The second half of our trip was spent in Jasper National Park. Jasper is less touristy than Banff. It has less in the way of shops and restaurants but more in the way of wildlife. We saw bighorn sheep and elk on a daily basis, they even came within inches of our car! I had definitely never experienced anything like that before. We saw a couple of coyotes too from a distance. Although I had been terrified yet fascinated by the prospect of seeing a bear, we never did see one on this trip...I guess I was relieved/mildly disappointed lol. I was a bit sad that we never saw any mountain goats either, even though we drove to the areas specifically recommended for them multiple times...maybe it was the wrong time of year or something. But I can't complain too much!
Another awesome experience we had in Jasper was the glacier tour, where we got to walk around on the Athabasca Glacier! We even sampled some of the chilly water from the glacier stream. I also had the first-time experience of seeing an aurora in the sky at night :) We managed to get a (somewhat blurry) long exposure shot of it.
Here are a few other highlights of our experience in Jasper: Peyto Lake-more gorgeous turquoise water, Athabasca Falls, Maligne Lake (I highly recommend the boat trip to Spirit Island!) and Maligne Canyon, Mount Edith Cavell, the Angel glacier, Pyramid Mountain, Medicine Lake, and horseback riding at Jasper Riding Stables.
The restaurants that really stood out to me were Coco's cafe, who served up a delicious ginger latte and a "grown up grilled cheese" featuring caramelized onion chutney and green apples (going to have to re-create it at home!) and Jasper Brewing Company, where we had dinner twice, enjoyed some serious mugs of beer, and tried our first serving of poutine...which was good but super rich!
Now for the photos:
on the Athabasca Glacier
Spirit Island on Maligne Lake
Mount Edith Cavell
Mount Edith Cavell
Pyramid Mountain, Patricia Lake
Tangle Creek Falls
one of the gorgeous vistas off of the Icefields Parkway
Mount Edith Cavell, Cavell Lake
Jasper Brewing Company
baby bighorn sheep (lamb? kid? I'm not sure lol)