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.
First things first: Almost all of the sights we visited were wheelchair-accessible. Furthermore, the viewing areas all have handicap parking 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.
Columbia Icefield Visitor Center
Jasper (Museum, Skytram)
Miette Hot Springs
(only one viewing spot)
(upper viewing area only)
(upper part only)
Leach Lake on Highway 93a (steps to viewing area)
Mount Edith Cavell
(very steep trail on the top)
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 icefield 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
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 lot was accessible because of some steps on the trail to the other side.
Finally, we moved on to Jasper taking Highway 93a instead of continuing on the Trans-Canada Highway. Highway 93a is much less frequented and you pass through an amazing landscape. The city of Jasper is small but still pretty 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
Lake Maligne was still covered in ice in mid-May 2017. I guess the lake must be magnificently beautiful in the summertime.
I can recommend the trail around Lake Annette. It is a nice but short round-course around the lake. There are enough handicap parking lots, 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 driving along Miette Road. Miette Road is known for its 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 the inside of our rental car, the doors safely locked.
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.