10 Things NOT to do in Jasper, Alberta

Also check out the Top 10 Things TO do in Jasper, Alberta.

1. Arrive on a budget

Jasper is one hell of a place, but it will cost you! As with any place, if you live a cushioned lifestyle, luxury will cost you. But, Jasper doesn’t have to be expensive. Hostels are affordable and a good way to help you save your cash for a local tour or attraction. Try hitting the local grocery store on Patricia Street, and cooking your own food, or renting a bike instead of cabbing around. It is also possible to find some cheaper eats around town. Jasper can be an expensive town, but if you do it right, you will be able to afford it.

2. Get a Haircut

(Ladies) If you’ve spent the last four months lost in the wilderness, and you are in desperate need of a good haircut… then by all means, go ahead. However, if you’re just stopping through, or are not here for more than a couple of weeks, I would advise you to wait until you get home. The hairdressers here are just as skilled as the rest, but they must also be living in mountain-side mansions. My (female) friend paid $70 for a simple cut, but hey–at least it looked good!

3. Walk alone in the Woods

Just a word of warning, Jasper is a mountain town, and mountain towns come with mountain wildlife. This includes bears, wolves, mountain lions and even elk. There are warning signs all over town and park, urging people to watch out for bears, and not to feed them (or leave food out). One afternoon my friend and I heard loud screams coming from the woods, and only hoped that the people were joking around! But in all seriousness, hiking is an absolute pleasure in Jasper, hike in a group or with a friend and you’ll be perfectly fine.

4. Light an Open Flame

Not only is it dangerous to spark an open flame in a wooded area, it is even illegal at certain times of the year. Advisories for forest-fire levels are posted all over the park, and throughout town. Violators will be prosecuted, and these things are not taken lightly. Jasper has a great forest fire prevention program in which they systematically light controlled fires throughout the park, to kill of dry materials and avoid uncontrolled out breaks. All it takes is one forgotten fire pit, or one flicked cigarette butt, and the whole town could be in danger. Think twice, don’t melt that ice!

5. Miss the Opportunity to Ride the Tram Way

Sadly, I missed this myself. It was no fault of my own; the Tram Way was closed during my visit, but I still regret missing the opportunity to see Jasper from a bird’s eye view. The Tram Way picks you up at the mountain’s base, and lifts you up to the mountain’s peak. Jasper Tramway is the longest and highest guided aerial tramway in Canada, and the only guided aerial rope-way in the Canadian Rockies. Tickets are about $30 per person, and include a two way ride, and 360 degree mountain eye candy. Standing at the highest point, visitors are provided with unprecedented views of the six mountain ranges glacial fed lakes, the braided Athabasca river, and the town of Jasper itself. Want the world’s greatest job? You can get employed here during the high season, and find cheap accommodations in town, or at the HI Hostel just at the bottom of the Tramway.

6. Forget to Drive down the Columbia Icefields Highway

Renting a car in Jasper may lighten your wallet, but it will be well worth your while. Head South, on the Columbia Icefields highway, and you will soon be caught up in the most memorable road trip of your life time. It is easy to drive all the way to Banff, or just spend a few hours exploring all the road side attractions, like frozen/thundering waterfalls or an enormous glacier. Mountain-goats-a-plenty; there will be no room for boredom in your day if you take advantage of the Columbia Icefields close quarters. You can rent with Avis for about $150/day

7. Pick up your own Alcohol

Do not pick up your own Alcohol in Jasper, Alberta. Keep your butt snuggled up by that toasty fire, or keep enjoying your (illegal) bonfire with your friends… Jasper has an amazing alcohol delivery program at their very own Liquor Lodge! Dial the number, tell them your poison, and start the count-down to your Mountain-buzz. Not only will they deliver it right to your door step, be that a cabin in the woods (town range) or right downtown, they provide portable payment systems for debit and credit or simply take cash. An added benefit to those female travelers like myself, (according to my best friend) hot snow boarders will hand-deliver you cheap beer–score!

8. Think that Jasper is only for skiers and snowboarders

Yeah, there may be a lot of them here, but Jasper is not a town solely for skiers and snowboarders. You will definitely be surrounded by them, but there are plenty of things to do for those who are not vertically (and snowily?) inclined. Hike down a public trail, try your hand at ice-fishing, cozy up at a cafe in town, or simply just enjoy the beautiful scenery. Jasper has a little something for every one.

