Marmot Basin: The Ultimate Skiing Destination
The Marmot Basin ski resort is the most renowned skiing destination in Jasper. The region provides its visitors with an amazing view which has been voted to be among the top 10 attractions in the whole world. It is quite picturesque indeed with its varied runs and warm & laidback atmosphere the entire destination
All the claims that Marmot Basin makes is not just made after all they are located at the highest base elevation amongst all the ski areas that are situated in Canada. Secondly and more importantly this powder haven offers the best crafted 1,675 acres of terrain about 86 runs along with 3,000 vertical feet of the most amazing slope ever.
Marmot Basin Statistics
Base Elevation: 1214 feet
Summit Elevation: 1903 feet
Vertical Drop: 689 feet
Situated in the northernmost ends of the Canadian Rocky Mountains the Marmot Basin ski area is the best powder destination located in the whole country. Here the snow is absolutely dry, light and fluffy where ever necessary and that is not the best part alone. It is a complete dream destination with over 400 centimetres of all natural snowfall in the entire northern belt.
It is here at Marmot Basin that you and the locals visit for pure outdoor fun. For over 25 years this skiing destination has been offering great fun to everyone. Marmot also has a fully functioning ski store along with a nursery for your young ones and perfect residential cum dining facilities.
- Lifts: The main lifts commence their operations as early as by 9:00 am in the morning and then close by 4:00 pm in the evening. They also are open for service on a daily basis. Further, following is a detailed list of specific lifts that one must keep in mind –
- School House Triple Chair: This particular lift closes by 4:30 pm in the evening every day. Now, by using this lift you will be able to access the parking area.
- Resort Facilities: They commence their operations right at 8:00 am in the morning and then close by 5:00 pm in the evening. However, they observe an entirely different schedule during the day of Christmas. Furthermore, the appropriateness of the timings can be then utilised by the skiers and snowboarders to start fresh with a hearty breakfast and also après ski treat at the end of the day.
- The Marmot Basin: Finally, as far as the resort itself is concerned it commences its operations from early November and then it closes by early May.
- Christmas special: Christmas is a special day across the world and it is also celebrated with the same vigour at the resort. Following is the schedule which is observed during this day –
- Opening hours: The lifts begin operating at 10:00 am and then close by 3:00 pm in the afternoon.
- Ticket rates: All the lift tickets are priced at the afternoon tickets rates.
- School House Triple Chair: Also it is important to note that the School House Triple Chair will close by 3:30 on this day.
Furthermore, visitors should also check out the Jasper Marmot Shuttle Bus timetable just in case they decide to use this service for their conveyance. Also, one must respect the terrain by all means by consciously observing all the regulatory signs that are mentioned here.
During the summer months, the mountain largely remains closed, however, the office of the Marmot Basin remains operational and can be accessed for various enquiries. Secondly, during this season the mountain is indeed a special site so come down here for a quiet outing of sorts.
The Snow and Regional Ecology
Due to the Marmot Basin being located at a higher elevation the region experiences varied ecological features. You can have a look below to know more about them:
- Climate: The general weather is cold and the powder here is quite dry which facilitates great skiing.
- Season: The season here is usually longer as compared to similar skiing destinations. It typically lasts as long as 6 months beginning from November to May.
- Heritage: The Marmot Basin since is located exactly within the Jasper National Park which further is a part of the UNESCO’s Canadian Rockies World Heritage Site.
- Temperatures: The average temperature here on average ranges between – 7 degree Celsius (usually in the month of January) about – 3 degrees Celsius (almost throughout February) and it begins to get better March onwards when temperatures go positive averaging at + 1 degree Celsius.
- Snowfall: The average rate of snowfall in the region averages at around 160 inches or 400 centimetres.
Furthermore, Marmot Basin is among the most unique and probably the best known skiing destination in the region. Among the various features of this skiing area some of them can be listed below:
- Rental & Repair shop: Welcome to a state of the art rental and repair facility right here. You can find everything that you might need at reasonable rates.
- The Snow sports school: This facility is equally fantastic. The snow sports school is equipped with all kinds of capacities to assist individuals of all age groups. Additionally, the instructors here are well qualified and provide an intriguing and successful teaching methodology.
- Lodging: There are 3 mountain day lodges. The first of them is located right on the base area and the other two are located at mid level. In addition to the above, there are 3 lounges, 2 cafeterias, 2 dining rooms and numerous outdoor sun decks.
- Nursery for Children: The Little Rascals Nursery is the one place where you can take your children who are between the ages of 19 months and 6 years. They sure will have a great time here.
- Outer Limits Shop: If you want to get apparels for your skiing trip and have just by chance forgotten to get one along then the place for you is the Outer Limits Shop. Here you will find the best selection of Marmot Basin branded apparels along with other brands that make helmets, goggles or clothing items.
