), take a guided tour, wander the trails/walks near the river valley.
  • Visit various museums – Fort Edmonton Park, Royal Alberta Museum are our favorites
  • Stop by one of these best places to eat in Edmonton
  • Watch a game at the Rogers Centre, or shop at the country’s largest mall – West Edmonton Mall
  • Take a day trip to Elk Island National Park to chase northern lights (winter) or canoe at Lake Astotin in the summer
  • Find hotels in Edmonton for your stay here

Entwistle 

  • Entwistle is a hamlet in Alberta, located at the Yellowhead Highway intersection with Highway 22/Highway 16A. Perfect stop for coffee, gas
  • Pembina River and the Pembina Provincial Park is located very close to the town and is worth a visit.
Pembina River in the winter
Pembina River in the winter

Edson

  • Edson is a small town in Alberta with a population of about 8500. It is located in Yellowhead County, 192 kilometers west of Edmonton along the Yellowhead Highway and 10 kilometers east of the intersection with Highway 47.
  • Edson is situated at an elevation of 920 meters, so it experiences subarctic climate conditions. Here you will find restaurants, and motels to stay in for the night.
Edson Alberta
Edson Alberta

Hinton 

  • Hinton is another town on route to Jasper, and it is great for accommodation during peak seasons in Jasper. It is located in Yellowhead County, about an hour away from Jasper 
  • Due to its location at the intersection of Yellowhead and Bighorn Highway, in the Athabasca River valley, you can explore Hinton’s natural parks and sites before heading to Jasper
  • Sightseeing options: Athabasca RiverFront Park, Beaver Broad Walk, Northern Rockies Museum of Culture & Heritage

Jasper National Park

  • Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies. It is less frequented by tourists as compared to its sister – Banff National Park and is also less commercial
  • The best way to explore Jasper is by car, as there are many sites in and around the park and with a vehicle, you will be able to hit it all (in 2 to 5 days)
  • Start at the heart of Jasper – wander and eat at the little town, take a short hike to the Old Fort Point, and ride the Jasper SkyTram (seasonal summer months only)
  • Day hikes – Lake Edith and Lake Annette trails, Bighorn Alley Trail 
  • During summers, picnic and canoe at the Pyramid and Patricia Lakes. Winters in Jasper call for snowshoeing, winter hikes at the Pyramid Lake and Pyramid Island
  • Trails along the Pyramid Bench are open year-round.
Pyramid Lake Island Jasper
Pyramid Lake Island Jasper
  • Take a drive to Athabasca Falls, admire the stunning falls. In the winter you can embark on ice walks to see stunning ice formations
  • Along the way, stop at the Maligne Canyon and check out the unique rock craters created by the gushing waters. During winters, 4-hour ice walks are also conducted here
  • Marmot Ski Basin, located about 15 minutes from Jasper town, is your answer to winter activities in the National Park. The skiing season starts in mid-November
  • Maligne Lake (located 45 minutes from Jasper town) is a wonderful spot to enjoy a cruise
  • Sunwapta Falls is another stop on the Icefields Parkway route, about 50 minutes from Jasper town
  • Athabasca Glacier, located about 1 hour 40 minutes Jasper is a must-visit on your Icefields Parkway route (you can also visit this from Lake Louise, and book a tour for exploring). There is an Ice Adventure Explorer (by Brewster) to take you to the glacier. If you do not wish to walk the glacier, but want to admire from a distance you can do so from the parking lot or the Icefield Center 
  • On your way from Edmonton to Jasper, you can stop at the Folding Mountain Brewery or Miette Hot Springs (Pocahontas Drive – closed in the winter)
  • For accommodation in Jasper, there are options for hotels, lodges, and cabins. Our favorites places to stay in Jasper are – Fairmont Jasper Lodge, Pocahontas Cabins, Marmot Lodge, or any Airbnb in the area

Travel Tips and Resources for planning your trip to Alberta

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