Unforgettable Adventures for Pre-Teens & Families

Nestled amidst the breathtaking Canadian Rockies, Jasper, Alberta, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. For parents planning a trip to Jasper with their pre-teen kids, this enchanting destination offers a myriad of activities that will leave lasting memories and create an unforgettable family vacation.

From awe-inspiring natural wonders to thrilling outdoor pursuits, there’s something for everyone in Jasper. As summer unveils, these iconic destinations offer the perfect escape for parents seeking unforgettable experiences with their loved ones.

woman hiking through a field of wild flowers with mountains in the backgroiund
Hiking the Overlander Trail to Moberly Cabin, a Historic Métis Settlement

Pyramid Lake and Island Exploration

Begin your family adventure with a visit to Pyramid Lake, just a short drive from Jasper town. Take a stroll along the lake’s edge and embark on the Pyramid Island hike: It’s a family-friendly trail that begins at Pyramid Lake’s eastern shore.

The hike is relatively easy and suitable for kids of all ages. As you cross the wooden footbridge to the island, your pre-teens will be thrilled by the sense of adventure. On the island, there are picnic tables and benches, making it a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a packed lunch amidst stunning mountains. Keep your eyes open, and you might even be able to spot some wildlife!

Maligne Lake & Maligne Canyon

Only a 45-minute car ride away from Jasper, you will find the magnificent Maligne Lake, where you can treat your family to a memorable cruise on the crystal-clear waters. A boat will take you along the lake’s stunning landscapes with gorgeous views of glaciers and mountains while it heads to the world-famous Spirit Island, where you can go for a quick stroll.

Maligne Lake is also a gateway to several breathtaking hiking trails suitable for families. One of the popular options is the Mary Schäffer Loop Trail, an easy and scenic walk that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Enjoy the hike and encourage kids of all ages to spot wildlife and vibrant wildflowers along the way, to keep them engaged.

Rock cliffs above a mountain white water river
Athabasca River Just Above Athabasca Falls

On your way back to Jasper, make a stop at Maligne Canyon: Prepare for an awe-inspiring experience as you embark on a hike through the magnificent Maligne Canyon. This natural wonder offers a series of accessible bridges that crisscross the narrow canyon, offering stunning views of cascading waterfalls and unique geological formations. The trail is family-friendly and well-maintained, making it an excellent opportunity for kids to discover the power of nature firsthand.

woman standing with children beside Horshoe Lake information sign
Hiking Around Horseshoe Lake

Jasper SkyTram

For astonishing panoramic views of the Rockies, take a scenic ride on the Jasper SkyTram. As you ascend to an altitude of 2,263 meters, your family gets to enjoy a beautiful birds-eye view of the Jasper National Park, while a knowledgeable guide will point out sights and answer questions.

Jasper Sky tram cable car landing at the top platform of a mountain
Jasper SkyTram Approaching Whistler’s Summit

Once at the summit, there’s an extensive boardwalk system with interpretive displays, allowing your pre-teens to learn about the local flora, fauna, and geological features of the region. Consider packing a light snack and spending some time at the Upper Station’s outdoor observation decks, offering excellent photo opportunities and a chance to spot eagles. To escape the crowds and take the most scenic photos, it’s best to go early in the morning or the evening.

Athabasca Falls

View of whitewater river flowing over waterfall
Athabasca Falls

A short drive from Jasper, Athabasca Falls awaits with its powerful cascades and rugged landscapes. This natural wonder offers a series of walkways and viewing platforms, allowing the whole family to witness the sheer force of the Athabasca River as it carves its way through the limestone canyon.

Horseback Riding with Jasper Riding Stables

Instead of discovering Jasper’s National Park’s trails by foot, your family might as well enjoy them on the back of a horse. Jasper Riding Stables offers an hour-long out-and-back trail ride that’s suitable for beginners and families with kids older than 6 years. An experienced guide will make sure you’re comfortable and safe, while they take you along the trails with various viewpoints, overlooking the Athabasca River, surrounding lakes, and mountain ranges.

Wildlife Watching

Jasper is a haven for wildlife, and your pre-teens will be thrilled by the opportunity to spot various animals in their natural habitat. Consider joining a guided wildlife tour where you might encounter elk, deer, bighorn sheep, and if you’re lucky, even black bears and grizzlies. Remember to maintain a safe distance and bring binoculars for a closer look.

Deer Grazing at the Outskirts of the Town of Jasper
black bear feeding in a forest clearing
Black Bear Spotted Along the Athabasca River Near Town

Rent Bikes and Explore

Exploring Jasper’s trails on bicycles is a fun and active way for families to experience the beauty of the national park. Several bike rental shops in Jasper offer a variety of options, including child-sized bikes, trailers, and attachments. This ensures that even younger pre-teens can participate comfortably. Depending on your family’s interests and abilities, you can choose from leisurely rides along scenic lakeshores or more adventurous trails that lead to stunning viewpoints.

Person on wooded gravel trail riding a mountain bike
Riding the Squirrel Trail to Jasper Park Lodge

Jasper Planetarium

Jasper’s activities aren’t limited to daylight only. If you’re feeling adventurous, engage your kids’ curiosity and passion for the cosmos at the Jasper Planetarium. Your pre-teens will be fascinated by the immersive experience and the chance to learn about the night sky in a region with minimal light pollution.

The planetarium’s knowledgeable staff will lead stargazing sessions, where you and your pre-teens can use telescopes to observe celestial wonders, including planets, stars, and distant galaxies. You also get to enjoy interactive astronomy presentations, stargazing sessions, and learn about the wonders of the night sky together as a family.

Totem pole - mout
Totem Pole Opposite the Tourist Information Centre Was Replaced n 2011

Whether your family is visiting Jasper for its majestic mountain views, beautiful lakes, or for its diverse wildlife, there won’t be a single day that has room for boredom. Countless possible activities for families traveling with pre-teens will make sure you’ll enjoy every moment spent in Jasper. Embrace the opportunity to bond with your family while discovering the beauty of the Canadian Rockies and creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

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