You can find much of the gear you'll need for everything from fishing to rafting at a number of local stores. On-Line Sport and Tackle (600 Patricia St.; tel. 780/852-3630) has an assortment of mountain bikes, tents, fishing gear, skis, canoes, and rafts available for rent, and the shop can also provide guides for rafting and fishing trips. At Freewheel Cycle (618 Patricia St.; tel. 780/852-3898), you'll be able to find snowboards, cross-country ski equipment, and lots of bikes. For a full selection of local guides and outfitters, a visit to the Jasper Adventure Centre is a must. White-water rafting and canoeing trips, horseback rides, guided hikes, and other activities can be arranged out of the center, located at 604 Connaught Dr. (tel. 800/565-7547 in western Canada or 780/852-5595; www.jasperadventurecentre.com), open June 1 to October 1 daily from 9am to 9pm.
Jasper-based anglers who try their luck at trout fishing tend to favor the convenience of Patricia and Pyramid lakes, located just north of the city. Visitors, on the other hand, can visit Currie's Guiding (tel. 780/852-5650; www.curriesguidingjasper.com) to arrange fishing trips to beautiful Maligne Lake. The cost is C$225 per person for an 8-hour day, with tackle, bait, boat, and lunch included (a minimum of two people is required -- ask about special single and group rates). If you fish on your own, a permit is C$9.80 a day, available at outfitters in town.
Golf addicts know to play a round at the 18-hole course at Jasper Park Lodge (tel. 780/852-6090), east of the Jasper townsite, ranked by Score Magazine as the best golf course in the province. Despite being one of the most popular courses in the Rockies, it has plenty of obstacles, with 73 sand traps and even the occasional visit from curious wildlife. In high season, a round of 18 holes will cost you C$225 per person.
When selecting a day hike in Jasper, think about the weather, your own fitness level, and the trail conditions. Trails here generally involve a lot of climbing and descending. Most are open from late June to late September. Check the latest trail conditions at the Jasper Information Centre trail conditions hotline (tel. 780/852-6176). The brochure Day Hikers' Guide to Jasper National Park, C$1 at the information center, details dozens of hikes throughout the park. For those who prefer to hike with a guide, contact Jasper Park Lodge Mountaineering and Interpretive Hiking (tel. 780/852-3301) or Walks and Talks Jasper (tel. 780/852-4945; www.walksntalks.com) for a selection of half- and full-day guided hikes. In general, hikers looking to spend a single, lovely day in the woods will find excellent backcountry trails around the park. For hikes that treat you to a glimpse of the most sublime scenery in the Canadian Rockies, however, multi-day and long-distance backpacking adventurers have far more options if you're willing to go the distance.
For a short horseback ride, Pyramid Stables (tel. 780/852-7433; www.mpljasper.com) offers 1- to 3-hour trips (as well as a day trip) that provide a stunning vista of the Athabasca River Valley. For long-distance trail rides that will take you into the backcountry, call Skyline Trail Rides (tel. 888/582-7787 or 780/852-4215; www.skylinetrail.com), with 3-day trips to a far-off but well-appointed lodge that include accommodation, meals, horses, and licensed guides for C$650. From early May to mid-October 1 1/2- to 4 1/2-hour guided rides are conducted daily, starting at C$43 for 90 minutes from both companies. Long or short, trail horseback riding is a fantastic park experience that allows you to take in views of the natural scenery. Trained guides respond to your level of riding experience in choosing the trail and use only animals that are tame, steady, and not easily spooked.
Jasper is a good place to find float and whitewater trips down several rivers, including the Athabasca, Fraser, and Sunwapta, and the city is loaded with rafting outfitters. The mild rapids of the Athabasca River are nice for beginners and kids, with a 2-hour trip starting at C$59 adults, C$25 children under 13. Hairier trips down the Sunwapta River will appeal to those with a little more experience -- or who just want a thrill. Ask your hotel concierge for assistance to find outfitters or contact Maligne River Adventures (tel. 780/852-3370; www.mra.ab.ca), which offers trips down both rivers, as well as a 3-day wilderness trip on the Kakwa River (Class IV).
For the fun of Banff without the crowds, visit Marmot Basin, Jasper's exciting, underrated downhill ski region, located just 19km (12 miles) west of Jasper on Highway 93. The resort offers a chance to ski the national park's deep valleys, with their diverse wildlife, waterfalls, and carpets of thick, lush forest. Marmot has 52 runs, seven lifts, rarely any lines, and slopes with few wind gusts. Lift tickets start at C$72 during the regular season; contact tel. 780/852-3816 or www.skimarmot.com.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.