Above – Athabasca Falls, Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park Photography Guide
Jasper National Park is located in Alberta, Canada, and is one of the most popular places in Canada to visit. The park features beautiful scenery and has plenty of hiking trails, camping areas, and many other things you might want to do while you’re there.
The Canadian Rockies mountain system comprises the southeastern part of this system, laying between the Interior Plains of Alberta and Northeastern British Columbia on the east to the Rocky Mountain Trench of BC on the west. The southern end borders Idaho and Montana, the USA.
- Photography Hot Spots in Jasper National Park
- What’s in Jasper National Park
- Photography in Jasper National Park
- Waterfalls and Wildlife in Jasper National Park
- Highlights of the Park
- When to Go
- Photography Tips
- How to Plan for the Trip
- What to Bring on the Trip
- Jasper Info – Hotel, Camping, Restaurants & Weather
WHAT’S IN JASPER NATIONAL PARK
Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, spanning 10,878 km2 (4,200 sq mi). It is located in the province of Alberta, north of Banff National Park and west of the City of Edmonton. The park includes the Columbia Icefield glaciers, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls, and mountains. Wildlife in the park consists of elk, caribou, moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, black bears, coyotes, beavers, Rocky Mountain pikas, hoary marmots, gray wolves, mountain lions, and wolverines.
PHOTOGRAPHY IN JASPER NATIONAL PARK
It takes about 1-2 days to photograph the park’s main areas, depending on how you cover it; if you are a photographer who wants to spend time getting every angle and including every square inch, plan two days.
Jasper is a 4-hour drive up the icefield parkway to get there from Banff. There isn’t as much incredible dynamic scenery compared to the southern Canadian Rockies. The drive up Icefield Parkway has some stops that make this trip worthwhile, but we were not all impressed with Jasper compared to the Banff area overall. Maybe we have just been to too many incredible places in Banff, Yoho, and Revelstoke.
The Columbia Icefields Parkway is one of the world’s most scenic drives that stretches 144 miles between Lake Louise and Jasper. You can stop and photograph many great things along the ride up the icefield parkway to get to Jasper: Peyto Lake, The Columbia Icefields, The Glacier Walk, and Bow Lake (one of our favorite spots on the planet Earth.) Start your journey early up the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper. To see Bow Lake and Peyto Lake information, go to our Canada Hot Spot Page.
There are several lakes in Jasper National Park, and the main tourist attraction is Maligne Lake, a half-hour drive from the center of town. If you go in the summer, the lake is covered with tourists, and parking can be a little bit of a hassle. Go early in the day.
There is also Maligne Canyon to hike and photograph, which allows for some compelling images. The Maligne lookout is just a lookout. We call these pictures tourist shots from these types of locations. You can stop there and get some good images. Try to do something different than the same old shot of the island everyone in the world gets.
WATERFALLS IN JASPER NATIONAL PARK
The great spots on this journey are the waterfalls. Athabasca and Sunwapta are the two best places not to miss. Lake Maligne, although beautiful, was covered by tourists in the summer. There are a few other lakes: Patricia and Pyramid, which are good. The other lakes did not give us any compelling photos.
WILDLIFE IN JASPER NATIONAL PARK
Keep your eyes out for wildlife. Elk is abundant, especially early in the morning. We went during a heatwave when wildlife is known to stay in the wilderness. We did see some bears on our journey. Jasper National Park is home to many different animals. The most popular animals to photograph are the Grizzly Bears, Mountain Goats, and Bighorn Sheep. However, many other animals call Jasper National Park home, including wolves, elk, deer, and moose.
Sunwapta Falls is accessible via a short drive off the Icefields Parkway that connects Jasper and Banff National Parks. The falls have a drop of about 18.5 meters. Sunwapta is a Stoney (Assiniboine) word that means turbulent water. It is most spectacular in the late spring when the spring melt is at its peak. This is the first stop when heading into the park.
There are two falls, a lower and an upper one. The one most people see the upper falls, as access is easy. The lower falls are a short distance away.
The water originates from the Athabasca Glacier, and volumes are higher in early summer, caused by a glacial meltdown.