Considering the numbers above, all of them make the ski area one of the very few which are located at the higher quartile of the elevation segment.
Reaching Marmot Basin
There is just one word which describes the journey, a point blank – WOW! It is nothing less than an adventure. When it comes to the major cities and towns that are located in close proximity from Jasper and Marmot Basin, they are listed as below:
- Edmonton – 370 kilometres or 192 miles in the west
- Calgary – 404 kilometres or 256 miles in the northwest
- Vancouver – 805 kilometres or 500 miles in the northwest
These numbers might sound big but you should in-fact look at the size of Canada – nothing is really far. Furthermore, you can look below and get an idea about the different travelling methods through which you can reach Marmot Basin.
- The Air shuttle: The closest airport from Marmot Basin is the Edmonton International Airport along with Calgary International Airport which is the next in line. Secondly, from both these points, you will be able to find convenient modes of transportation to the Marmot Basin ski area. Also, there is transportation available if you wish to access the Canadian Rockies. These airports are well connected with all the major cities – domestic and international.
- Shuttle operators: There are numerous operators which provide service between Calgary, Edmonton and the ski area. Some of them are listed below –
- Sun dog
- Greyhound Bus Service
- The Jasper Marmot Shuttle Service: This is another shuttle service that provides services on a daily basis. Irrespective of where you are travelling from – be it either from any of the Jasper Hotels to Marmot Basin the Jasper Marmot Shuttle Services have a solution to all your travel problems. Furthermore, the tickets have been made available at the front desk of almost all the Jasper hotels. Now, if you require any additional information related to departure timings or pickup locations you can find all of that at the Jasper Marmot Shuttle Bus information page. Secondly, if details pertaining to staying in at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is required then that can be found at the guest Snow Shuttle page.
- Travelling by Car: This is indeed the ideal way of travelling to Jasper. The area surrounding the ski area and the forest broadly is exceptionally breathtaking and beautiful. Driving through the scenic sites is sure to take you through a variety of experiences. Particularly, the Icefield parkway or Lake Louise itself can serve as good pit stop options. They have in-fact been voted to be included among the top 10 scenic drives in the whole world. Now, with all of that in mind one has to also ensure the vehicles to be in optimal working condition before the journey is embarked upon. Weather at the base and atop the mountain can vary drastically hence it is mandatory that the various equipment and vehicles performance indicators should be double checked. For up to date information on the condition of the roadway you can check out the AMA Mountain Road Report.
- Car Rentals: There are various companies which will allow you to rent vehicles from them. To mention a few of them read below –
- National / Tilden
- Budget Rent-a-car
- Travelling through Train: You can find details with respect to arrival and departure at the Via Rail page. Their page is well structured and you can conveniently locate every detail that you require.
The Little Rascals Nursery
This nursery service is unique primarily because of its philosophy which dictates an environment which ensures a safe, fun and happy place for your little rascals. The Little Rascals Nursery provides different day care options for you to choose from. They provide options such as – daycare only, all inclusive packages, lessons and / or rentals.
Secondly and more importantly when it comes to their staff each of them carries exclusive licenses and authority certification from standardised Social Services. There are stricter norms and regulations imposed on the institution which actually facilitates the proper functioning of not only the daycare but also the ski area. The nursery is also able to maintain a ratio of 1:6 which further facilitates individual attention and safety. Each of the staff members is trained in First Aid services.
Operations – timings
The resort is open on a daily basis between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. All that you are required to do is that you pick up your little rascals anytime between 3:45 pm and 4:00 pm but try your best to not go beyond 4:00 pm – this is just so that you are able to avoid paying a fine of CAD $5.
The nursery is able to provide services to children between the age group of 19 months and 6 years. Under no circumstance can the institution accommodate children below the age of 19 months. Also, they only have space for 30 individual children so if you require their services then make sure that you make the required bookings at the earliest.
Now, before you get your children enrolled for the day you will be required to fill appropriate forms (information sheets) upon their arrival here. Furthermore, it is important to note that you will have to provide the institution with your child’s healthcare number so make sure that you are carrying the appropriate certification which has the number imprinted. Finally, complete the form with careful consideration and appropriate details.
There are a few things which you will have to get along your children, such as – indoor shoes or slippers along with a spare change of clothing and winter apparels as well. You can also send some snack items along. If your child is younger and has not undergone potty training then kindly also send nappies and wipes along with labelled bottles and comforters and / or toys and blankets.
Parents are usually encouraged to send along peanut free lunches which are free of peanuts for their children. Secondly, there is a chargeable cafeteria available at the centre and after paying CAD $11.50 + GST (per lunch) this facility can be accessed. It is also advisable to note that the nursery has a no nut policy. If your child is allergic to any food item or is prone to certain specific allergies then kindly do let the staff members know this information.
