Jasper National Park

The most northern national park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Jasper is also the largest with 10,878 square kilometers (4200 square miles) of wilderness. It was founded in 1907 and is part of the UNESCO Rocky Mountain World Heritage Site.

More than 2 million visitors come each year to Jasper to take in the breathtaking scenery, wildlife and the Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Glacier.

Jasper National Park is open year round with the busiest time of year in the months of July and August. Some highlights in the park are:
  • Athabasca Glacier the most accessible glacier in North America
  • Columbia Icefield the hydrographic apex of North America where water flows to three different oceans from one spot
  • Miette Hotsprings Two 40C hot pools, cold plunge pool and showers, open May to mid-October
  • Maligne Lake the largest glacial fed lake in the Canadian Rockies (22 kilometres long and 97 meters deep)

There are 10 campgrounds with 1772 sites, including a winter campground. As well, Hosteling International has 5 hostels (mostly rustic cabins) in Jasper National park.

Town of Jasper
The small town of Jasper is home to the Jasper Information Centre National Historic Site which was built in 1913. The cobblestone building and its gardens are the heart of the town.

There are many hotels and lodges, from budget to luxury, in the town of Jasper. As well, Jasper has many coffee shops, restaurants, bars, gift stores, clothing boutiques and sports/outdoor outfitters.

Recreation
Jasper National Park has 1200 kilometers (660 miles) of trails for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. Its rivers and lakes are excellent for rafting and canoeing.

Wildlife
The best wildlife viewing times in Jasper are from March to June and September to November. The park is home to large numbers of grizzly and black bears, caribou, elk, moose, deer, wolves, mountain lions, coyotes and bighorn sheep. Smaller animals include hoary marmots, squirrels, and many birds.

Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Glacier
The Icefields Parkway, which stretches 230 kilometers (130 miles) from Lake Louise to the town of Jasper, is a fascinating route of incredible scenery. At the midway point visitors can see the Columbia Icefield and the Athabasca Glacier.

The Columbia Icefield is a mass of thick ice caught in a plateau between the areas highest peaks. The short summer season cant melt the amount of snow which falls on the plateau in winter so the snow turns into more ice.

There are few places where people are able to see a glacier up close which makes the Athabasca Glacier very popular. This glacier is a tongue of ice which flows from the Columbia Icefield onto three giant bedrock steps. It has been shrinking because of our warming climate and is leaving behind a barren rocky landscape.

Where Its At
Jasper National Park is north of Banff in the Alberta Rockies. Jasper town site is approximately 470 kilometers/292 miles from Three Valley Gap, and the Columbia Icefield is approximately 370 kilometers/229 miles from Three Valley Gap.

*All facilities are a division of Three Valley Lake Chateau Ltd.