9. Forget Your Bug Spray

This is a general problem in the North, not only Jasper. Black flies and mosquitoes can be pretty vicious in the summer season, leaving no man, or woman, un-tasted. They will find your hostel, cabin or camp site, and they will get a good bite/blood-sucking in! You can avoid these pesky visitors by always applying bug spray or repellent. Of course, you can avoid them altogether by visiting Jasper in the winter, like it was meant to be seen.

10. Forget to Come Back

How could you? With Jasper’s punched-in-the-gut-feeling views and mountain atmosphere, you’ll find yourself planning your return before you even leave. Next time, try to arrive during the opposite season; if you came in winter, try summer.. vice versa. You will not be disappointed with your return!

I hope this list didn’t come off as negative, Jasper is a wonderful place! I fully recommend a visit to you, and I will most definitely return there myself. Jasper can be entirely affordable as long as you do it right, and there is no reason to go over budget. Enjoy your trip! Also check out the Top 10 Things TO do in Jasper, Alberta.

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24 Responses to “10 Things NOT to do in Jasper, Alberta”

  1. Tijmen
    May 14, 2011 at 2:34 am #

    Wow, that place sounds a lot more exspensive then I thought it could be, 50 euros for a haircut and almost 9 for a coffee. Thats crazy. The Liquor Lodge sounds like a very usefull idea though 🙂
    Tijmen recently posted..Kamchatka- The Land of Fire and Ice

    • Sarah Michelle
      April 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

      All mountain towns are like that. Think about it. Everything is imported, with the exception of small farmer’s markets here & there. Banff, Jasper, Whistler, etc. I’ve lived in all 3. It’s well worth making a trip in advance, to Calgary for toiletries and essentials because you’ll pay nearly double in mountain towns.

  2. Seattle
    May 14, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    It IS crazy! haha

  3. Ayngelina
    May 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    I had no idea Jasper was that expensive although perhaps not too surprising, I find Vancouver expensive compared to Toronto.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Iguazu Falls- you should go

    • Seattle
      May 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      Yeah, Vancouver and Toronto vary for different things, in pricing.. Although, I’ve done some “wishful-thinking” apartment hunting there.. and it seems like it might be cheaper to live there :]

  4. Angus
    May 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Great list. We lived our short stay in Jasper. You have to go to the Patrica Street Deli and get one of their turkey and cranberry salsa rolls. Soooo good!!!
    Angus recently posted..Boston

    • Seattle
      May 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

      Mmm.. sounds tasty! I’ll try that place next time I’m there 😀

  5. Sarah
    May 16, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    I lived in Jasper for a good 6 months and it definitely made my wallet lighter! Working at a hotel (free rent) and a restaurant (free food) made it a lot easier to stay there for as long as I did. And if I wasn’t spending money on overpriced beer and produce, then I was filling up on white chocolate raspberry scones at Bear’s Paw. That place was amazing!

    • Seattle
      May 16, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      Ohhh…. The Bear’s Paw! I went there at least once every day while I was there. One of my favourite places, by far 😀

  6. Vi
    May 16, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    #10 I hope to be back to Jasper one day 🙂
    Vi recently posted..Why you always should wear seat belt on the plane

  7. Scott - Quirky Travel Guy
    May 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    I love hiking in the forest but that place sounds scary! And crazy expensive. But the Tram would be awesome.
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..I see dead people in Los Angeles

  8. Seattle
    May 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    hehe well it’s not really scary, but it might be a good idea to travel in pairs or groups when wandering in the forest :]

  9. Marc
    May 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Awesome plug for the Liquor Lodge. We loved this list. You can get some pretty cheap eats and services if you hunt around a bit. Jasper is AWESOME. Like our f’book page 🙂

    • Seattle
      May 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      Yes, I agree, Jasper is awesome 😀
      And so is the Liquor Lodge! haha

      And I think it is possible to stay/eat there for cheap, as long as you stay at the hostel and eat from the grocery store, etc, like I mentioned :]

  10. James
    May 18, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Thanks for the detailed article Seattle, but as a Jasper local, I feel the obligation to weigh in on a few of these points …

    (1) I’m not a coffee drinker, but incredible coffee (from what I know from my friends) can be had at the Bear’s Paw Bakery/Other Paw Cafe for $4-7 or so … don’t know where you bought the $12 cup of Joe, but there are far cheaper cups to be had in town for sure!

