Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Saturday, June 27, 2009

MONTANA CANADA TRIP - Day.12. Jasper National Park

This is our lazy layover day. We’ve traveled about 1800 miles so far. All smooth and fairly comfortable, but in truth, it feels good to stay over in one place, anywhere.

We decided to splurge and stay once in one of the old Victorian hotels built in the 19th century along the railroads. The (very smart and crafty) railroad magnates built these hotels to give wealthy tourists a reason to take the train. There are such hotels in Glacier National Park in the United States, and both Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada. The most grand (and famous) of all is the one at Banff – the Banff Springs Hotel now owned by Fairmont -- where we had tea a few days ago.

We stayed in the Jasper version, the Jasper Park Lodge, a scaled down version of the Banff Hotel. The Lodge is located on the site of one of the two settlements which make up Jasper. This site was called Tent City in the early 1900s. The railroad turned it into a resort about 1915 and it grew and changed over the years. Now it is owned by the Fairmont chain, and they have put their brand on it. It consists of about 500 units scattered around the grounds, as well as a golf course and Lake Beauvert, as well as an elegant (and overpriced) lodge with restaurants, spa, shops and all kinds of other luxuries. Unfortunately, for all this luxury, there are no espresso drinks and no wireless internet, two criteria I most wanted.

But that is not a complaint. This is a fine place to lay over, and we can walk, read, sleep and do nothing – all in luxury and in the midst of incredible scenery.

We drove into the town of Jasper, which is a small town within the national park, a smaller and less expensive and less pretentious town than Banff. We walked around, stocked up at the grocery store, and had a decent mealin an Italian restaurant. All in all our time in Jasper was relaxing, down to earth, and fairly low key, the Fairmont Jackson Lodge notwithstanding.

Here is a view from our walk around Lake Beauvert:

And here is a view of the town of Jasper:

More photos


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