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The Jasper SkyTram takes paying passengers to the Summit Restaurant on Whistlers Peak, but the free alternative is hiking the trail from the bottom.
The benefits are a great workout and truly earning your views at the top, and you can still enjoy a meal or drink at the restaurant once you reach it. The hike begins from a trailhead along the road that leads to the tram.
The trail goes immediately uphill, maintaining a fairly steady climb with frequent switchbacks.
It is mostly in the forest with a good amount of shade, but occasionally crosses rocky, open areas.
The middle third of the trail is less steep, as it traverses the mountainside and passes beneath the tramline.
It steepens again, though, to climb through an alpine basin where the trees thin out and views become quite spectacular.
A final stretch of very steep switchbacks break above timberline and make the final push to the ridge, with the tram terminal and restaurant. Once there, you’ll likely share the view with many other people.
Despite the crowds, it’s definitely worth the extra distance to hike to the [Whistlers Peak Summit](https://fatmap.com/routeid/2080080/whistlers-summit-trail), for a 360-degree panorama of Jasper National Park.
To return, you can ride the tram instead of hiking down, but may still have to purchase the ticket. Source: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/activ/activ-experience/sentiers-trails/ouest-west