My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Chilling out at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

2009/04/10by Donna Hull

jasper-park-lodge-from-across-lac-beauvert-CanadaPlenty of adventures wait for baby boomer travelers in the Alberta region of the Canadian Rockies. My favorite lodging for chilling out after an adventuresome day? The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

Alan and I have stayed twice in the rustic, but well appointed, log cabin duplexes that border Lac Beauvert. Our first visit was included in a Tauck tour of the Canadian Rockies. After several days of exploring, we were happy to rest, relax and do our own thing at the lodge. Our favorite activity? Taking a walk along the path that circles Lac Beauvert, all the while on the lookout for elk and moose. On that autumn visit, we enjoyed socializing with new-found Australian travel friends on the deck of the main lodge then eating dinner near a roaring fireplace in the bar area of the sprawling lobby.

jasper-park-lodge-Alberta-CanadaA totally different experience awaited us on our second visit during the 100-year celebration of Jasper Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On a weekend sponsored by the Edmonton Chapter of the Chaîne de Rôtisseurs, a gourmet food and wine society, we sampled outstanding wines paired with elegant food in the lodge’s Edith Cavell Dining Room as well as a Friday night dinner at Papa George’s in Jasper.

On my next visit to Jasper Park Lodge, I’d like to participate in more of the adventure activities that are available, perhaps a hike to the Mount Edith Cavell Meadow or a float trip down the Athabasca River. But what I’m really yearning for is a winter trip for dog sledding, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Look at this ice walk in Maligne Canyon that Melanie Haiken writes about at Health*Conscious*Travel.com. Maybe next year?

Have you stayed at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge? Post a comment to tell me about your favorite activities. I’m making a list.


A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Margulis April 27, 2009 at 10:57 pm

I’m curious if they get booked up far in advance? The lodges in the National Parks in America tend to have a l-o-n-g waiting list. That’s another question I have: what strategies do you have to cope with the crowds at the more popular places you write about? I find the experience of being out in nature is often ruined by having hundreds of others elbowing me, and ew-ing and ah-ing at the same beautiful view…

Reply

Jennifer Margulis April 27, 2009 at 10:57 pm

I’m curious if they get booked up far in advance? The lodges in the National Parks in America tend to have a l-o-n-g waiting list. That’s another question I have: what strategies do you have to cope with the crowds at the more popular places you write about? I find the experience of being out in nature is often ruined by having hundreds of others elbowing me, and ew-ing and ah-ing at the same beautiful view…

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
April 29, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Hi Jennifer,
You’re asking some great questions. I don’t know how far ahead it’s necessary to book the Jasper Park Lodge. On our first visit, our rooms were booked through Tauck tours. I’m assuming they have an “in” when it comes to getting the best rooms. On our second visit, we were part of a group event, also an advantage.

My strategies for coping with crowds in U. S. National Parks is to go during shoulder season. Alan and I took a fall road trip that visited many of the western national parks. We laughed at the fact that we closed down several of the lodges as we traveled along. Crowds were sparse. But traveling during the “off” season has it’s downfalls. Many of the park programs are already finished for the year or are offered less frequently. The weather can also become a factor although our weather was perfect during that particular trip.

Another strategy is to visit lesser known areas of a national park leaving the crowds to the main attraction. But we all want to see those main attractions so I try to go early in the day or during the week, avoiding the weekend if at all possible.

I can’t always avoid the crowds but I do the best I can, especially if it’s something that I want to see too.

What about you? How do you handle the park crowds?

Keep on traveling,
Donna

Reply

Gold Coast Hotels December 14, 2009 at 11:51 am

The places you've visited was awesome. It's very cool and looking forward to visiting it too. Adventurous indeed.

Reply

Gold Coast Hotels December 14, 2009 at 5:51 pm

The places you've visited was awesome. It's very cool and looking forward to visiting it too. Adventurous indeed.

Reply

Mark H March 12, 2010 at 5:01 am

This sounds a great hotel. My trips to US national parks are somewhat dictated by when I've travelled to the US (on a number of occasionas with work). I think seeing them out of season is often still special and everyone is far more relaxed without the heaving crowds that mar the peak season. For one example, I've been to Yosemite in winter, summer and spring and didn't enjoy summer as much as the other two – too busy and seeing Yosemite encrusted in ice was wondrous.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
April 29, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Hi Jennifer,
You’re asking some great questions. I don’t know how far ahead it’s necessary to book the Jasper Park Lodge. On our first visit, our rooms were booked through Tauck tours. I’m assuming they have an “in” when it comes to getting the best rooms. On our second visit, we were part of a group event, also an advantage.

My strategies for coping with crowds in U. S. National Parks is to go during shoulder season. Alan and I took a fall road trip that visited many of the western national parks. We laughed at the fact that we closed down several of the lodges as we traveled along. Crowds were sparse. But traveling during the “off” season has it’s downfalls. Many of the park programs are already finished for the year or are offered less frequently. The weather can also become a factor although our weather was perfect during that particular trip.

Another strategy is to visit lesser known areas of a national park leaving the crowds to the main attraction. But we all want to see those main attractions so I try to go early in the day or during the week, avoiding the weekend if at all possible.

I can’t always avoid the crowds but I do the best I can, especially if it’s something that I want to see too.

What about you? How do you handle the park crowds?

Keep on traveling,
Donna

Reply

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