Once a month, we’ll feature a landscape photography hotspot. We want to aid you with getting ‘the shot’ in order to help rekindle your love for nature, to enable you to become inspired by nature and to equip you to become an advocate for a wilder world at home.
This month’s focus:
Did you know that Jasper Lake is home to the only sand dunes in the Canadian Rockies?
Nor did I, but it’s just another reason why you must venture east on Highway 16 from the Jasper townsite to photograph this landscape hotspot.
Jasper National Park, as I’ve written before, is one of our favourite parks for landscape photography, with its interesting light, impressive mountain backdrops, endless lake foregrounds and unique vistas that any photographer can make their own.
Jasper Lake, like Medicine Lake, is one of those locations that isn’t always appreciated by visitors – or even visited by tourists. And it should be a must-stop on the Jasper agenda.
The lake – which is actually a wide, shallow section of the Athabasca River – is about a half hour drive east from the townsite and parallels the highway.
The aforementioned sand dunes, predictably, have become popular with locals from Edmonton and Hinton. But at sunset, the dunes and the long body of water offer an excellent location to capture magic light, especially when facing east and incorporating a scene that includes Roche Miette.
According to Parks Canada, when the water dries up in the fall, vast sand flats are exposed that have been created underneath the river by the lake acting as a sieve. The summer, however, usually showcases unique debris that can be framed in images.
We’ve been lucky enough to catch Jasper Lake in a near-still reflection and during a wind storm, each providing elements for compelling landscape photography.
Toward the southwest end of the lake, small pools of water are almost always perfect for reflections of the peaks ringing the north shore of the lake.
They can also create perfect locations for mountain silhouettes after the light has started to fade.
And at the southeast end of Jasper Lake, a small stream spills into the Athabasca, creating views looking south past Roche Miette…
…and north into Jasper Lake.
In fact, this view from the southeast end of the lake looking north is one of the most tranquil locations, and is often home to a family of loons, a bald eagle and several bull elk. Though we haven’t been able to capture a good animal-in-the-landscape from this spot, the potential most certainly exists.
Though sunrise at Jasper Lake is beautiful, trust us and spend at least one evening at Jasper Lake to perfect your sunset landscape photo while in the mountain park.
Location: Jasper National Park, Alberta
Accessibility: 30km east of Jasper townsite on Highway 16
Best Time: Sunset
Season: Year Round