Friday, October 02, 2015

Autumn Adventure Weekend in Jasper

October is here and I haven't written at all about our September adventures yet. For that I apologize and promise to catch up eventually. To start things off I want to share one of our favourite trips this past month that we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Jasper at the Pine Bungalows

We were invited to spend a weekend in Jasper and to stay at the Pine Bungalows property which will soon be celebrating their 80th anniversary as an established bungalow camp in Jasper National Park. 80 years is something pretty special and we definitely wanted to go find out what makes this place so amazing that people keep coming back after this many years.

What we discovered in our stay at the Pine Bungalows was a property that has changed very little in the past 50+ years. I am positive that minor renovations have taken place since 1942 when the first 50 cabins were available for rent, and if not, these cabins are looking mighty fine for their age! Age aside though, the cabins retain their glorious rustic nature that they would have had when built and still do not include phones, televisions or other modern technologies. Yes, there are lights, there is indoor plumbing, and there are small kitchens in some of the cabins, but that's as fancy as it gets unless you want to upgrade to a river front cabin where you'll also get a fire place.

Simple cabins at the Pine Bungalows in Jasper

We stayed in a two bedroom bungalow and it was perfect for my husband and I, our son, and Grandma who decided to tag along. We cooked breakfasts in our own cabin, made lunches to go, and chose to eat out in the Jasper townsite for dinner so that we could visit the Jasper Brewing Company (which is a must visit when in Jasper!)

It was a chilly weekend in Jasper so we didn't spend a lot of time sitting outside our cabin, but had the weather have been a bit warmer, we would have built a fire and made use of our picnic table provided for us right outside our door. Fire wood was available for purchase at the front desk and all cabins come with their own steel fire box (that one could barbecue on too.)

Two Bedroom Bungalows in Jasper

Autumn Biking in Jasper

We chose to bring our bikes with us to Jasper and I'm so glad we did! From the Pine Bungalows, we could easily access the Jasper trail system and do a 15+ km loop right out the front door of our cabin. We were happy that my mom had come along because we took advantage of some time later in the afternoon on Saturday to sneak off as a couple while she shared some quiet time in our bungalow with our son. We rode through the town of Jasper, over to the Old Fort Point area, around to the Jasper Park Lodge, and back to our bungalows in a beautiful loop that took us an hour and a half. Next time we go, we'll definitely do the same loop again and our son would have loved the easy trails.

Awesome fall biking in Jasper

We also drove up to Pyramid Lake and biked back into town on the Pyramid Lake Trail with our son and have decided that this is the best bike trail in all of Jasper (as long as you ride it downhill.) With 100+ m of height loss on the trail, it was fast, flowy, and FUN! And thanks to Grandma coming along again, she happily dropped us off at the lake and then met us down below in town with our truck. Note to self - always bring a shuttle driver along who doesn't mind dropping you off at trail heads.

Biking the Pyramid Lake Trail in Jasper

Autumn Hiking in Jasper

We only had two days to spend in Jasper but we made the most of our time and managed to get out for our annual trip up to the Old Fort Point viewpoint overlooking the town. We have been hiking this short little trail with our son for the past four years since he was 2 years old and we've taken the same photo every year. Now it's a tradition and we'd happily drive the 5+ hours to Jasper to continue the annual ritual.

Old Fort Point Viewpoint in Jasper
Every hike calls for at least one fun pose

Hot Springs!

When we woke up Saturday morning it was very cool and overcast so I begged my husband to drive us out to Miette Hot Springs for a quick soak before biking. Normally he complains about the drive which takes two hours round trip from the town of Jasper but I guess he was feeling charitable this weekend because he agreed to let us visit the springs. Yay!

I love Miette Hot Springs because they are some of the hottest in the Rockies and I grew up visiting this place as a child. Noah missed the swimming pool with slide and diving board that he gets to play in at Radium Hot Springs though so I guess they have become his favourite springs. On the bright side, at least they are closer to Calgary.

Miette Hot springs, Jasper National Park


For More Information on Jasper, please visit the Jasper Tourism website.

For more on biking in Jasper, please read my previous story: The Best Family Bike Trails in Jasper.

Hiking along the Athabasca River outside our cabin at the Pine Bungalows

To reserve your own cabin at the Pine Bungalows next spring or summer (they open on May 6, 2016), please visit their website.

Bungalow style camping since the 1940s

Additional Reading on Our Adventures in Jasper National Park

Family-friendly Summits in Jasper National Park

Experiencing Awesome in Jasper

Spring Adventures in Jasper

Winter Road Trip to Jasper National Park 

Jasper has an Ice Cave - For Real 

Winter Escape to Jasper National Park

The Wildest Winter Canyon Hike in the Canadian Rockies

See you next spring Jasper!

Disclaimer:  Our stay at the Pine Bungalows was graciously provided for this story. As always, all opinions and words are my own.

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