phoneToll Free: 1.877.866.2330

5 Things you never knew about Jasper National Park

on Monday, 09 April 2012.

5 Things you never knew about Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is one of Canada's most popular natural attractions. The following are five facts about Jasper National Park, which may help to explain the park's enduring popularity.

1. Nature on a vast scale  

stretching over an area of 10,878 square kilometers, Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies. The highest mountain in Alberta, Mount Columbia, can be found in the Jasper National Park, with a dizzying height of 3747 meters. The park also has Canada's longest underground drainage system. Jasper National Park is a great place to see Canadian beauty on a record-breaking scale.

Health Benefits of the Miette Natural Hot Springs

on Monday, 02 April 2012.

Hot Springs - Healthy , Relaxing and right in our backyard.

Miette Hot Springs Photo Courtesy of Miette Hot Springs

There aren't many things that only require you to relax and yet are incredible for your health at the same time; but mineral springs are definitely one of them. One of the big problems for many unhealthy (and even healthy) people is stress, and let's be honest, who isn't at least a little stressed out from time to time? Stress can take a huge toll mentally and physically, but the second you step into a hot spring you begin to feel the weight of the world melt from your shoulders. This isn't your mind playing tricks on you, hot springs are scientifically proven to relax you and benefit your entire body.

Overlander Mountain Lodge born in 1963

on Thursday, 29 March 2012.

The Overlander Mountain Lodge began as a dream for Alexander Kennedy Miller and W.A. Walker. It wasn’t until 1962 when a company was formed, joined by 18 additional shareholders, that the two were able to make their dream become a reality.

Overlander Mountain Lodge, Jasper National Park Front Patio in 1963

The Overlander was founded in 1962 by Miller and Walker, two Edmontonians , who had long been enthusiastic about the Jasper area. Close friend and enthusiastic mountaineer, Dr. Max Stewart, a professor of political economy at Waterloo College, was the first summer manager. Chef Steve Lakusta planned to make Alberta Beef a specialty of the lodge dining room.

Road construction began in July of 1962, and by February 1963 construction was well under way. The lodge was completed and open for business in June of 1963.

The Lodge was “Named in honor of the Overlanders, the first “tourists” to travel this picturesque valley. In 1862 before the era of the railway, road, telegraph, mounted police or settlers; these hardy pioneers made their way by ox-cart, horse, canoe and raft through the Canadian Rockies to the Caribou gold fields, undaunted in their pursuit of gold.”

Upon opening, the Overlander Mountain Lodge offered 23 Log Cabins as well as the Main Lodge Rooms, thus being able to accommodate up to 150 people. They offered deluxe accommodations, a spacious dining room, a swimming pool and a riding stable all in an informal relaxed atmosphere.

Cougars in the Jasper National Park

on Monday, 26 March 2012.

No, not desperate housewives, I’m talking about the real thing, the cougars of Jasper National Park.

Also known as puma, mountain lion, or catamount (there are 40 names for them in English alone) cougars are not an every day sight in the Jasper National Park. These cats are very shy and solitary and stay as far away from people as possible—a trait they share with the elusive lynx. And there are not very many cougars in the Park because, even amongst themselves, they don’t tolerate company. It’s even possible for people living in a mountain lion territory as large as 100 square-miles, to have just one sighting of a cougar—in their lifetime. Fortunately, Jasper National Park is 4,200 square miles. There have been sightings though.

Cougars rely on their stealth and power when hunting prey. Their favorite, the white-tailed deer, has been increasing in the cougar’s former range, while the cougar itself has been pushed to the mountains and wildernesses of the U.S. and Canada.

Overlander Lodge Carbon Neutral Certified for 2011

on Monday, 19 March 2012.

Committed in providing only the best of lodging, food and guest-service expectations in the Jasper National Park, the Overlander Mountain Lodge is also proud of its eco-friendly sensibilities, celebrating its Carbon Neutral Status awarded by the EcoStay Program.

At its core, the EcoStay Program is primed to help hotels in their efforts and initiatives against climate change, standing as an arbiter in assessing the overall carbon footprint generated from a venue’s day-to-day operations.

The Overlander Mountain Lodge has been part of the EcoStay Program since September 2010, utilizing eco-friendly cleaning products, implementing an in-house recycling program, operating with energy efficient lights and maximizing the use of compost kitchen waste.

The hotel has recently offset 2% of its annual carbon footprint figures, doing its part in keeping the environment clean and healthy.

Overlander Mountain Lodge's Carbon Neutral Status is akin to its commitment in offering only the best to its guests, treating nature in the most proper and ideal way anyone could.

