My weekend in Jasper was so amazing but a little lonely at the same time. I went up to Jasper for two days to run the 10k in the inaugural Jasper Canadian Rockies Half Marathon. Ryan was going to accompany me and we had both been looking forward to the trip for weeks but our damn water heater sprung a leak the night before we left and Ryan had to stay home to deal with that.
It’s a seven hour drive from Lethbridge to Jasper but trips never seem long when the scenery is beautiful and you have a good podcast to listen to. I finished my finals on Friday morning and headed north, making a quick detour in Calgary when I ignored my GPS and promptly became lost. Once I finally made my way out of Calgary it was mountain views the rest of the way.
You lose cell phone service just past Lake Louise as you turn off for 93 North toward the Icefields and Jasper. I kept myself occupied listening to old episodes of my two favourite podcasts, Nerdist and Stuff You Missed in History Class.
I was a little nervous when shortly after the turn off I drove through a light sprinkling of snow. April in the mountains can still be very snowy and I hoped the roads weren’t bad. Luckily it was just that one spot and I enjoyed sunshine and blue sky the entire way, past the Icefields, past the valley where caribou graze and all the way into Jasper.
As soon as I pulled into Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge I had to cringe because they had valet! And here my car was trashed! The backseat and trunk is still caked in mud from my last dog adventure, I had garbage all over the passenger floor, and the backseat was filled with items that have collected over the last month of school, it was a disaster- oops!
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is incredible! All I could think the entire weekend was how romantic it was and how much I wished I had Ryan with me! All weekend all I could think of was this line from the movie Blended…..
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is situated on this gorgeous mountain lake Lac Beauvert and the lodge actually uses that water for drinking water. The lake is fed by underground mountain streams and an onsight filtration systems filters it. because they drink out of the lake no swimming is allowed but they do have boat rentals if you like.
The hotel as a very large outdoor hot tub which is about the size of a swimming pool which is so nice because hot tubs tend to be close quarters. There was plenty of room to spread out. The also had a dry sauna and a steam room with eucalyptus oils. I didn’t try these amenities out though since I was all by myself. Merp!
When you walk into the main lodge you are blown away by the views over the lake. There is a lounge and dining room with a couple large wood burning fire places and the smell makes you feel like you’re cozied up in a cabin somewhere. After checking in I headed down to my cabin, yes- my cabin!
The Fairmont is made up of several cabins that are dispersed among the property on one side of Lac Beauvert. There is no parking at the cabins which is why they have to valet so they can take your car to and from the guest parking which is situated away from the cabins. Most of the cabins have lake views because they are spread along the shores. This gave the whole experience SUCH an intimate feel since you really only saw people in the couple of cabins around you.
I was welcomed into my suite with a fruit basket and bottle of Evian and my jaw dropped at the gorgeous lake view I had! The suite itself was so modern and luxurious which was funny since I had to use an old school metal key to get into my cabin and the inside was straight out of the city. I slept like the dead in my king sized bed. I missed Ryan a lot though, it was seriously SO ROMANTIC **shimmy**!!!!
That evening I went ORSO for dinner with Teresa, Fairmont’s awesome PR gal and fellow blogger Tara and her boyfriend Zane. The hotel had a beautiful buffet on for the runners but unfortunately ORSO is an Italian restaurant so you can guess what was at the buffet- lots and lots of pasta! I didn’t want to make a big deal out of my food intolerances even though I know they accommodate them, I just hate being that person, so I filled up on salad and veggies.
On Saturday morning I had a lot of time to kill because the half didn’t start until 1 and the 10k didn’t start until 1:45 a.m. I had a slow morning savouring a cup of coffee, reading blogs, and enjoying the view.
After coffee I headed to the restaurant for a hearty bacon and eggs breakfast and it was…. SO ROMANTIC **shimmy**! I snapped this picture of this couple and sent it to Ryan.
After breakfast I decided to walk around Lac Beauvert to warm up my legs and take in the scenery. It was seriously such a stunning 2 miles! I could not stop taking pictures!
