How to Fly to Jasper National Park

Most visitors to Jasper National Park arrive via either Edmonton International Airport (YEG) or Calgary International Airport (YYC). This is a brief guide to the airports and how these 2 Alberta, Canada airports fit into Jasper National Park vacation itineraries.

Both Edmonton Airport and Calgary Airport are large, full-service international airports served by several airlines and car rental agencies. Their locations make them good choices for various types of Jasper National Park vacation itineraries.

Edmonton International Airport

Edmonton International Airport (YEG) serves 50 non-stop domestic, U.S. and international destinations. I found it to be an easy airport to navigate. Just get off the plane and follow the clear signs to baggage pick-up.

Tip:

* The * next to the airlines or car rental agency denotes that they serve both Edmonton and Calgary. For those doing a “4 corners trip” (visiting 1 Edmonton, 2 Jasper, 3 Banff and 4 Calgary – or reverse), it is often cheaper to use the same airline and do an open-jaw flight. An open-jaw flight is when you flying into one airport and out another. Sometimes this is simply called a “multi-city” flight. You’ll need a car agency at both airports too. I like this form of flying because it is more travel for the money, usually the same amount of money.

Most of the major airlines and several regionals fly into Edmonton International Airport on a regular basis. Some fly in several times a day while others only a few times a week. These are the airlines:

  • Air Canada/Jazz *
  • Air North *
  • Air Transat *
  • Alaska Airlines *
  • Canadian North *
  • Central Mountain Air *
  • Delta Airlines *
  • First Air
  • Horizon Air *
  • Integra Air
  • Martinair *
  • Mexicana Airlines
  • My Travel
  • Northwest Airlines *
  • Northwestern Air Lease
  • SkyService *
  • Sunwing Airlines *
  • U.S. Airways *
  • United Airlines *
  • WestJet *

The rental car agencies in Edmonton Airport are Avis*, Hertz*, Budget*, Thrifty*, and National*.

Driving from Edmonton Airport to Jasper National Park

The drive from Edmonton to Jasper is an easy 3 hours and 27 minutes to 4 hours with a few places to stop for a stretch or meal along the way – like Edson and Hinton. Highway 16 is straight and flat from Edmonton all the way to Hinton. There’s little traffic outside of Edmonton. After Hinton, the Canadian Rockies start creeping up and the scenery changes to snow-capped mountains.

If your flight arrives late in the evening, it may be better to spend the night in Edmonton to get a good night’s rest. Then, do the Edmonton to Jasper drive in the morning. If time permits in Edmonton, the West Edmonton Mall is an adventure in itself.

Another option is to split the Edmonton to Jasper drive in two. The first night, drive halfway to Jasper, staying the night in the small town of Edson, Alberta. Edson has plenty of hotels and dining options. Then, wake up early and you’ll only be 1 1/2 to 2 hours from the Jasper National Park east entrance and Miette Hot Springs.

Calgary International Airport

Calgary Stampede photo by john1710 - creative commonsFor Banff National Park to Jasper National Park vacations, Calgary International Airport (YYC) makes a great starting point. Calgary, Alberta is best known for the Calgary Stampede, the famous Canadian stampede/festival that runs for 10 days every July. Calgary stays fun the rest of the year with museums, dining, the Calgary Tower, Calgary Zoo, Calgary Olympic Park, and many other activities.

Calgary Airport is about 1 1/2 hours to Banff village. Lake Louise is a short drive from that. Spend some time in Banff National Park and then go to Jasper National Park, adjacent to Banff on the north. Then head back to Calgary or head east to Edmonton.

Airlines flying into Calgary International Airport:

  • Air Canada/Jazz *
  • Air North *
  • Air Transat *
  • Alaska Airlines *
  • American Airlines
  • British AirwaysCalgary airport - by Paul Jerry - creative commones
  • Canadian North *
  • Central Mountain Air *
  • Condor
  • Continental Airlines
  • Delta Connection *
  • Excel Airways
  • Fly Globe Span
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Horizon Air *
  • Martinair *
  • Monarch
  • Northwest Airlines *
  • Pacific Coastal
  • Skyservice *
  • Sunwing Airlines *
  • Thomas Cook
  • U.S. Airways *
  • United Airlines *
  • WestJet *
  • Zoom

Cargary Airport Rental Car Agencies

The following are the on-site rental car agencies at Calgary International Airport:

  • Alamo, Avis*, Budget*, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Enterprise, Hertz*, National* and Thrifty*

I’ve had good luck with HotWire.com for car rentals and have scored prices below Orbitz, Travelocity and the likes. HotWire seems to lack a way to request open-jaw/multi-city car rentals though. CheapTickets.com is a place to find good multi-city car rental options.

Before you buy airline tickets

Plan to have a great time. But be prepared in the slight chance tickets need to be canceled.

First, be cognizant of flight cancellation rules. Ticket rules vary greatly – with low price tickets having the least flexibility. If you end up needing to change dates, sometimes the terms and conditions impose a minor penalty. Other times, a ticket’s terms and conditions can say “no cancellation, no changes, no refunds.”

Next, have peace of mind. An easy way to have peace of mind is to purchase some form of flight insurance. While exact rules vary, most flight insurance policies provide reimbursement in the event of sickness or certain types of emergencies. Some airlines and flight search websites offer it. Others don’t. There are also independent travel insurance providers who provide extended/custom coverage at a price. I’ve paid around $20 per ticket for insurance in the past.

Enjoy your Jasper National Park and Alberta, Canada travel adventure.

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2 comments to How to Fly to Jasper National Park

  • Judy Craig

    I am planning a short trip to Jasper in Sept and really looking forward to going back. I worked in the gift shop at Jasper Park Lodge in 1961 and have never had the opportunity to return. This is a quick side trip on the way to a family get together in Kelowna. I will be staying at the lodge and am very excited.

    Any suggestions or pointers would be great. I will, in fact, really only be in the town for one day, Sept 11th.
    Thanks, jc

  • After you go back, it would be interesting to know how your impression of Jasper has changed from 1961 to now. One thing you missed by just 3 years was the Jasper Tramway. The tramway began operating in 1964.

    I would do the Jasper Tramway and take in the views from the upper terminal which overlooks Jasper townsite. You’ll see how the town has changed. There’s a little cafeteria-style restaurant at the top terminal too. Maybe have lunch there and take in the view through the big windows.

    You could probably also fit in a trip to Maligne Lake and do the boat tour to Spirit Island. Then, depending on time and remaining daylight, you could head south on Highway 93 and stop at Athabasca Falls, or spend time in Jasper townsite, or just head towards dinner either in the townsite or at the Jasper Park Lodge.

    If you skip Maligne Lake, you could instead go down the Icefield Parkway to the Athabasca Glacier. If you make it down to the Athabasca Glacier, you’ll notice how much it has receded since 1961. The newer snowcoach offers a more comfortable ride to a place on the glacier where you can get out and breath the glacier air.

    I imagine that if you are heading to Kelowna, you could take highway 16 west to 5 and then head south west. If you have time, you could instead take the long, long way by driving down Highway 93 and then west on 1. Doing so would take you through 4 national parks in 1 day! Jasper, Banff, Yoho and Glacier. It’s probably a lot of park admission fees and a very long day of driving though!

    Hope that gives you some ideas! Have fun!

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