Patricia Lake – Jasper National Park
The beautiful scenery of Patricia Lake in Jasper National Park makes it a great place for photography. The lake is surrounded by mountains, forests, and meadows, providing various settings to capture on camera. Many animals, including elk, deer, and bighorn sheep, can be spotted around the lake.
We Run a Private Jet Photography Tour to This Location
The Highlights of Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is a photographer’s paradise. The natural light is incredible, and endless opportunities exist to capture stunning images. Here are a few of our favorite Jasper National Park photography locations:
1. Maligne Canyon:
This dramatic canyon is one of the most popular Jasper National Park photography locations. The canyon walls are covered in waterfalls, and the light filtering through the trees creates a magical atmosphere.
2. Medicine Lake:
This serene lake is excellent for capturing reflections and tranquil scenes. The best time to photograph Medicine Lake is early morning or evening when the light is softer.
3. Pyramid Lake:
Another beautiful lake in Jasper National Park, Pyramid Lake, is known for its dramatic mountain views. The reflections in the water make for some stunning photos, especially at sunrise or sunset.
4. Sunwapta Falls:
These powerful waterfalls are one of the most popular attractions in Jasper National Park. The best time to photograph Sunwapta Falls is in the late afternoon when the sun casts a warm glow on the falls.
5. Athabasca Glacier:
This massive glacier is one of the most iconic Jasper National Park photography locations. The best time to photograph Athabasca Glacier is just before sunrise or after sunset.
6. Maligne Lake:
This turquoise glacier-fed lake is one of the most photographed spots in Jasper National Park. The striking color of this beautiful lake contrasts beautifully with the snow-capped mountains in the background. It makes for some stunning photographs.
7. Athabasca Falls:
The Falls are a natural work of art. They are sculptured by glacial ice and water. These impressive waterfalls are a popular stop for tourists who visit Jasper National Park. You can find them on Icefields Parkway, between Jasper and Lake Louise. They make for some fantastic photos when surrounded by snow-capped peaks at dawn or dusk.
8. Lake Annette:
Located south of Jasper, this gorgeous blue lake is perfect for photographers who want something unique and different for their
9. Patricia Lake:
A beautiful lake with a boat dock and mountains make for a great spot to stop to capture the drama of the lake. See below.
Jasper National Park Photography Spots
Jasper National Park is located in Alberta, Canada, and is one of the most popular places to visit. The park features beautiful scenery and has plenty of hiking trails, camping areas, and many other things you might want to do while you’re there.
WHEN TO GO
When to Go: Avoid the summer months and the bus people if you can. September and October are excellent times to go. Fall foliage can be unbelievably gorgeous in October. It starts to get cold in November, and ice and snow may arrive. After that, it’s a whole lot of cold. In March, the thaw will begin, and after the first week of June, the tourist will arrive. We would pick October fall foliage as the best time to go.
If you’re looking to take some stunning Jasper National Park photography, there are a few locations you won’t want to miss. With its sweeping valleys, towering mountains, and pristine lakes, the park offers ample opportunity for capturing incredible natural beauty.
You MUST have an ND filter for waterfall photography.
Long Exposure Milky Waters
To do your long exposure running, milky water shots, you will have to use a tripod. There are a lot of moving water areas in Jasper National Park. All of your settings will vary depending on the lighting and what neutral density filter you have. You may not get a milky water shot in the daytime if the sun is out and you don’t have an ND filter.
- Shoot in Manual Mode for the milky waters.
- ISO is always 100 or as low as your camera will allow.
- Aperture is always f22.
- Your shutter speed will vary depending on the light.
- Use your cameras built-in light meter to set your shutter speed.
Take some test shots to decide on your shutter speed after you put your neutral density filter on. (It’s like sunglasses for your camera to stop light from coming in).
Use your live view mode to focus to lock the mirror up and avoid any camera movement. Use your shutter release or your 2-second timer also to prevent camera movement. Voila. You now have your milky water exposure.
