The Jasper SkyTram (or the “Jasper Gondola” or “Jasper Tramway”) is one of the best things to do in Jasper, and offers visitors amazing views of the Canadian Rockies, all of Jasper, and Mt Robson.
We’ve been up all the scenic gondolas, trams, and lifts in the area and the Jasper SkyTram has some of the best views, especially if you choose to hike to the true summit of Whistlers Peak. Here’s all you need to know about going up the Jasper Gondola.
The Jasper Skytram is closed until Summer 2024
The Jasper SkyTram (Jasper Gondola) Experience
The Jasper SkyTram was constructed in 1964, and is Canada’s highest and longest tram. With a starting elevation of over 4,000 feet, the 7.5-minute trip to the top in the enclosed gondola will take you to over 7,500 feet, where you’ll be surrounded by magnificent views of the largely undisturbed Canadian Rockies, the town of Jasper, and the Athabasca River.
In the summer, the Jasper SkyTram is one of the most popular things to do in Jasper, so it’s best to book tickets in advance to save time. Tickets are sold on the Jasper SkyTram website, and they correspond to a scheduled time in order to avoid lines.
We recommend booking as far in advance as possible, but it does help to leave a little flexibility. That way you can maximize your experience and select a fair weather day.
The Jasper SkyTram is located next to the ski resort Marmot Basin at the base of Whistlers Peak. To reach the base station plan for a 10-15 minute drive from the town of Jasper. We recommend you arrive around 20 minutes before your time slot as they board a little early, and you’ll need to pick up your tickets too.
Once you load onto the Jasper Gondola you’ll begin the thrilling ride up to the Summit Station at 2,263 meters (7,425 ft) in elevation. The two trams are cozy and hold around 20-24 people for the under 10-minute ride to the top. It can get quite cramped, so be prepared to make some friends!
On the way up the views become expansive as you leave the tree line and enter the alpine.
The Summit Station is not nearly as extensive as what you’ll find at Banff Gondola, but there is a small gift shop and small restaurant.
There are plans for a full renovation that includes moving the tram to the true summit of Whistlers Peak. However, there are no concrete plans as to when the renovation will happen.
Views from the Summit Station are very impressive, but the best view requires some work to reach the true summit. More on that below. Views from Whistlers Peak are truly breathtaking, but the exploration does not need to stop there.
Experienced hikers can continue the journey on to Indian Ridge, an easy scramble that offers a gorgeous ridge walk.
You can spend as long as you would like on the top, or at least until the last cable car, which leaves one hour later than the last scheduled ascent. Unless you feel like hiking all the way down in the dark.
You are supposed to schedule a return time, especially on beautiful summer days. But honestly we’ve found that return trams operate more on on a first-come-first-serve basis, it just means you should prepared to wait a little. This is especially true if you choose to wait until the last hour of the day, especially during peak season in the Rockies.
Building the JasperSkyTram
Engineer John Ogilvy assumed responsibility for the project following a discreet journey to Jasper to survey the location. Utilizing helicopters to transport both workers and materials to the summit, his team completed the endeavor in a mere five months, despite encountering many communication difficulties between German experts and local engineers. Read the full story here!
Hike to Whistlers Peak from the Jasper Tramway
From the top of the Jasper SkyTram, you can enjoy the views and restaurant, but everyone should try to climb up to Whistlers Peak. The Jasper SkyTram assists you for most of the way, but a 20-30 minute hike further will get you to the summit. From the summit station, it’s a 1.4 km hike, and under 200 meters of elevation gain to 2,463 meters (8,081 ft).
From the top of the peak, hikers will be treated to amazing views of the distant mountains that include the glacier-clad Mt. Robson to the North, the tallest mountain in the Rockies, and Mount Edith Cavell to the South.
It’s a pretty short journey to the top, but for the uninitiated, prepare for a workout. If you’re wondering where the name Whistlers Peak came from you simply need to listen. You’ll hear the sharp whistle from hoary marmots who call the alpine region home.
Continue to Scramble Indian Ridge
If Whistler’s Summit isn’t enough of a workout for you then continue on to Indian Ridge. From the Jasper Tramway, Indian Ridge it is another 12.7 km (round trip) and 950+ meters of elevation gain, but it’s a beautiful hike and isn’t too difficult. Only a fraction of the visitors continue the journey up to Indian Ridge so don’t be deterred by the crowds at the start.
