Jasper National Park in a wheelchair

Jasper National Park | Stunning mountain wilderness

 

After three wonderful days in Banff and Lake Louise we left Banff National Park behind. We decided to take a short detour to Lake Emerald in Yoho National Park before continuing our journey to Jasper along the famous Icefield’s Parkway.

 

Lake Emerald & Cilantro Restaurant, Yoho National Park

Lake Emerald & Cilantro Restaurant, Yoho National Park

 

Natural Bridge, Yoho National Park

Natural Bridge, Yoho National Park

 

General Accessibility

First things first: Almost all of the sights we visited were wheelchair-accessible. Furthermore, the viewing areas all have handicap parkings as well as wheelchair-accessible restrooms. There are also some wheelchair-friendly trails like the paved section of the Mary Schäffer Loop, Maligne Lake, Lake Annette Loop and Pyramid Isle in Pyramid Lake.

 

Very wheelchair-friendly

Columbia Icefield

Columbia Icefield Visitor Center

Maligne Lake

Jasper (Museum, Skytram)

Lake Annette

Lake Edith

Miette Hot Springs

Sunwapta Falls

Less wheelchair-friendly

Athabasca Falls
(only one viewing spot)

Medicine Lake
(upper viewing area only)

Maligne Canyon
(upper part only)

Not wheelchair-friendly

Leach Lake on Highway 93a (steps to viewing area)

Mount Edith Cavell
(very steep trail on the top)

Columbia Icefield

Columbia Icefield in a wheelchair, Icefield's Parkway

Columbia Icefield in a wheelchair, Icefield’s Parkway

 

Our first stop on our way to Jasper was Columbia Icefield, the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains. The scenery of the glaciers is indeed breathtaking! The Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Center is the starting point for the Glacier Adventure, where a massive ice explorer takes you directly onto the ice field of Athabasca Glacier. The tour is wheelchair-accessible, however you have to call the Discovery Center in advance (Brewster +1 888 285 0376).

 

 

Athabasca Falls and Athabasca River

Athabasca River, Jasper NP

Athabasca River, Jasper NP

 

The Athabasca Falls were our next destination. You can find a few more scenic viewpoints on the way to the famous falls. After our arrival I had to find out that unfortunately only the viewing area next to the parking was accessible because of some steps on the trail to the other side.

 

Finally we moved further to Jasper taking Highway 93a instead of driving along the Trans-Canada Highway. The Highway 93a is much less frequented and you pass through an amazing landscape. The city of Jasper is small but still very wheelchair-accessible. We spent two days in Jasper and drove to Medicine Lake, Lake Maligne, Lake Edith and Lake Annette as well as Miette Hot Springs.

 

Medicine Lake and Lake Maligne

Medicine Lake, Jasper NP

Medicine Lake, Jasper NP

 

Maligne Lake in May 2017, Jasper NP

Maligne Lake in May 2017, Jasper NP

 

Lake Maligne was still covered in ice in mid-May 2017. I guess the lake must be magnificently beautiful during summer time.

 

Lake Annette

Lake Annette, Jasper NP

Lake Annette, Jasper NP

 

I can recommend the trail around Lake Annette. It is a nice but short round-course around the lake. There are enough handicap parkings, two wheelchair-accessible restrooms as well as a great picnic area.

 

Miette Road to Miette Hot Springs

Last but not least we were fortunate and saw a black bear with her cup while we were exploring Miette Road. Miette Road is known for regular bear sightings. Still, you can meet bears anywhere anytime when in Jasper National Park because it is home to Grizzly and black bears. Bears are so very cute mammals but nevertheless it is best for your own safety to avoid bear encounters. Always respect those majestic animals by keeping your distance. It was a true pleasure to peacefully observe these two bears from inside the car with all doors locked.

 

Miette Road, Jasper NP

Miette Road, Jasper NP

 

 

Summary

Summing up I can clearly say that Jasper National Park is pretty wheelchair-accessible in most parts. Wheelchair users can equally enjoy the majority of the spectacular natural sights as well as major tourist attractions.

 

Have you already been to Banff or Jasper National Park? How did you like it? Tell me more about your thoughts in the comment section below or get in touch by email.

 

Jasper National Park

8

General Accessibility

9.0/10

Accessibility of sights

8.0/10

Wheelchair-friendly restrooms

9.0/10

Wheelchair-accessible trails

6.0/10