Which Is Better: Banff Or Jasper?

Banff or jasper

When it comes to the Rocky Mountains you can really do no wrong. Being surrounded by fresh mountain air and snowy peaks is pretty amazing. Not to mention glacier waters and never-ending forest. But when it comes down to Banff or Jasper, you can get a little confused. Here’s a little guide to which one from a Canadian’s perspective 🙂




Jasper is about a four hour drive from my home in Edmonton and is the smaller of the mountain towns which truly gives it a cabin city feel. Most of Jasper is mainly one big strip of small local shops like cafes, clothing stores as well as rock stores and outdoors gear supplies. Then it branches off behind the main road into little strips of stores and hotels.

Since Jasper is four hours from Edmonton and five and a half from Calgary it makes it the less popular tourist destination simply because it’s the farther away to get to. Since there is less tourists here most things are close during the summer but even though some things are closed there is plenty to do during the summer such as see waterfalls and beautiful clear lakes like Moose Lake.

It’s easy to say Jasper is the more laid-back for the two destinations.

During the winter though Marmot Basin is a popular ski hill located about a 30 minute drive from Jasper which brings all the skiers and snowboarders out. There is also shuttles in Jasper at most hotels that will take you to the mountains where you can enjoy long slops and chalet coffees.

If you are only here in Jasper for skiing purposes and hiking then there is plenty of that. As far as town life goes though Jasper is pretty quiet and I find it lacking for food although Bear Paw Bakery has the hands down best cinnamon buns in the world. I never leave Jasper without one.






Banff is small and easy to get around on foot. Located 5 hours from Edmonton and two hours from Calgary, Banff is the more popular of the destinations. In town everything is a short walk away such as the Cavin Basin, which was where the National Park was born, and the Banff hot springs is also a short drive away where you can relax in the cool mountain sides after a long day of being on the mountain.


Banff also has a variety of food choices such as Eddie Burger & Bar and a few amazing sushi places. Being a huge foodie, “where’s the best food?” is always in my mind when travelling. It wasn’t hard to decide where to go to eat since there was plenty of options wherever you looked.


Another perk of Banff is that Lake Louise is also about a 30 minute drive with the Fairmont Chateau lining the water. The luxury hotel is the perfect place to grab food in one of the restaurants and have a view of the iconic lake while enjoying a lovely meal. The Lake Louise Ski Resort is also a short drive away with plenty of hills to choose from. Once at the top of the mountain you can see Lake Louise wedged between two mountains.


So which is better, Banff or Jasper?


Both the scenery for Banff and Jasper are unmatched, each place is full of mountain views and animal spotting is easy with animals like elk, bears and wolves roaming around the National Park (I’ll be honest though wolves are impossible to see). Both places also have vast clear lakes and lots of places to go camping. Banff and Jasper both offer lovely skiing experiences as well as hiking and waterfall viewing.


I think in order to decide on where to go you would have to find out what it is you wanted to do and where your priorities were and then decided from there.


For me personally though, if I had to choose between Banff or Jasper, the choice was easy. Banff is a beautiful place and the city itself is laid out perfectly for travellers and has slightly more to do both during the winter and the summer. There is a viewpoint in Banff that overlooks the Fairmont and it was easy for Aaron and I to get around in the cold. Lake Minnewanka was also a short drive from Banff where we walked along the ice to be surrounded by snowy mountains. Plus I love Lake Louise so getting the opportunity to see that again is always on the back of my mind when choosing a place to visit.


So the short answer – Banff has simply more to do and see.


But if you are looking for a quieter, more laid-back destination then I think Jasper is the place for you. It’s small, quant and beautiful.


If you have time then I recommend seeing both places and then report back to me which on it is you prefer!



What’s your opinion? Banff or Jasper? Are you planning to go there someday? And don’t forget to follow my bloglovin! 


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  • Reply
    August 21, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Hello Shelby! I thought I’d do a proper introduction as no doubt I’m going to be commenting on loads of your posts now that I’ve come across your blog! 🙂

    My name’s Flora and I’ve just started a new blog (www.hardyandhay.com) with my boyfriend, his brother, and his brother’s girlfriend. Anyway, we’re all heading over to Canada at some point really soon for a holiday, which is exciting because both the boys are actually Canadian citizens by birth (but have lived in England forever). So, we’re all OBSESSED with Canada right now and doing lots of research on where to go and what we want to see! I really hope that at some point over the next few years we get to visit Banff. Of the four of us, I’m the one most obsessed with the great outdoors and the mountains, (my family have a cottage in the mountains here in the UK), so it’s a HUGE draw to Canada for me! I’ve heard SO many good things and your post has really made me SO excited. I can’t wait to share your blog with everyone else so they can spend too much time reading it and looking at your amazing photos! 😉

    Thanks for an awesome post!


    • Reply
      August 24, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Oh how exciting!! Canada’s a big trip from the UK. And first off- I am jealous of the boys my dream was to be raised in England! Second off- I’m glad you found my blog!
      Aw thanks so much for sharing my blog around that means a lot :] I’ll be sure to check yours out. And you’re going to the right place if you love the outdoors. There is so much untouched mountain land here I couldn’t even begin to explain. Lots of exploring and camping space :] If you ever have any questions about Canada feel free to ask!
      Cheers Flora!

  • Reply
    The Bandwagon Chic
    August 12, 2015 at 4:41 am

    They both look like a nice place
    Never been there but I think banff looks better
    I have some friends living there and their life is so simple and sweet

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

    • Reply
      August 24, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      They are really nice. Both small mountain towns with little quirks. But yeah I think Banff is laid out better. That’s amazing they get to live there! it would be such a relaxing happy-go-lucky environment I think.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Hey Shelby! 🙂 gosh I have a lot to catch up on, you have written so many wonderful blog posts since I last checked.
    I saved this one especially though, as the information held within will be super helpful when I next head out to Canada! I have only ever been to Montreal and Ottawa, which is crazy, seeing as I lived in Canada for over a year of my young life.
    But I know I will be back someday, and then I want to see the wilderness and the bears (is it really possible to see bears without being eaten?). I just adore your photography!!! The colours… and the lake… sigh. Did Aaron take that first shot? Cause it is stunning!!!! 😀
    I hope you are having a fantastic week 🙂
    xX Zoe | http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.co.nz/

    • Reply
      August 12, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      Oh good! Really that’s crazy! why were you living in Canada? I’ve only seen Montreal but haven’t made it to Ottawa yet. And ya it’s possible to see the bears just make sure there’s no cubs around 😛

      And yup Aaron took that! He read this comment and beamed btw! He said, “I did good.” All proudly.

      same to you Zoe!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Sounds like you’re the expert – both look so lovely!

    Krissie x – http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      August 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Aw thanks Krissie! 😀

  • Reply
    August 11, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Wow, these locations are beautiful! I love that coat in the first photograph.


    • Reply
      August 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you! And thanks that coat was the hardest thing to get! They rerouted it to Japan when I told them I was there and needed it in Canada haha


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