Jasper is a small town in the Canadian Rockies. It’s part of the Jasper National Park so the town’s population can never exceed 5000 humans residents at any given time. This being said, the town and it’s surrounding areas are teaming with wildlife, sometimes you can even catch a critter just wandering through town. If you are an animal lover, Jasper is the perfect spot for a wildlife tour.
We set off early in the morning (9AM) with our group from SunDog Tours. They picked us up at our hotel and we were on our way for a 1/2 day of sightseeing. Jasper is home to many species of mammals and I was on a mission to spot as many as I could. The surrounding mountains and forests offered many hiding places for cute furry critters to hide so I had to be diligent in my scouting. Our expert guide spent the last 35 years in Jasper and was also an expert wildlife spotter so we were in good company.
Within minutes from our hotel parking lot we came across a herd of elk. I was downright giddy. Kenin and I armed ourselves with our cameras and took enough photos to fill an album. The elk just sat their posing like giant fuzzy supermodels. It was exhilarating to be so close to the herd and see how calm the elk were around humans. I wanted to run out of the van and pet one so bad! It took all of my willpower to stay seated in the vehicle. That and our guide informed us that, though the animals out in Jasper aren’t scared of humans, they are still wild animals and should be treated as such. Respect the wildlife, no matter how cute and huggable they look!
Moving along on our tour, we spotted some white-tailed deer. These lil guys were more adorable than any other deer I’ve ever seen, think of a real life Bambi. :) They were so agile and fast. White-tailed deer tend to be a bit more skittish than elk. Any sudden noises or movement spook them and they bolt. We parked our van and quietly watched them eat some shrubbery.
We took a scenic drive up to Medicine Lake while searching for more wildlife. Being from Florida, I am always delighted when I see frozen lakes. Medicine Lake is absolutely a sight to behold. Getting out of the van to stretch our legs and throw a few snowballs was a welcomed break in our sightseeing agenda. Wandering out onto the ice in the chilly air was pretty invigorating. Then we all piled back into the van to continue our critter crawl (like a pub crawl with no booze).
Heading back towards the town center I spotted a herd of some of Kenin’s favorite critters, big horned sheep. Just sitting there on the ridge of a mountain was a little group of them having an afternoon rest. We pulled over onto the shoulder to get some photos and watch the sheep play.
Finally, as we were making our way back to our hotelI spot something hidden in the trees… an adorable coyote! Throwing the van into reverse, our guide slowly backed up and we tracked him down. He was a wily lil’ guy and kept weaving through the trees but I managed to get my photo. He was beautiful.
Our Jasper wildlife tour with SunDog was downright perfect. There were so many furry critters wandering in and around the mountains. The air was so clean and crisp and the scenery was breathtaking. It was the absolute best way to spend a relaxing morning seeing Jasper at a leisurely pace while taking in the local resident critters. I would recommend this tour to anyone who shares my passion for cute cuddly creatures. It was a great opportunity to take in the landscape without having to do any of the driving yourself. :)
SunDog Tour Company
(888) 786 3641