cross country skiing and snowshoeing In Jasper, alberta, Canada

This is prime xc skiing and snowshoeing country, the scenery is guaranteed to delight and enthrall you.

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper (780-852-3301, trails, about 19 km, are unparalleled for beauty and variety. The gentle, groomed and easily accessible trails wind around lake shores, Alpine meadows and forests. The easiest is Cavell, a 5 km loop with the elk. The perimeter loop samples a little of every-thing the Jasper Park Lodge trails offer.

Near Jasper Townsite, a good beginner trail is Whistlers Campground Loop, 4.5 km, which is level and lit for night skiing. Pyramid Bench Trail is 4.7 km, rated intermediate and overlooks the Athabasca River Valley. Patricia Lake Circle, 5.9 km and rated intermediate (recommendation is to follow the trail clockwise), provides stunning views of Mt. Edith Cavell, the region's most prominent and dramatically sloped peak. Most lodges have trail maps.

For guided cross-country skiing, backcountry and snowshoeing tours, contact Edge Control, 780-852-4945; Beyond the Beaten Path, 780-852-5650; Maligne Tours, 780-852-3370; Overlander Trekking & Tours, 780-852-4056 (snowshoe tours only); or Alpine Art, 780-852-3709. Ask about rentals and/or instruction, too.

A full day's ski over Maccarib Pass from the Marmot Basin Road on the north shore of Amethyst Lake leads to Tonquin Valley Lodge, hearty home-cooked meals and welcome beds. Contact Tonquin Valley Ski Tours, Box 550, Jasper, Alberta T0L 1E0;780-852-3909.