And I passed couple after couple strolling along, sipping coffee and I thought again, this place is SO ROMANTIC **shimmy**!
After my walk I set up my yoga mat and did 10 fast sun salutations to calm my mind and warm up and stretch out my muscles. After which, I headed up to the main lodge to take the complimentary shuttle to the Jasper townsite and the race start.
I intend to right a separate post to recap my race experience so I’ll just say it was a great race, I PR’s by 8:35, and the scenery was incredible! Stay tuned for a post with many more details on the race.
After the race I booked it back to my room because I wanted to change and do a quick nearby hike, Old Fort Point before the race dinner and awards after-party. I came into my room with such an amazing surprise of snacks and a bag with eculuptyus bath salts and amazing foot cream. Can you say outstanding service or what? I couldn’t eat the treats unfortunately but I planned to take a bath that night.
I quickly swapped my running shoes for hiking boots and headed out along the lake to the nearby Old Fort Point. I will also make this a separate hiking post with details but I’ll say it is the Bear’s Hump of Jasper. It’s only about 08 km up, but it is straight up! But you get an absolutely stunning 360 view of Jasper and really no camera could ever do justice to that view. It was stunning up there, it was…wait for it… SO ROMANTIC **shimmy**!
I booked it back to the hotel room and had a half hour to shower, change and do my make up in time for the after party. While I was there, the turn down service came and turned down my bed and left me a couple water bottles to rehydrate. Could the service get any better than this?
I headed off to the after party where a buffet was waiting for me. It’s funny though, I was so hungry and planned to eat my weight in food but I found myself stuffed after one and a half plates! Granted I ate a ton of chili fries, coleslaw, and the pulled prok from the inside of their pulled pork sliders but I was expecting to pack away much more.
After the food was the awards ceremony where they recognized the folks who came in top 3 in their age divisions for each event with a special half marathon beer crafted by Jasper Brewing Company. There was one married couple who both took first place in their age division (60-69) for the half marathon. #LIFEGOALS
By the way, the guy who won the half marathon ran it in 1:10. This guy ran 21 km in five minutes more than it took me to run 10! INSANE!
The Fairmont was hosting an after party and had a deejay, dance floor, and bar ready to go. But everyone was so tired that many of us left after the awards. Note to self- take a nap after the race instead of going on a hike in order to enjoy the after party a little more. It was funny though, it seemed like it was the ladies aged 40-65 that were there to party and drink the night away. Perhaps I can expect a surge in dance energy in another 15 years?
I went back to my room and gloried in my bath with eucalyptus bath salts. After my bath I laid on my bed in my robe and passed out talking to Ryan on Facetime. It if only he was actually there because it was… SO ROMANTIC **shimmy**!
The next morning I puttered around my room for hours. I knew I had to get up and get going in order to hit Maligne Canyon and get home at a decent hour but I couldn’t bring myself to leave my comfy room with that gorgeous view. I leisurely drank coffee and read blogs, I did a little yoga, I very slowly started to pack my things. I did not want to leave! I told Ryan we absolutely have to come back to this place! I need him to experience it and we could use a romantic getaway like this. I should say there were tons of families here but to me this place is a place for ROMANCE **shimmy**!
I finally peeled myself away from my room and headed the 7 minute drive over to Maligne Canyon. I’ll give a full detailed recap of Maligne Canyon in a separate post but it was incredible and I had such a fun couple of hours playing on the rocks and exploring the forests.
After the Canyon I finally headed for home, not before a quick stop into Athabasca Falls. Half the falls were still frozen though so it wasn’t as pretty as I’ve seen in other pics. It actually made me really sad because I knew it was my last stop before I headed for home.
Overall, this trip was FANTASTIC and though it could have been more romantic with Ryan along, I still had a great time and loved every minute of it. I plan to make the seven hour drive again, but I’d like to stay for at least three or four nights next time to have the time to hit everything AND get some quality R &R time.
Disclaimer: I was an invited guest of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge but my opinions are, as always and forever, my own. I have been telling everyone how romantic the Fairmont is!