Established in 1907, Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies and the Athabasca River valley makes a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The town of Jasper is the national park’s commercial center; it is 362 kilometers and approximately 3 1/2 hours west of Edmonton and 290 kilometers north of Banff, Alberta.
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Jasper National Park is a World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of Canada’s largest and northerly national parks. Mountain sheep, bears, wolves, elk, mountain goats and many other beautiful creatures have called this place home, and many can even be seen while driving through the park. One of the main animal attractions is the mountain goats being attracted to a main silt deposit near the Icefields Parkway. The goats may provide a great photo opportunity but remember these are wild animals and should never be approached.
There are many things to do while visiting the park, no matter what the season may be. Visit the 23 meter Athabasca Falls, that flow from glaciers into a small canyon. Sunwapta Falls are also within the park and were created by hanging valleys. These falls are also along the way of a 25 km hike as well as the major bear and moose habitats. Mt Edith Cavell is another natural attraction at Jasper National Park. This 3300 meter peak allows many visitors to hike up the mountain on a series of trails. Be sure to watch that you don’t go off the path, since it takes a while for vegetation to grow back at that altitude.
Get stunning views of Jasper from the Jasper Tramway! The Jasper Tramway takes you 2277 meters above sea level to the Upper Station, where you can shop at the gift shop, dine at the Treeline Restaurant, or just enjoy the view from the top of Whistler Mountain! On your 7 minute trip up the mountain in one of the two cars carrying 30 passengers and one guide, enjoy the magnificent views of the 6 different mountain ranges, the glacial lakes, the Athabasca River, and the scenic townsite of Jasper.
Visitors to Jasper enjoy a peaceful atmosphere; while chalets, Bed and Breakfasts and the famous Jasper Park Lodge offers a wide range of accommodation, with distinct alpine style, architecture and décor. The Icefields parkway, the road south from Jasper all the way to Lake Louise is renowned for its breathtaking vistas. Stop at the Columbia Icefield and take an Ice Explorer across the 6 km long sheet of thick ice. Afterwards take a step out onto the ice yourself and have an experience of a lifetime.