In addition to being the home of maple syrup, moose and the inventors of Trivial Pursuit, Canada also happens to be one of the best places in North America for a ski trip. Although British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb tends to get the most press attention, its numerous attractions are more than equalled by Jasper National Park in Alberta – the largest park in the Rocky Mountains. In the summer, you’ll find plenty of hikers soaking up the sunshine and fresh mountain air, but it’s in the winter that this vast park really comes into its own. Heavy snowfall turns Jasper into a winter wonderland, with skiers and ice-skaters flocking to enjoy the frozen lakes and hillsides.
The Tonquin Valley is a favourite spot for backcountry skiers, with a sheltered location 18km from the nearest road adding to the sense of adventure for those who dare to venture onto the untouched terrain. Although its remoteness can seem daunting, if you haven’t tried off-piste skiing before this is a good place to start. The terrain isn’t too challenging, there’s a low risk of avalanches, and you can rent designated backcountry skis easily in the town of Jasper itself. These are similar to cross-country skis, but slightly wider – and it’s essential to have the proper equipment if you want to really explore the area with confidence. The charming ski lodges scattered throughout the area ensure you won’t have to risk a cold night sleeping in a tent, letting you add a level of modern comfort and convenience to your old-fashioned adventuring.
If you’d rather play it safe with standard cross-country ski trips, there are a number of trails catering to different abilities, all set against the breathtaking backdrop of Jasper’s frozen lakes, snow-covered trees and towering Rocky Mountains. The Maligne Lake trail is perfect for beginners or families, while the trails between Athabasca Falls and Whirlpool Valley offer some of the most stunning views that the park has to offer.
For downhill skiing, head to Marmot Basin, which is often pleasantly un-crowded when compared to the slopes of Whistler. There’s also a snow school for beginners, making this a particularly suitable destination for family ski holidays. If you’re more into snowboarding than skiing, you’re in luck: the terrain park here is impressively stocked with jumps, rails, and other obstacles, making it extremely popular with advanced snowboarders and skiers who want to try out a few freestyle tricks. The ski school also offers lessons on the terrain park, so if you’re intrigued by the idea but have never tried it before, you can get some expert help to guide you through the basics.
Ski chalets are increasingly seen as low-risk, high-value additions to property portfolios, particularly in established desirable resorts like Jasper. If you’re considering investing in a ski resort property, Engel & Völkers can help you find your place in the snow. Whether you’re looking for a seasonal retreat or a profitable renting opportunity, our real estate agents will be able to offer you expert advice from start to finish, guiding you towards a selection of properties that meet your specific requirements.