Unless you haven’t opened your laptop, turned on your TV, or read a newspaper for the past three months, you know about the UK’s latest royal wedding. What you may not know is that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex), are catching some grief for their choice of wedding destination from the media. While originally thought to be planning a honeymoon in Namibia, the royal couple are now rumored to be traveling to the luxurious Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada, which The New York Post is calling the “world’s most boring place”. That’s quite the assertion — and it couldn’t be further from the truth.
With a perfect mix of natural beauty, modern conveniences and (perhaps most important for the newlyweds) privacy, Jasper is actually an amazing pick for a royal honeymoon. It’s not a totally random choice, either; Jasper has been popular vacation spot for royals for a long time, having previously hosted King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. We think the newlyweds knew exactly what they were doing when they booked this trip. From stunning wild landscapes to active adventures to incredibly secluded beaches, here are seven activities that prove Jasper National Park is not just a great honeymoon destination for Harry and Meghan, but a wise choice for any outdoor adventurer this summer.
1. Cruise around Maligne Lake
Located about 45 minutes from downtown Jasper, Maligne Lake is the definition of a remote getaway. There’s a boathouse on the lake where you can rent canoes or kayaks for paddling around the turquoise waters. The cruise itself stops off at Spirit Island, at the far end of the lake, where you can explore, dip your feet in the water, and take in the view before heading back to the boathouse for a satisfying meal.
2. Raft down the Athabasca River
If you’re past your honeymooning days and want to visit Jasper National Park with the whole family, this is a great activity that everyone will enjoy. Float down the Athabasca River with your tour guide, who will point out interesting landmarks and wildlife along the way. You might even get to experience some whitewater rapids in certain parts.
3. Hike the Valley of Five Lakes
Jasper’s Valley of Five Lakes hike is a popular choice among hikers of all skill levels. It’s only about three miles long, with moderate uphill climbing. The hike will take you around five beautiful lakes, each of which you can stop and explore at your leisure.
4. Lay out on a beach free of crowds
You might not associate Alberta with beaches, but Jasper National Park actually has some pretty great ones, with strikingly blue water and clear mountain views. Best of all, there won’t be hundreds of people fighting over a plot of sand, like there are at more conventional beach destinations. Try the beaches at Lake Annette and Lake Edith, where the water is a few degrees warmer than the rest of the park. There is also a playground between the lakes for the kids to play, and a nice picnic area.
5. Look down (if you dare) at the Glacier Skywalk
If you don’t mind venturing about 90 minutes from downtown Jasper, the Glacier Skywalk is a must-see. A 1,312-foot, glass-floored walkway hanging above the Sunwapta Valley, the transparent skywalk provides panoramic views of the snowy mountains and valleys. Just make sure you don’t have a fear of heights — it’s a long way down the valley.
6. Bask in the mighty Athabasca Falls
This 75.5-foot waterfall is the largest in Jasper, and lies just west of the Icefields Parkway. No matter the season or temperature, travelers can always expect to find water tumbling over the falls and through the gorge. There are also various observation platforms and walking trails around the falls to ensure you get the best view.
7. Summit Mount Robson
The highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson towers at 12,972 feet. The peak is known as The Mountain of the Spiral Road because of its distinct, horizontal layers of rock, and it has several hiking trails, ranging from easy to advanced. Do your research and learn what trail is best-suited to your needs; we guarantee the views will be breathtaking no matter what.