A Look At Jasper
Welcome to Jasper National Park, Canada’s greatest natural treasure! Year after year, nearly two million visitors travel to Jasper to see the unequalled blue of its mountain lakes, to experience the unparalleled feeling of being awe inspired by its towering mountains and to marvel at the pristine quality of its forested valleys.
Hailed by many as one of the most deserving of the World Heritage sites, Jasper is an inspiration to all who visit, a reminder of what our lives should be and of how striving for a sense of beauty and fulfillment beyond our ordinary experience makes us better people. Jasper National Park is easy to reach. Most people arrive by car, following a commercial flight into one of the closest major cities, Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver.
One of the largest protected natural areas in North America, spanning an amazing 10,878 square kilometres (4,200 square miles), the park is 370 kilometres (192 miles) west of Edmonton, 404 kilometres (256 miles) northwest of Calgary and 805 km (500 miles) northeast of Vancouver. Many visitors also travel to Jasper via train or bus from Edmonton or Vancouver, and some tour operators offer travel between Jasper and Banff.
The town of Jasper, nestled amid the serene mountain setting of the park, offers first-class accommodations, dining, recreational activities, festivals and other fun and convenient services. Jasper lies to the north of Banff National Park and is the largest of Canada’s mountain National Parks.
The Icefields Parkway joins the two parks in what some say is the most breathtaking, beautiful drive that anyone can travel in the world. A series of massive glaciers lines the entire length of the Icefield Parkway, with the Columbia Icefield lying along the parkway at the southern end of Jasper.
Nature in this part of the world is awesome and beautiful, but deserves our utmost respect. Unpredictable weather, for example, requires visitors to be knowledgeable and prepared for almost anything. Mid-summer may be relatively warm in Jasper, with temperatures well above freezing, but the winds blowing off the glaciers are as likely to chill you right to the bone if you are not properly dressed for it. Spring arrives relatively late to the mountains, delaying the retreat of the snow and making the summer season brief. Obviously, altitude has a huge impact on temperature. Generally, the higher the elevation, the colder the temperature. So, when travelling into the mountains, always bring a variety of warm clothing that can be layered—in both the winter and summer.
Parks Canada charges fees for entry into the park, camping, fishing licenses and other uses of the Jasper National Park. Drop by the Jasper Information Centre to purchase passes, for fees and reservations of backcountry campsites and to learn more about weather conditions, animal sightings, avalanche warnings, hiking and skiing conditions, or any other recreational information or concerns you may have.