Destinations Magazine

Jasper Tramway – Canada’s Longest and Highest Guided Aerial Tramway

By Monkeys And Mountains Adventure @Laurel_Robbins

View from top of Jasper Tramway
Jasper Tramway is Canada’s longest and highest guided aerial tramway and the only aerial tramway in all of Jasper National Park. From the top of the tram station visitors are treated to views of six mountain ranges, Jasper’s numerous lakes, the Athabasca River, the longest in Alberta, the picturesque town of Jasper and my personal favorite, views of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

View from top of Jasper Tramway

View from the top of Jasper Tramway

Visitors take a 7 minute tram ride reaching an elevation of 2277meters, accompanied by an informative guide who tells visitors about the region and other interesting tales.  Our guide told a memorable story about a mountain goat that died just under the tram and was frozen in the snow all winter.  Come spring, a hungry grizzly bear who had just emerged from its den ravenous found the mountain goat and must have thought he hit the jackpot – talk about easy prey! For almost a week the grizzly came and fed on the frozen mountain goat, much to visitors delight who could see it all from the safety of the tram.

Jasper Tramway and trail to Whistlers Peak

The trail from Jasper Tramway leading to Whisters Mountain.

Once you reach the tram station at the top of Whistlers Mountain you can enjoy the scenic views from along the board walk, check out the gift shop or take in the the views more leisurely from the panoramic restaurant.  The more ambitious can walk up the ~1km uphill trail to the summit of Whistlers Mountain where you may find yourself being cheered on by white-tailed Ptarmigans or Hoary marmots and pikas and if you’re really lucky perhaps even a Big-horned sheep.  White-tailed Ptarmigans greeted us the day we were there and further on two marmots entertained us by playing a game of chase.

Hoary marmot at Jasper Tramway

A hoary marmot near the top of Whistlers Mountain provided entertainment near the end of our hike.

I was surprised to learn that the Jasper Tramway also has a German connection.  The project was started in 1963 and was overseen by a German company and all of the key components required for the tram were imported from…you guessed it… Germany!  Of course this made the Germans I was with rather proud.

At the top of Whistlers Peaka short walk from the Jasper Tramway

At the top of Whistlers Mountain with snow-capped Mt. Robson in the background.

Whistlers Peak at the top of Jasper Tramway

At the summit of Whistlers Mountain with Indian Ridge in the background.

The really ambitious and adventurous can go further on to Indian Ridge, a ridge adjacent to Whistlers Mountain, a scramble with outstanding views for most of the trip which is off trail and one that you’re likely to have to yourself (we only saw two other people once we left Whistlers Mountain).   Anxious to show my German visitors a “real” Canadian Rockies experience this is the option we chose, but it’s longer than it looks in the above photo as you have to go down Whistlers Mountain first, then up Indian Ridge, down Indian Ridge then up Whistlers Mountain again.

At the summit of Indian Ridge

At the summit of Indian Ridge, a scramble adjacent to Whistlers Mountain, accessible by the Jasper Tramway.

Indian Ridge

Scrambling down the correct route for Indian Ridge down rock (no marked trail).

Unfortunately for us, we chose the wrong exit route and ended up going down a rather scary rock face only to reach an un-passable cliff band, which found us then re-ascending to the correct exit route, which in retrospect was a rather obvious avalanche chute.  Nonetheless, it provided a memorable experience for both J.P and Oliver (one of our German guests) first scramble in the Canadian Rockies and adventure in the mountains.  Regardless of our unplanned detour I had a wonderful day, and a smile on my face, although my sore muscles would be grateful that I would be going to Miette Hotsprings the next day.

Jasper tramway tickets cost $30 for adults and $15 for children.  To get the best value consider a “Ride & Dine” package for $37.14 which includes both a tram ticket and dinner at the top of the tramway in the restaurant with outstanding views.   For more info see Jasper Tramway.

Disclaimer:  We received two complimentary tickets to the Jasper Tramway, but all opinions expressed are my own.  Our group also purchased three tickets.


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