    Also, if you don’t want to cook all your meals, The Whistle Stop Pub has a cheeseburger and fries special on everyday for $5.75, and the D’ed Dog Pub has a similar dish on for $6 (drinks not included, but still a great deal!) … for the price, they are VERY delicious!

    (2) Where did you get your hair cut … the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge?! My stylist does a great job for $22 at the Heads Up Hair Salon, and Hair On Earth, which is a fancier joint in town, did mine for $30. Granted, I’m a dude, but surely cuts in town for the gals don’t start at $70!

    (3) The animals aren’t the vicious carnivores you make them out to be, they just need their space. There hasn’t been a fatal bear mauling in the park for 30 years, and no bear/cougar attacks that I’m aware of have happened since I arrived here two years ago … and yes, the elk are dangerous, not because they are out to get tourists, but because tourists get WAY WAY too close. 30 metres minimum distance guys, they need their space, and they will defend themselves against anything they perceive as a threat … elk are WILD animals, not petting zoo animals.

    Overall though, great article, and I hope you enjoyed your stay here, come back soon! 🙂
    James recently posted..In Motion- Meet Merlion- The Tourism “Ambassador” of Singapore

    • Seattle
      May 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

      I totally agree with you.. I’m starting to feel like I should re-write the artcle :s
      I was able to spend my time there affordably, by doing some of the things that I mentioned.
      I guess that I just wanted to try something different than the Usual “Top 10” article.. and by doing it backwards it came off negatively.. Sorry for that!
      I definitely love Jasper, and now feel that I need to write a Top 10 Reasons to Visit article 😀

      And yes, I know that the animals are not out to get tourists.. haha, the people at the hostel told us that they were chased by elk though, they probably got too close haha

      **oh, and the person that I was traveling with (female) got her hair cut in town, and yes it did cost $70 /:

      **and hey, I’ve been to Hinton too :]

  11. Seattle
    May 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    I did a little update to make it sound more positive. Jasper is a lovely place, and I hope it comes across that way 😀

  12. Valerie
    May 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Did your $12 coffee come with breakfast?

    Bears Paw Bakery $2.00 will get you a good cup of coffee and you have about 4-5 different roasts to choose from!
    Ladies haircuts Im interested to know where you went?! Mine cost between 40-60 depending on what I get done and if I buy product.
    As for the wild life they are exactly that WILD. I run alone every morning on the trails just make sure you make some noise so they are aware of your presence! Depending on when you come the Elk are either calving (having babies) or rutting (making babies) so that is when they will show aggression (right now they are calving).
    As for dinning we have SO many places that range from cheap to steep. Just pick up a Jasper dinning guide and follow the $ to $$$ signs. 😉

    Come back and try it again or ask a local we can show you how its done!

    • Seattle
      May 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

      No, it was some fancy coffee that my friend ordered. But, I apologize for that, I love the Bear’s Paw.
      And again, it was my friend that got the haircut, but I don’t want to say the name of the place after all of this.

      Everyone else–before commenting, please read the updated post. I have changed most of it around, and hey–I’m working on a retraction/new article right now about the Top 10 things TO do in Jasper.

  13. Seattle
    May 18, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    EVERYONE PLEASE READ Top 10 Things TO do in Jasper, Alberta.
    Seattle recently posted..Top 10 Things to do in Jasper- Alberta

  14. Antonio
    February 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    I may have an opporunity to work in Jasper this summer. I really hope it happens. It will change my life. It would be a dream come true!

    • Seattle
      February 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      Yeah, that would be awesome (not matter what job it is). Hope it happens, good luck :]

  15. Dawn KJ Zacharias
    August 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    I work at Heads Up Salon in Jasper,AB.
    This article posted seems friendly but not well researched.
    You can find Master Barbers and Stylists here.
    Our men’s cuts are $25, our ladies a very reasonable $40.
    You receive a shampoo, great haircut and style with that!
    We have repeat customers from all corners of the world.
    You can COME SEE US for your haircut in while in Jasper, and you will have a wonderful experience!
    It will be one of your ” Top Ten Things To Do while in Jasper”
    We look forward to having you!

  16. Stephen
    October 25, 2017 at 8:57 am #

    Never been in any town as expensive as Jasper, especially food and not very good food.

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