Neutral Density Filters and Shutter Speed
You want at least a 2-second exposure to photograph running water. If you don’t have a neutral density filter, you may not get more than 1/15th of a second in the sun. Go to our store to buy your ND filter. We have a 3.0 for super long exposure in the sunshine – You can go as long as 30 seconds. We have an ND 1.2 and an ND8 for shorter exposures.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE TRIP
If you plan on heading to Jasper National Park to snap some stunning photos, you should know a few things to make the most of your trip. First and foremost, be sure to pack appropriate clothing and gear for the weather conditions. Jasper National Park is located in the Canadian Rockies so temperatures can vary greatly depending on the time of year. You’ll also want to ensure you have plenty of sunscreens, insect repellent, and water to drink.
By following these simple tips, you’ll be sure to have a safe and enjoyable trip to Jasper National Park – and come home with some fantastic photos to boot.
WHAT TO BRING ON THE TRIP
If you’re planning on heading to Jasper National Park for some photography, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you bring with you. First and foremost, you’ll need a DSLR camera that will give you the best quality photos. Still, even a point-and-shoot or smartphone camera can capture some great shots: your tripod, circular polarizing filters, camera backpack, zoom lens and wide-angle lenses.
You’ll also want to pack many batteries and memory cards, as you’ll likely take many pictures. And if you’re shooting on film, don’t forget to bring enough rolls of film.
Other essential items include a tripod (to help keep your camera steady), a flashlight (for early morning or late evening shoots), and comfortable walking shoes (as you’ll be doing a lot of hiking to get to the best locations).
And finally, don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure. Jasper National Park is an incredible place, and with a little planning and preparation, you’re sure to come home with some amazing photographs.
Jasper National Park Information
Jasper National Park Hotel Information:
Mount Robson Inn Jasper
– A hotel catering to year-round vacations
The Mount Robson Inn team takes pride in being a clean, comfortable, and affordable Jasper hotel accommodation. Their services go beyond just clean and comfortable hotel accommodations. Guests of the Mount Robson Inn enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast buffet, hot tub use, a guest laundry facility, and secure ski storage. They are also pleased to offer family-friendly amenities and room types for your Jasper family vacation. As a motorcycle-friendly hotel in Jasper, the Mt Robson Inn also offers riders unique bike-friendly amenities. Go to their website
Our Favorite Canadian Rockies Resort when in Banff National Park – Banff Rocky Mountain Resort – 1029 Banff Avenue, Banff – (800) 563-8764 in Canada/USA | +1(403)762-5531 Local – The Banff Rocky Mountain Resort is the perfect rocky mountain getaway for any traveler. They feature suites and condo-style accommodations in Banff National Park. Stay with them and enjoy the comforts of home and more. This picturesque location has a dining room, a deli, tennis courts, health facilities, a swimming pool, squash courts, and conference facilities. Take your vacation at Banff and live the mountain lifestyle.
Jasper National Parks and Area Information:
Passes – You must have a pass to visit the parks. You can purchase when you get there or before you go.
Camping Near Jasper National Park
Jasper is a year-round camping destination and can accommodate anything from a one-person bivy tent to a 39-foot motorhome and everything in between.
At all campgrounds, firewood is included with the purchase of a fire permit, bear-proof lockers are offered for safe food storage, and log cookhouses are available in case the weather isn’t cooperating.
To maintain the family-friendly atmosphere that attracts millions here every year, quiet hours, including a liquor and fire curfew, are enforced by park wardens between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
2015 Parks Canada Reservation Service
Reserve your campsite!
You can reserve Whistlers, Wapiti, Wabasso, and Pocahontas campgrounds online at www.reservation.parkscanada.gc.ca or by telephone at 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783). All other roadside campgrounds operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
For backcountry campsites, please check the campsite availability report and call the Trail Office at 780-852-6177 to make a booking.
FOOD & DINING
Add Your Restaurant
Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your Restaurant after their ghost-hunting or photography trip? Put your restaurant information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number and the information on your Restaurant to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you.
Don’t forget that you can use a rain sleeve on your camera if it is raining. If it is bright and sunny, you want to use a low ISO, such as 50 or 100.
If you photograph cloudy days, you can do running water or waterfall photography to help avoid the glaring sun. You can also use an ND filter to get long exposure for dramatic effects, even in the sunshine. If you ghost hunt indoors in abandoned places, be careful!