Here are some ideas on how you can spend your time in the Canadian Rockies if you break your VIA Rail journey in Jasper. 

Two-night VIA Rail Layover

Day 1 

  • Arrive at Jasper Train Station. 
  • Collect rental car. 
  • Buy national parks pass from Visitor Information Centre in Jasper townsite. 
  • Drive south on Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93) to Lake Louise (3 hours, not counting stops). 
  • Overnight in Lake Louise .

Day 2

  • Visit Moraine Lake (14 km or 9 miles from Lake Louise ).  Be sure to walk to the top of the pile of rocks at the north end of the lake. 
  • Visit the lake of Lake Louise (5 km or 3 miles from the village of Lake Louise ).  At a minimum, walk the lakeshore path.  But, if you want a better view, do the 1 km (3/4 mile) hike to Fairview Lookout.  The trail starts just to the left of the boathouse from which they rent canoes.
  • Drive back up the Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93) towards Jasper.  Stop at Peyto Lake, the Columbia Icefields (with optional Ice Explorer ride onto the Athabasca Glacier) and Sunwapta Falls.
  • Overnight at Sunwapta Falls .

Day 3 

  • Drive the remaining hour of the Icefields Parkway to Jasper townsite.
  • Walk in Maligne Canyon (11 km or 7 miles from Jasper townsite) for a couple of hours.
  • Have lunch.
  • Return your rental car in Jasper townsite.
  • Go to Jasper Station so that you can resume your VIA Rail journey.

Three-night VIA Rail Layover 

Day 1 

  • Arrive at Jasper Train Station. 
  • Collect rental car. 
  • Buy national parks pass from Visitor Information Centre in Jasper townsite. 
  • Drive south on Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93) to Lake Louise (3 hours, not counting stops). 
  • Overnight in Lake Louise.

Day 2

From your base in Lake Louise, visit:

  • Moraine Lake (14 km or 9 miles from Lake Louise)
  • the lake of Lake Louise (5 km or 3 miles from the village of Lake Louise)
  • Banff townsite (60 km or 38 miles from Lake Louise).

Day 3

  • Drive west of Lake Louise on the TransCanada Highway (Hwy #1) and visit Takakkaw Falls in nearby Yoho National Park .
  • Return almost all the way to Lake Louise , and turn north on the Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93).
  • This time stop at some of the scenic lookout points along the Icefields Parkway .  At a minimum, stop at Peyto Lake , the Columbia Icefields, Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls.  While you’re at the Columbia Icefields you may want to ride the Ice Explorer onto the Athabasca Glacier.
  • Overnight in Jasper townsite.

Day 4

  • Visit Maligne Canyon (11 km or 7 miles from Jasper townsite).
  • Have lunch.
  • Return your rental car in Jasper townsite.
  • Go to Jasper Station so that you can resume your VIA Rail journey.