- Canadian Rockies Express Quad Chair: This fast speed quad chair measures 2300 meters or 7545 feet in length and reaches a vertical rise of 596 meters or 1955 feet.
- Eagle Express Quad Chair: This fast speed quad chair measures 1,225 meters or 4,019 feet in length and reaches a vertical rise of 320 meters or 1,050 feet.
- School House Triple Chair: This fast speed triple chair lifts measures 554 meters or 1818 feet in length and reaches a vertical rise of 104 meters or 341 feet.
- Paradise Quad Chair: This fast speed quad chair lift measures 1,454 meters or 4,470 feet in length and reaches a vertical rise of 409 meters or 1,340 feet.
- Knob Chair: This fast speed lift measures 750 meters or 2,460 feet in length and reaches a vertical rise of 270 meters or 890 feet.
- Eagle Ridge Quad Chair: This fast speed quad chair lift measures 1,144 meters or 3,754 feet in length and reaches a vertical rise of 307 meters or 1,007 feet.
- Magic Carpet Beginner Lift: This is a beginner’s lift and measures 38 meters or 125 feet in length and reaches a vertical rise of 2 meters or 7 feet.
About the Store
The Outer Limits Retail Store first and foremost can be reached in the Caribou Chalet. It is a true one of a kind haven for skiers and general powder lovers. There is absolutely nothing in the entire domain of skiing that you will not find here. They offer an entire collection and present it to you. Just to give you an example, some of the most popular items that will be at your disposal are – outerwear, helmets, goggles, gloves and mitts along with various other accessories. They have products from the top notch brands such as – Oakley, Smith, Spy, Roxy, Quicksilver, Bonfire, Liquid, Kombi, Sandbox, Skull Candy, Swany along with the popular makes as well. Additionally, for your convenience the store also sells souvenirs – so that you do not forget to get some memories back for your friends and families, hand warmers, sunscreens along with other necessary items for you.
- Opening hours: The store opens up daily at sharp 8:00 am in the morning and then concludes business at 4:30 pm in the evening.
Now, there might occur situations wherein you are on your way to the ski area and suddenly you realise that you completely forgot to get along your shoes or ski poles and then you also figured that your schedule does not permit you to go to the store and purchase those items. On the other hand, you could also not just want to get into the hassle of going to the store and purchasing stuff that you need in general. Well, one does not want to ruin the perfect vacation due to this reason. So, just to avoid any kind of discomfort the store also permits you to make your purchases over the phone and all that you need could then be collected from the Marmot Sales Center. Whatever the reason be Marmot Basin area has the solution for that. All that you have to do is dial 1-866-952-3816.
Now, it is at the discretion of the nursery and its trained staff members to refuse the admission of any child if he or she is infected by a communicable disease. The nursery does not give out any kind of medication unless the situation appears to be critical.
They are like a drop-in centre and you are also requested to do the same a little ahead of time. Moreover, necessary reservations and payments are required to be done in time to ensure that your child has a fixed sport here. You could also give them an early call to confirm the availability of space. You can also cancel the reservation and are then guaranteed a full refund after giving a 24 hour notice. In an otherwise scenario a cancellation fee of CAD, $25 will be charged.
Their service packages are as follows:
- Tiny Tracks Ski Program: Meant for children between the age group of 4 and 5 years the Tiny Tracks Ski Program lasts for an entire day. The main features of this program are – 2 ski lessons of 50 minutes each, rental equipment, lift tickets for the whole day along with supervised nursery care. It is an ideal combination of childcare and on-hill institution.
- Marmot Mites Lessons: This package involves an instructor collecting your child from the nursery and then going along them out and skiing. Overall the lesson will last for 50 minutes and is typically conducted in groups of small sizes where again the emphasis is on safety while having fun.
- Day Care Only: This is meant for children who are too young to participate in the above-mentioned lessons, furthermore details pertaining to the various daycare options are as follows –
Charges – Day Care
- Hourly: This service is not available via online booking and can be accessed by paying $11.99 + GST.
- Half Day: The online booking options are – 8:30 am to 12:30 pm or 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm and will cost you, CAD, $40.99 + GST.
- Full Day: Online bookings for this service are available online and will cost you, CAD, $67.99.
Marmot Sales Center
The Marmot Sales Center is a kind of town store which is centrally located in Jasper. In addition to the items from the store, you can also get lift tickets, rentals, lessons and many other things from this facility. Take a look at the list
below to know more:
- What can you get here?: Well to being with – you can purchase your lift tickets here along with season passes, the Marmot Escape Card or Sunshine-Marmot Card.
- Is that all?: Well no, the list goes on – you can also make reservations for your rental equipment or also book lessons at the Snow Sports School or reserve a place for your little ones at the Little Rascals Nursery.
- Did you forget your gear?: That sure is a bummer, but wait you needn’t be sad. Here at the Marmot Basin, you will find toques, face masks, balaclavas, gloves & mitts (for adults as well as kids), jackets, snow pants & sweaters.