The entire hike occurs above the tree line so you’re treated to some amazing views of the surrounding peaks and lakes. We thought the views of Robson and the surrounding alpine got even better from the ridge. It’s about 3 km from Whistlers Peak to the highest point on Indian Ridge.
The trail to the ridge is a pleasant trail that moves across the Alpine Tundra, and it is not until the last few meters will you be required to use your hands. They’re pretty simple moves, but it is scrambling nonetheless, it did deter two groups on our day up the ridge. So make sure you have a little bit of scrambling in the Rockies before deciding if you want to continue on to Indian Ridge.
Once at the highest point, you have a beautiful ridge to wander along. The trail here is very simple and requires very few technicalities until the end. The Northwest corner at the end of the ridge requires a brief detour and scramble along with a cliff band before you can descend the shale back to Whistlers Peak. If this section proves to be too much head back the way you came for an easier route.
For those who have the Alan Kane book, Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, Indian Ridge makes the book. So, i f you’re looking to check off all the scrambles you’ll want to cross this one off the list.
Jasper SkyTram Ticket Prices
To take a scenic ride on the historical Jasper SkyTram does not come cheap. You can see the prices below for full-price tickets. There are also a number of options to receive a discount. Price includes a return flight. 5% GST not included
- Adults (16+ years) — $59.95
- Youth (6-15 years) — $33
- Child (Under 6 years) — Free
- Dog Ticket – $9
- Family Package (2 Adult + 2 Youth) — $131.50
Jasper SkyTram Discounts and Deals
There are several discounts and deals that you can receive for the Jasper SkyTram. The first and best deal is that you can book an early bird or sunset ticket for 20% off. This special runs daily from June 23 – September 4: 8am – 10am & 7pm – 9pm. During this time the prices are as follows:
- Adults (16+ years) — $47.96
- Youth (6-15 years) — $26.40
- Child (Under 6 years) — Free
- Dog Ticket – $7.20
Those with a CF One card, Military ID or Veteran’s ID also get 20% off the Jasper SkyTram.
Jasper SkyTram 2023 Hours
- March 24 – May 18: 10:00am – 5:00pm
- May 19 – June 22: 9:00am – 8:00pm
- June 23 – Sept 4: 8:00am – 9:00pm
- Sept 5 – Oct 29: 10:00am – 5:00pm
*If you intend to hike far, it’s imperative you know the time to return in order to catch the last tram back to the carpark.
What to Bring With You On Your Jasper SkyTram Experience?
The number one thing you’ll need is a camera because the views are out of this world! Other important items are a waterbottle, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, jacket, and hiking shoes.
The weather can change quickly in the Rockies, especially when you are high up. Layers are key.
Is the Jasper Skytram Open in Winter?
The Jasper Skytram is not open during the winter. It opens in mid to late-March, which is early spring in the Canadian Rockies. It’s still quite wintery up high during this time and there is an option to rent snowshoes should you need them in early spring.
Is the Jasper SkyTram Worth the Price?
While there is a lot to love about taking the Jasper SkyTram up to the top of Whistlers Peak, the price tag is a deterrent. At over $50 on average per adult, it’s a very expensive ordeal, especially if you have already purchased a Maligne Lake Cruise or the Banff Gondola in Banff.
The high prices don’t stop there as even the restaurant and gift shop feel overpriced when compared to the rest of Jasper restaurants.
If you compare the ticket price with the other gondolas or chairlifts operating in the region the value is decent. We find the views at Lake Louise to be better and Sunshine Village to have better hiking opportunities. Though that’s not to say the views or hiking opportunities at any of these facilities in the Rockies are bad – you’ll for sure be blown away going up the Jasper SkyTram no matter what.
That being said other gondolas and chairlifts in the area come in at a cheaper price point and are far less crowded. Then, of course, there is a strong argument that many hikes in Banff and hikes in Jasper offer far better views than any of these operations for free.
However, the Jasper SkyTram is easily accessible from the town of Jasper. If you’re of limited mobility, it would be worth it to spend a bit more and visit.
If heading to Banff and want the gondola experience, the Banff Gondola has far superior facilities that include a nice restaurant boardwalk, elevators, and viewpoints accessible by a wheelchair.
