Marmot Basin4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
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banff powder highway tour

Marmot Basin Jasper Canada
Marmot Basin Jasper Canada
Jasper skiing at Marmot Basin
Jasper skiing at Marmot Basin
Cold Alberta powder
Cold Alberta powder
Jasper skiing is characterised by some gorgeous views
Jasper skiing is characterised by some gorgeous views
Icefields Parkway on the way to Jasper Canada
Icefields Parkway on the way to Jasper Canada
The Icefields Parkway provides some amazing eye candy
The Icefields Parkway provides some amazing eye candy
Marmot Basin Jasper
Marmot Basin Jasper
A powder day at Marmot Basin Ski Resort
A powder day at Marmot Basin Ski Resort
The town of Jasper Alberta
The town of Jasper Alberta
The town of Jasper Canada
The town of Jasper Canada
Jasper has a strong train history
Jasper has a strong train history
Glades at Marmot Basin
Glades at Marmot Basin
Views across to the town of Jasper
Views across to the town of Jasper
Nice groomers at Marmot Basin
Nice groomers at Marmot Basin
Jasper skiing Canada
Jasper skiing Canada
Off-piste skiing Marmot Basin
Off-piste skiing Marmot Basin
Nice snow at Marmot Basin
Nice snow at Marmot Basin
Jasper Alberta
Jasper Alberta
Lovely views from the ski resort
Lovely views from the ski resort
Jasper National Park: you don't have to venture too far to see wildlife
Jasper National Park: you don't have to venture too far to see wildlife

Marmot Basin

Marmot Basin Ski Resort in Jasper National Park is a place of beauty. Jasper skiing is augmented by the views from the Eagle Ridge and the Knob chairs which are particularly awe inspiring. Also surrounding the ski resort, the vast Jasper National Park offers many breathtaking landscapes and the nearby Icefield Parkway is beautifully dramatic.

Marmot Basin Jasper is popular with skiers and snowboarders from Edmonton, whilst for others Jasper skiing is a good choice for a multi-day trip as an alternative to the much busier Banff ski resorts.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Jasper Skiing at Marmot Basin

Pros
  • The natural beauty of the Marmot ski resort and national park is very impressive.
  • The Icefields Parkway drive between Lake Louise and Jasper provides such amazing eye candy, that it’s a reason in itself to go to Jasper Canada.
  • Marmot Basin Ski Resort is very uncrowded, especially on non-powder days and relative to the Banff ski resorts and some of the BC resorts further south.
  • The ski resort provides reasonable value for money, especially compared to Sunshine and Lake Louise.
Cons
  • There is no on-mountain accommodation at Marmot Basin.
  • Proficient riders might want a bigger hill, as the Marmot Basin Ski Resort is smaller than average for the main BC and Alberta ski resorts.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • The temperatures in Jasper and at Marmot Basin can be absolutely frigid (akin to the Banff resorts), but cold and squeaky Alberta powder obviously doesn’t materialise if it’s warm!

Marmot Basin Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Marmot Basin isn’t huge with only 86 runs and 1,675 acres (678 hectares) of skiable terrain, so it doesn’t take long to suss out the general layout. Sunshine Village is twice the size and Lake Louise is 2.5 times the size, but on the plus side, Jasper skiing at Marmot is about 9 times bigger than the little Banff Norquay resort. Marmot Basin has a vertical drop of 914 metres (3,000 ft) from 2,612 to 1,698m, although part of the vertical includes some hike-to-terrain.

The Marmot Basin ski area is above and below the treeline so it provides the best of both worlds: the majesty of the open alpine; and the protection of the trees. There is good terrain variety including groomed runs, moguls, glades, tight trees, alpine bowls, chutes and cliffs/rock features.

Trails are evenly spread by ability with 30% for beginners, 30% intermediate, 20% advanced and 20% double black diamond. Experienced skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the shots off the Eagle Ridge chair and Knob chair, particularly with a hike up to the top of Marmot Peak.

Marmot Basin Ski Resort has 7 lifts including 2 high speed quad chairs. The only archaic chair is the Knob Chair that was built in 1976, but no one seems to mind the slowness of the chair considering the terrain it accesses.

The hill can get a little busy on weekends, holidays and powder days, but relative to Banff it’s reasonably quiet.

Marmot Snow

Like some of the other Alberta ski resorts, it doesn’t snow that much at Marmot Basin, with an average of only 4 metres (160 inches) of snowfall per season. However when it does snow, the quality tends to stay good for days, thanks to cold temps, a reasonable aspect (many runs face east to northeast) and good elevation. Marmot Basin Resort prides itself on having the highest base elevation of the Canadian ski resorts (until Mt Baldy reopened and beat it by 28 metres.)

Where is Marmot Basin?

Marmot Basin Resort is 21km (20-30 minutes drive) south of the town of Jasper in the Jasper National Park of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. There are shuttle services between Jasper hotels and the ski resort.

Jasper Alberta is only 26km from the border with British Columbia, and 288km northwest of Banff, 365km southwest of Edmonton and 412km northwest of Calgary. There are shuttle operators providing transport services to Jasper from both Edmonton and Calgary airports as well as the Banff/Lake Louise area.

Jasper Accommodation

There is no on-mountain lodging at Marmot Basin. The main accommodation base is 21km away in the town of Jasper. Once a hub for the fur trade then a railway town, Jasper is now the base for the National Park which teems with visitors in summer. In winter it’s much quieter, and Jasper Alberta has a small town feel.

The Crimson Hotel is a great pick for Jasper accommodation, offering deluxe and spacious rooms, and it’s located only one block from the main hub of town.

Jasper Hotel Listings

Ski Resort Facilities

The on-mountain amenities are housed within the main day lodge at the base area as well as two mid-mountain lodges that are mainly for dining amenities.

Other Marmot ski resort amenities include a child care facility (19 months to 6 years), an equipment rental and repair shop, a retail shop, and a snow sports school for ski and snowboard lessons.

Jasper Activities

Other Jasper winter activities include dog sledding (outside the national park), snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and ice-skating on frozen lakes. Or for crazy people, there’s a lake that’s not frozen where you can go for a very chilly swim.

A highlight during winter is the spectacular Maligne Canyon where you can walk (with cleats) on the ice through a deep canyon and over frozen river rapids and waterfalls.