- A few advises: Sports is best enjoyed freely so why not take care of the small things such as taking adequate precautions along with observing security measures for your very own protection on the slopes. Make sure that you pick up your helmets and / or goggles or sunglasses.
- Don’t forget your friends: Here at this facility, you can find a great selection of Marmot Basin branded goods and souvenirs which you should rather take back for your friends and families.
This facility operates on a daily basis and commences its services on the opening weeks first Saturday. The otherwise daily schedule is as follows:
- Monday to Thursday: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
- On Friday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
- On Saturday: 7:30 am to 9:00 pm
- On Sunday: 7:30 am to 5:00 pm
Also keep in mind that if under any circumstance you are unable to reach the store atop the hill you can very well dial – 1-866-952-3816 and get your stuff delivered right here at this facility. The exact address of the Marmot Sales Center is – 611 Patricia Street in Downtown Jasper.
The Shuttle Service
There is a shuttle service that operates on a daily basis during the season between Jasper and the Marmot Basin runs. The tickets are available for as cheap as CAD $7 for a one way trip and a round trip will just cost you, CAD, $14. Moreover, this service is also available from all the hotels that are listed as departure points.
You can also get your hands on a shuttle bus season pass. This particular pass is available for sale at the Marmot Sales Center or the Guest Services at the Marmot Basin. Typically an adults pass will cost you, CAD, $195 and the same for the youths is CAD $140.
These shuttle services observe the following schedule:
- Departure from Marmot Basin – 2:30 pm
- Departure from Marmot Basin – 3:45 pm
- Departure from Marmot Basin – 5:00 pm
So, keep in mind the above listed timings and plan your stay accordingly.
Furthermore, the shuttle service also observes a different set of timings from the Saw ridge Hotel that is the busses will leave at 9:30 am and then reach the Marmot Basin at 10:20 am. They will then leave from Marmot Basin at 3:45 pm.
Furthermore, if you are staying at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge then the timings might differ so in that case kindly contact the Snow Shuttle service for details or you can also directly contact their Concierge for further information.
In any case, on a general notice the shuttle service follows the following listed timings:
- Saw ridge Inn: Departure timings are – 8:00 am, 9:30 am, 11:45 am
- Marmot Lodge: Departure timings are – 8:00 am, 9:30 am, 11:45 am
- Tonquin Inn: Departure timings are -8:00 am, 9:30 am, 11:45 am
- Lob stick Lodge: Departure timings are -8:05 am, 9:35 am, 11:50 am
- Chateau Jasper: Departure timings are – 8:05 am, 9:35 am, 11:50 am
- Best Western Jasper Inn: 8:05 am, 9:35 am, 11:50 am
- Crimson Hotel: Departure timings are – 8:10 am, 9:40 am, 11:55 am
- Astoria Hotel: Departure timings are – 8:10 am, 9:40 am, 11:55 am
- Athabasca Hotel: 8:15 am, 9:45 am, 12:00 pm
- Whistler’s Inn: Departure timings are – 8:20 am, 9:50 am, 12:05 pm
- Mount Robson Inn: Departure timings are – 8:25 am, 9:55 am, 12:10 pm
- Maligne Lodge: Departure timings are – 8:25 am, 9:55 am, 12:10 pm
- Arrive At Marmot Basin: -8:50 am, 10:20 am, 12:35 pm
Information on Parking
- Please try to plan ahead and arrive early to ensure you can park safely.
- Parking Lots #3 & #4 are connected via a metal staircase for the convenience of our guests.
- Please park close together – especially on busy days. Marmot Basin is located within the National Park which means parking is limited.
- Please respect our Parking Staff – they are in place to assist all of our guests.
- Please obey any “No Parking” or “Reserved Parking” signs – they are there for a reason.
- If renting equipment, please get your gear at the Rental Shop then proceed to one of the 4 parking lots. At the end of the day, return to your vehicle and proceed back to the Rental Shop. The 15-minute drop-off area is designated for your convenience.
After a long and tiring day on the slopes, all that you will require is the warm and delicious food at the various dining facilities at the Marmot Basin ski area. Their food and beverages department is operated and managed by Dana Hospitality hence world-class service comes implied. They have been in the culinary business for over a quarter of a century and have over 120 satisfied clients across Canada.
The various dining options are listed below:
- Caribou Chalet: Located right at the base of the ski area the Caribou Chalet features a comfortable cafeteria and a great dining facility. Here you will get classic food items along with daily special items from the region while providing a great view of the Athabasca Valley and the numerous peaks at the Kokanee Glacier Deck
- The Paradise & Eagle Chalets: They are located at the mid-mountain levels of the Marmot Basin and are basically two buildings that are situated side by side. They have an exceptionally well served bar and a grill & lounge area.