Competitor Prices in the Area
- Banff Gondola – Adult $65 (surge price avg), Child $30
- Mt. Norquay Chairlift – Adult $41, Child $26, Family $120
- Sunshine Village – Adult $44, Youth $40, Child $30
- Lake Louise Gondola – Adult $55, Child $15
- Kicking Horse – Adult $50, Youth $43
Read More: ULTIMATE Banff Gondola Comparison Guide: Lake Louise, Sunshine, Banff, Norquay? Which is Best?
What is the Difference Between a SkyTram and a Gondola?
You’ve probably noticed by now there are plenty of ways to get to a top of a mountain or viewpoint with hiking. In the Rockies, there are gondolas and trams, and then a chairlift option at Mount Norquay!
The primary distinction between a gondola lift and an aerial tram is that a gondola features cabins that are suspended from a continuously circulating cable, while a tram shuttles back and forth on cables.
Can You Hike to the Top of the Jasper Skytram?
If you want to avoid paying for the Jasper Skytram, it is possible to hike to the top via The Whistler Trail in Jasper. Though, it requires hikers climb over 1000 meters of gain.
We have not personally hiked this trail, but most reports say the trail is difficult. If you plan to hike make sure to bring lots of water for the hike. Hikers pay half price to take the Jasper SkyTram down.
Where To Park For the Jasper Skytram?
The Jasper SkyTram can be accessed by all types of motor vehicles, including RVs and buses. The site features a spacious parking lot with designated parking stalls specifically intended for tour buses and RVs.
Weather For the Jasper SkyTram
The downside to an advanced ticket purchase is you could be scheduled during bad weather. Don’t worry if it’s cloudy, as it’s possible the cloud coverage is high enough to not affect the views over the mountains. However, it’s possible that cloud coverage may obscure the mountain top in a cloud.
If the weather is truly poor, you may be offered an opportunity to reschedule your date and time. To check on the views on top of the mountain, the Jasper SkyTram website operates a webcam so you can see the visibility.
Jasper SkyTram Return Policy
Returns are accepted as long as they are returned up to 1 hour prior to the scheduled departure time on the ticket. If the departure time has already occurred, no refunds will be provided, however you may exchange your ticket for another time and date.
To request a return or follow-up on the status of your return, email [email protected].
Is the Jasper SkyTram Wheelchair Accessible?
For the most part, Jasper SkyTram is wheelchair accessible. Though the Summit Cafe at the upper station is not, and the trail to Whistlers Summit is not Wheelchair accessible.
Is the Jasper Skytram Pet Friendly?
Certainly! The SkyTram welcomes pets, and you can obtain a $9 CAD dog ticket for a ride in the carriage. It’s quite common for visitors to bring their four-legged companions to the summit. Though dogs are not permitted in the Summit Cafe.
How Many People Fit in the Jasper SkyTram?
The Jasper SkyTram has a capacity of 20-24 passengers per car, in addition to one flight attendant.
How Often Does the Jasper SkyTram Run?
The Jasper SkyTram departs from the upper and lower station every 9 minutes. The ride up takes around 7.5 minutes. During the ride up the Jasper SkyTram team will tell visitors about the area’s unique geology.
Do I Need to Make Jasper SkyTram Reservations?
It is recommended to make reservations on the Jasper SkyTram on busy summer days and to save time, but it is not 100% necessary. Though, popular times do sell out.
How Long Should I Plan for the Jasper Skytram?
We recommend planning to spend 1.5-2 hours on the Jasper SkyTram. If you plan to have lunch at the cafe and hike to Whistlers Summit, you will definitely be having the full two hour experience – likely longer!
If you plan to do any more hiking in the area, plan for 4 hours. We personally spent around 4-5 hours enjoying the Jasper SkyTram the day we scrambled Indian Ridge. However, as you can see from these photos we’ve been up multiple times and always stay different time periods.
How Long Can You Stay At the Top of the Jasper Skytram?
If you buy your tickets in person, you will be prompted to select a departure time for your descent in order to prevent congestion at both stations. Alternatively, if you purchase your tickets online, we suggest that you choose your descent time at the time of booking. If you don’t, you’ll be required to choose a time once you arrive at the lower station.
But not to worry, the staff are not sticklers to this time, and it is no big deal if you find yourself spending longer or shorter at the top than you thought. Just hop in the descending lineup when you have had your fill.
