Brent and I have been to Jasper multiple times, when we were dating, on our honeymoon and every summer but one since then. So we've seen a lot of what the area has to offer.
This time, however, we found several new things to do.
For the first time, we visited to Miette Hotsprings, northeast on the Yellowhead Highway. It was a coldish rainy evening when we went and I was recovering from the flu. It was a longer drive from Jasper than we expected, around 60 kilometers. The end of the drive was along a windy narrow road up through the valley. It took a long time, but was worth it in the end. The hotsprings were enclosed in fog and mist. They're heated by heat exchange, so you don't actually get to sit in the hotspring itself (too bad!). There's not many commercialized hotsprings that you can...I've only ever done it once, and it was by far the best hotspring experience I've ever had. Anyway, Miette. It only cost six dollars to get in (that's the same price as getting into our local outdoor pool!). There are four pools there: a really hot one, a sort of hot one and two little cold pools. It poured rain while we were there, so we got cold water from above and warm from below. It was lovely.
We visited the Jasper Cemetery. We like to tour cemeteries everywhere we travel, to get a better sense of the history of a community. This was particularly fun in England and in my family's plot in Denmark. Jasper's cemetery was very well kept and had a map so you could see where everyone was buried.
We also attempted a very gentle mountain bike ride, which I'd never done before. For that matter, I'd never done biking of any kind in the mountains before. My poor hybrid bike took a bit of a beating, and Brent managed to split his tires, but it was really enjoyable. Far more than when you're hiking, you have to watch out for bears when you're biking. A lot of the bear maulings that occur in the Banff/Canmore area involve bikers who catch the bears offguard. But we saw no bears whilst biking. I did literally almost ran into an elk, as I mentioned before. We biked from our campsite at Wapiti Campground all the way to Maligne Canyon and then back through the Jasper lakes area and through Jasper Park Lodge.
We visited Pyramid Lake Island at dusk the last evening we were in Jasper.
It was unbelievably beautiful, with the gentle sound of fish jumping in the lake, with the loons calling and other birds calling in the surrounding forest. We watched the sun go down behind Pyramid Mountain, shedding its final rays on the steep sides of Mount Edith Cavell off in the southern distance. The air smelled sweetly of pine and flowers and the world was at peace. It was so beautiful. A good way to end our stay, though we were loath to leave.