Jasper National Park


Jasper National Park in Albertais the biggest of the four national parks that cover the Canadian Rockies. Despite its size, Jasper is much less commercialized than its southern neighbor, Banff. It is no less picturesque than the other Rockies parks, however. It features a rugged, windswept countryside that is characterized by lakes, waterfalls, mountain vistas, glaciers, and the Columbia Icefield to the south.Jasper's vast backcountry has received relatively few visitors over the years, so if you're looking for peace and solitude, you won't have to travel far to find it. Jasper National Parkwas established in 1907, and the Jasper town site was just beginning to develop at that time. Today, the town of Jasper, Alberta, has 4,600 year-round residents and an economy that centers around tourism, the railroad, and private businesses. It is the park's only population center and has more of a small town feel than Banff, offering fewer accommodations and services. As you might expect, Jasper is also a haven for Canadian wildlife of all kinds, including elk, deer, bighorn sheep, coyote, bear, moose and a host of smaller mammals, and many species of birds. Although the park's animals often appear to be unafraid of people, you should keep in mind that that they are still wild and can be dangerous. What to see and do: Jasper is visited by three million people each year, with the highest density in the summer, so overnight accommodations need to be booked well in advance. In town, you can choose from one of a handful of B&Bs, hotels, and chalets. A park information center should help you start off your visit, with a selection of maps and guidebooks for sale, and staff members who are on hand to answer questions. The town itself offers very little in the way of activities, however; in order to enjoy the best the Albertan park has to offer, you have to be prepared to travel beyond the town limits. The Jasper Tramway can be picked up about four kilometers south of the town and leads to a mountain overlook where you'll find an interpretive exhibit and a restaurant. Several trailheads begin at the townsite; it is a central location where you can orient yourself to the surrounding park lands of Alberta. You can also take a paved road from Jasper to Patricia and Pyramid lakes. Boat rental facilities are available at Pyramid Lake; you can canoe, sail, or windsurf. Jasper National Park offers roughly 1,000 km of hiking trails for novices and experts alike. Several day-hikes take you to scenic picnic areas, meadows, and overlooks. The Bald Hills Trail, for instance, leads into the Canadian Rockies to an elevation of 2,170 m for a breathtaking, panoramic view of the park. Another day-hike, the three kilometer Opal Hills Loop, gains over 460 m elevation. You should allow four to six hours for each trip. Miette Hot Springs, located about 60 km east of Jasper, is also a source of interesting trails. Trails at Mount Edith Cavell take you through alpine meadows and offer views of glaciers. Jasper offers over 100 backcountry campgrounds which require a wilderness pass that can be obtained at the park information centers. All campgrounds, excluding group and backcountry, are on a first-come, first-served basis. Leashed pets are allowed but not on beaches. A nominal entrance fee is charged.


Box 10
Alberta, Canada T0E 1E0


52.87717800, -118.08038300
Visit Website
(780) 852-6176

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