It’s important to note that the last cabin departing from the top station leaves one hour later than the last scheduled ascent. As an example, if the Jasper SkyTram operates from 9am to 5pm, the final cabin will leave at 6:00pm.
Is There Food At The Jasper SkyTram
Yes! Expect restaurant-style food and drinks at the upper station at the Summit Cafe. Takeaway snacks and treats will also be offered at the lower station at the Basecamp Café. The indoor seating area will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
What Other Facilities Are Offered?
The Jasper SkyTram experience is divided into two sections. The Lower Station and the Upper Station. There are facilities are both.
- Lower Station: RV Parking, Ticket Desk, Giftshop, Restroom, Coffee, Information, and Takeaway Snacks (The Basecamp Café).
- Upper Station: Giftshop, Restroom, Restaurant (Summit Cafe), Drinks, Lookouts, Boardwalk, and hiking opportunities.
More Jasper SkyTram Tips
- If you fear heights, the Jasper SkyTram may not be for you as the cable cars can be a bit unnerving for those afraid of heights.
- Make sure to dress in layers and be prepared for a cool summit even in the summer months; we’ve seen snow on the peak in August! Temperatures at the base are not vindictive of the temperatures on the summit. On average, it’s 12C colder at the summit than in town.
- Plan for at least two hours for the full experience. This includes enough time to walk along the boardwalk and enjoy the views.
- How high does the Jasper SkyTram go? 2,263 meters.
- What wildlife can I see? You will 99% see hoary marmots. White-tailed Ptarmigans, ground squirrels, and pikas are also common. Occasionally you’ll see some beautiful Bighorn Sheep.
What Are Some Other Things To Do In Jasper?
There are many things to do in Jasper, so many we wrote an entire guide to the area! Some of our favorite things to do are:
- Paddle on Lake Edith, Lake Annette, or Lac Beauvert.
- Drive Maligne Lake Rd and stop at Medicine Lake on the way.
- Hike Maligne Canyon.
- Stargaze at the Jasper Planetarium.
- Go on a Jasper Food Tour!
Our Top Recommended Jasper Tours
- Athabasca Falls: Class 2 White Water Rafting Adventure: Action packed adventure for the whole family.
- Canadian Rockies: Scenic Helicopter Tour: Located away from Jasper towards Nordegg, but worth the stop when checking out Abraham Lake or driving the Icefields Parkway.
- Maligne Valley Wildlife Watching & Boat Tour: Animals and boating- two for one!
- Jasper SkyTram: Roundtrip Flight Ticket: One of the top things to do in Jasper.
- Evening or Morning Wildlife Search: If you want to see wildlife, adventure out with a knowledgeable guide.
- Jasper: Columbia Icefield Skywalk: Best to do when driving from Banff to Jasper.
- Maligne Lake Cruise With Guide: Experiencing Maligne Lake is one of the top things to do in Jasper.
- From Jasper With Love Theatre Show: The best thing to do in the evening with a nightcap in hand.
Where to Stay in Jasper?
Hopefully, this helped you determine if you want to enjoy the Jasper SkyTram while visiting Jasper.
If you have any other questions leave a comment or see our Canadian Rockies travel guide for more articles about photography spots, lakes, hikes, and everything else.
Plan Your Trip to the Canadian Rockies
- Hiking in the Rockies: Purchase an AllTrails subscription to have a mobile map on you as you hike.
- Hotels in the Rockies: There are many places to stay, from luxury hotels to wilderness cabins. See all our favorites here.
- Pack for the Rockies: See our complete Alberta packing list here.
- Get Around: We suggest either renting a car to get around, you can search for rental cars on Rentalcars.com. Or embark on an epic campervan trip with companies like Outdoorsy.
- Fly For Free: Turn your spending into airline miles and points with travel credit cards (that’s what we do!). See our favorite travel credit cards. We also use Going to watch for cheap airfare deals!
- Travel Insurance: We don’t recommend traveling without travel insurance. We recommend checking out HeyMondo, which offers competitive rates for all travelers.
↓ Join the community ↓
The Banff Blog Facebook Group is your headquarters for the Canadian Rockies’ travel advice and information. Including hike info and off-season travel information. You can also meet new adventure buddies.