Click here to see our Ecostay Profile

Jasper National Park - The World's Largest Dark Sky Preserve

on Sunday, 11 March 2012.

Aside from being the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada is also the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve, covering an expansive 11,228 square kilometer view of the stars.

Established in 1907 as Jasper Forest Park, Jasper National Park covers 10,878 square kilometers of measured area topography, gaining its national park status in 1930 in conjunction with the National Parks Act. It was named after Jasper Hawes, who operated a trading post for the North West Company in the area.

The Alberta-based national park attained its Dark Sky Preserve status on March 2011 - a status bequeathed by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - and has since been the center of different astronomy and astrology-inclined celebrations and festivals, including the annually celebrated Jasper National Park Dark Sky Festival.

As Dark Sky Preserves come, Jasper National Park is strict in the use of artificial lighting, given that Dark Sky Preserves are set on promoting the study and practice of astronomy and other related disciplines, as well as active forerunners in protecting the habitats and natural environments of nocturnal wildlife.

As a Dark Sky Preserve, Jasper National Park rates a 1-2 score in the Bortle Scale, the nine-tiered numerical measurement system used in quantifying the astronomical observability of celestial bodies in specified areas/vantage points. The park’s 1-2 Bortle Scale rating defines it as an excellent dark-sky site, with airglows readily visible and Zodiac lights breathtakingly easy to spot.

Free INFO Sheet Dark Sky Download

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, Jasper National Park is one of the few places in the world where nature’s wonders are at their prime, with breathtaking sights to be seen during the day, with the wonders of the stars to be experienced at night.

More Information about viewing the dark sky at

Canadian Geographic Article 

Jasper's Dark Sky Festival

Top 5 Winter Jasper Park Experiences

on Sunday, 04 March 2012.

Winter is a time for inward retreat, but also for outdoor enjoyment.

With snow and ice, Jasper National Park is transformed into a silent glittering jewel. Yet, even if the park is mostly silent for its non-human inhabitants this is, for humans, it is the time for adventure and fun.

Here are five of the most rewarding things you can do in Jasper National Park and nearby areas.

1. Sight Seeing

Canada is at its most beautiful in winter. Enjoy the most scenic of views under clear blue skies, with the highway stretching as far as the eye can see. You can take a hike (Jasper has an excellent trail network) or drive. The highways are well maintained and the most picturesque spots in the highway are cleared of snow.

You can wear snowshoes when taking a tour. It is a fun way of hiking, and, if you haven’t tried snowshoeing before, it’s very easy to learn—easier than skiing.

With walking, you’ll be able to get to famous Jasper landmarks, like the Maligne Canyon, which gain a magical beauty in the winter. You’ll also be able to spot wildlife as they search for food—best use your binoculars so they won’t be disturbed in this lean time.

Before going off sight-seeing, take advantage of trail information and conditions by consulting websites and guidebooks, or you can go on a guided trip. You can also inquire about backcountry lodges where you’ll be able to comfortably unwind after a day’s worth of rewarding hike.

2. Skiing and Snowboarding

There’s nothing like skiing to enjoy the snow. Jasper National Park has many cross-country ski trails where beginners can relaxedly ski, or for those seeking more thrill, there’s the alpine ski runs along the Marmot Basin, which give a more invigorating glide down the snow covered hill. The Hinton Nordic Center is a another great place for cross country skiers to explore William A Provincial Park.

3. Skating

Skating on a transparent lake of ice is one of the closest experiences you can get to flying. And Canada is famous for ice skating. At Jasper National Park, you can go skating at the Mildred and Pyramid lakes, where there are skating rinks and ovals. You can also play hockey. Like going on trails, best get information from the local safety information desk before heading out on the ice. Ice Skate rentals are available at Jasper Park Lodge

4. Fishing

Fishing is a popular sport, especially in the winter, where there is peace and quiet; perfect for the patient angler looking for some serenity. Check out the local shops and information centres for fishing permits and good advice on the most perfect winter spots to cast your line.

5. Just Enjoying the Winter Season

Curling up by the Fireplace at the Overlander lodge while enjoying a book, glass of wine or coffee and that special someone definitely makes for a memorable evening

Jasper Alberta not only offers its unparalleled natural attractions, it also has museums, like the Jasper Yellowhead Museum, and historic sites. Winter is the perfect time to contemplate cultures and works of art.

For more rejuvenating winter pursuits, you can relax at one of the many jasper hotels and spas. Enjoy fine dining at Jasper restaurants.  Bring home mementos from Jasper’s shops.

