Top three places to visit in Jasper National Park
People who visit Jasper National Park come for the natural beauty of the region. Seeing the mountains is certainly a huge part of that but people also come for the lakes, waterfalls, and glaciers.
The best lake to visit is Maligne Lake which is about 50 kms southeast of Jasper townsite. It is open year round and the main draw of the lake is that the water is an incredibly beautiful baby blue.
The best waterfalls are, by far, the Athabasca Falls which I reviewed individually elsewhere on this site: http://www.cosmotourist.com/travel-tip/76884/jasper/athabasca-falls/athabasca-falls-jasper-alberta-canada/. Sunwapta Falls are also nice but inferior compared to Athabasca.
The best glacier is in my opinion, Angel Glacier which is south of Jasper off of highway 93. Most people say that the Columbia Icefields are the best but really the Angel Glacier region is a much more superior place to visit. When I visited Angel Glacier a couple years ago, I remember feeling awestruck and I have never felt that way at the Columbia Icefields. [more]
Visiting Jasper National Park and Avoiding High Hotel fees
Jasper National Park is a major tourist attraction in western Canada. Accordingly, the hotels are in high demand, especially in the summer time. In turn, this leads to hotel room rates being very high and you could pay $200 - $350 per night for a room that is pretty basic.
One way you could enjoy Jasper National Park while avoiding high room rates is to stay on the edge of the park and just drive in for day trips. The town of Hinton, Alberta (on highway 16, the Yellowhead highway) is only about 30 minutes from the Jasper National Park park gates and it has hotels that are of the same quality or better quality than the hotels in Jasper for $70 to $110 less per night.
The town of Valemount, British Columbia is similar in that regard and it is just a little ways outside of Jasper National Park off highway 16.
Consider summer rates during the busy Canada Day (the weekend near July 1st each year) weekend for example. What you could do is stay in Hinton for $150 at the Best Western White Wolf Inn on a Friday night (instead of $240 at the Best Western in Jasper). On Saturday you could plan a day trip through Jasper National Park (buying a day pass at the park gates) and visit several points that interest you while lunching in the town of Jasper before heading west through the park to the town of Valemount. Stay at the Best Western Inn and Suites for $160 (again, instead of $240) on Saturday night and then head back home Sunday morning, possibly through the park again (you only need to buy a park pass if you are stopping, you can use the highway without buying a pass).
You might spend a bit more money on gas and a bit more time on driving, but you will save over $150 on room rates while staying in similar quality properties. Hinton and Valemount are not as beautiful as Jasper, but what's the point of having great scenery when you are sleeping? You can get to the National Park really easily during the day time and have a lot more money to spend when you get there! [more]