For winter recreation, Jasper National Park is a diamond—serene or scintillating, whichever way you want it. Contact Overlander Mountain Lodge’s front desk during your stay for more details on these activities and for help making reservations/bookings.


Natural Wonders

on Saturday, 03 March 2012.

Miette Hot Springs

The steam, the warmth, the soothing mineral-rich waters hidden within the beautiful Fiddle Valley attracts people from all over the world. The Miette Hot springs are the hottest mineral springs in the Rockies. Flowing from the mountain at 54ºC, the water is cooled to a comfortable temperature of 40ºC as it enters the pools. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The Miette Hot Springs are just a short drive away from The Overlander Mountain Lodge through beautiful mountain scenery and often you can spot a black bear on this road!

Brule Lake Sand Dunes

Just a 30-minute walk from the Overlander Mountain Lodge we have a sand-dune ecosystem: Air, earth, water and living organisms have waged a battle on the shores of Brule Lake for over 8000 years. Here the only sand dunes have been formed and constantly reformed by wind since the end of the last ice age. In the 1900's the Grand Trunk Pacific railway ran across these desert-like dunes helping to connect the Rockies to Edmonton. Although drifting sand over the tracks caused this section of the railway to be shut down, remains of some of the tracks are still visible today. So take a walk to the dunes and spend a whole day relaxing and taking in the scenery. Please be careful of motorized vehicles since quading is one of the favorite activities to do on the sand dunes. Unfortunately condo bylaws prevent us from having any motor vehicles on the property from guests.


Jasper Lake

Jasper Lake Sand Dunes


Punch Bowl Falls: Along the Miette Hot springs road a mountain creek tumbles over a cliff face creating a narrow crevice in the stone. The steepness and irregularities of the cliff face all contribute to the unusual shape of these falls. The water falls through a constricted area and descends down into a pool of water; the water "punches' through and falls into a "bowl".

Snake Indian Falls: Snake Indian Falls is a thundering waterfall that plunges 100 m (328 ft) over a limestone cliff and into the river below. Because the falls are difficult to get to, the area is often quiet and free of any crowds.

Jasper National Park has beautiful falls such as: Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls.

Columbia Icefields

Maligne Lake

William A Switzer Park and Athabasca Lookout

Maligne Canyon

Lake Beauvert


Is it that Lodge right by the Jasper Park Gates?

on Thursday, 23 February 2012.

"We’ve driven past a million times and always wanted to stay."

"We’ve driven past a million times and always wanted to stay." is the comment we hear the most at the front desk of the Overlander Mountain Lodge. We actually have it - the drive - as a reason for staying at Overlander Mountain Lodge in our reservation system. It's true though, when you're driving Highway 16 to or from Jasper there is little time to slow down and see what is  up on the hill by the gates to Jasper National Park.

For some though, that turn has been one they will never forget. One such person is Garth Griffiths. Garth and his wife Kathy got married at the lodge in the fall of 1971. They had their banquet and dance in the building where the Miette rooms are now. Hard to know at the time but 23 years later Garth would make that turn again - this time with his 20-year-old son and say, “ Look what I just bought...”

Lodge Main Lobby Before Restoration

Overlander Mountain Lodge Entrance

lodge mountain view room before restoration

My exact words were “you’re kidding.” The place was a wreck. You couldn’t even go downstairs in the main lodge it was so dirty and dark. There were trophy animal heads all over the place, torn carpets, broken beds, a stone moose with a broken antler on the front lawn, a broken down chuck wagon at the front door and the kitchen was in shambles.

I thought he was crazy- the pictures explain why. I thought why would anyone ever want to stay here? Garth had a different idea though. He was able to see not what was but what could be - the big picture.

With that vision Garth and his wife Kathy got to working making it happen. After all their hard work, Overlander Mountain Lodge became a fantastic Rocky Mountain Getaway they were proud of.

So next time you're making your way to or from Jasper, take that turn and come visit us at the Lodge on the Hill by the Jasper National Park Gates.

Curious to see how the rooms have evolved? Check out our lodge rooms and vacation homes in the photo gallery.


Newsletter Signup


We were looking for a quiet relaxing getaway and the Overlander provided just that. The staff was very friendly and the view from the restaurant is enchanting.

- Christel Konanz

View More Testimonials

Questions & Reservations

Phone: 780.866.2330
Toll Free: 1.877.866.2330

Physical Address:
27010 Highway 16
West Hinton, Alberta

View Driving Directions

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 6118
Hinton, Alberta, Canada
T7V 1X5

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Contact Us