Discover Jasper National Park, Alberta

Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park stands as a testament to the breathtaking beauty of nature and the wonders it holds. As one of Canada’s oldest and largest national parks, Jasper spans over 11,000 square kilometers, offering visitors a vast expanse of pristine wilderness to explore.

Home to towering mountain peaks, turquoise lakes, ancient glaciers, and lush forests, Jasper National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Its diverse ecosystems support a rich variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, bighorn sheep, and elusive mountain goats. Whether you’re hiking along scenic trails, paddling on crystal-clear lakes, or simply soaking in the awe-inspiring vistas, Jasper promises an unforgettable adventure.

But beyond its stunning landscapes, Jasper National Park holds a treasure trove of hidden secrets and fascinating facts waiting to be discovered. From geological marvels millions of years in the making to Indigenous histories dating back millennia, each corner of the park tells a story of resilience, adaptation, and wonder.

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Top 3 Facts About Jasper National Park

01

Dark Sky Preserve

Jasper National Park is designated as a Dark Sky Preserve, offering unparalleled stargazing opportunities. With minimal light pollution, visitors can witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the night sky, including dazzling displays of stars, planets, and even the elusive aurora borealis.

02

Athabasca Glacier

Located within the park, the Athabasca Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in North America. Visitors can explore this ancient ice mass on guided tours, learning about its formation, movement, and the impacts of climate change on its size and shape.

03

Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway, often dubbed as one of the most scenic drives in the world, traverses through Jasper National Park, offering jaw-dropping vistas of rugged mountain ranges, ancient glaciers, and pristine alpine lakes. This iconic highway stretches for 232 kilometers, connecting Jasper to Banff National Park and providing countless opportunities for exploration and adventure along the way.

Camping and transportation in Jasper National Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Jasper National Park

Getting to Jasper National Park is relatively straightforward, with several transportation options available:

  • By Car: Most visitors choose to drive to Jasper National Park. The park is accessible via the scenic Icefields Parkway (Highway 93), which connects Jasper to Banff National Park to the south and the town of Hinton to the east. If you’re traveling from Edmonton, take Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) west to Jasper.
  • By Air: The closest major airports to Jasper National Park are Edmonton International Airport (YEG) and Calgary International Airport (YYC). From either airport, you can rent a car and drive to Jasper, which takes approximately 4-5 hours from Edmonton and 5-6 hours from Calgary.
  • By Train: VIA Rail operates a train service called “The Canadian” that runs between Toronto and Vancouver, with a stop in Jasper. This is a scenic and leisurely way to travel to Jasper, allowing you to enjoy the stunning landscapes along the route.
  • By Bus: Several bus companies offer scheduled services to Jasper from major cities like Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. This option is convenient for those who prefer not to drive or for budget-conscious travelers.

Places to Stay Near Jasper National Park

Near Jasper National Park, there are various accommodation options ranging from hotels and lodges to campgrounds and RV parks. Here are some popular places to stay and camp:

  • Jasper Townsite: In the heart of Jasper, you’ll find a range of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals catering to different budgets and preferences. Some well-known options include the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre, and Whistlers Inn.
  • Jasper National Park Campgrounds: The park offers several campgrounds for both tent and RV camping, including Wapiti Campground, Whistlers Campground, and Pocahontas Campground. These campgrounds provide basic amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits, and washrooms, and some may offer showers and laundry facilities.
  • Private Campgrounds and RV Parks: For those traveling with RVs or trailers, private campgrounds and RV parks offer additional amenities such as full hookups, Wi-Fi, and recreational facilities. Places like Whistlers Campground & RV Park and Jasper Gates Resort provide convenient options for RV travelers.
  • Wilderness Lodges: For a more secluded and immersive experience, consider staying at one of the wilderness lodges located in the surrounding areas. These lodges offer rustic yet comfortable accommodations amidst stunning natural landscapes. Examples include Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge and Maligne Lake Wilderness Kitchen.
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Best Time to Go to Jasper National Park

Summer

Summer

Summer is the peak tourist season in Jasper National Park, and for good reason. From June to August, the park experiences long daylight hours, warm temperatures, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Visitors can hike along alpine trails, paddle on crystal-clear lakes, and marvel at iconic sights such as Athabasca Falls and Maligne Lake. With numerous festivals, guided tours, and events happening throughout the summer, there’s never a dull moment in Jasper. However, be prepared for larger crowds and book accommodations and activities well in advance.

Winter

Winter

Winter casts a magical spell over Jasper National Park, turning it into a winter wonderland of snow-covered forests, frozen waterfalls, and sparkling icefields. From December to March, the park offers a wide range of winter activities, including skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and wildlife tracking. The Maligne Canyon Icewalk is a highlight, allowing visitors to explore the stunning ice formations of the frozen canyon. With fewer tourists and the chance to witness the northern lights dancing in the night sky, winter is a serene and enchanting time to visit Jasper National Park.

Spring

Spring

Spring is a magical time in Jasper National Park as the snow begins to melt, giving way to vibrant displays of wildflowers and cascading waterfalls. This season, which typically spans from April to June, offers milder temperatures and fewer crowds compared to the busy summer months. It’s an excellent time for wildlife viewing, as animals emerge from hibernation and the forests come alive with activity. Hiking trails start to thaw out, making it an ideal time for exploring the park’s breathtaking landscapes while enjoying the tranquility of the shoulder season.

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Fall

Must-See Attractions

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Athabasca Falls

This powerful waterfall is a highlight of Jasper National Park, cascading over a dramatic limestone gorge. Visitors can marvel at the impressive force of the water and explore the surrounding viewpoints and hiking trails.

Maligne Lake

Known for its stunning turquoise waters and picturesque Spirit Island, Maligne Lake is one of the most iconic attractions in Jasper. Boat tours allow visitors to cruise along the lake and soak in the awe-inspiring mountain scenery.

Jasper SkyTram

For panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, hop aboard the Jasper SkyTram. This aerial tramway takes visitors to the summit of Whistlers Mountain, where they can enjoy stunning vistas and explore hiking trails.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Jasper National Park

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Research the park’s attractions, activities, and accommodations in advance. Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) to avoid crowds and secure accommodations.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Appropriately

Dress in layers and bring waterproof clothing, especially if you plan to explore hiking trails or participate in outdoor activities. Pack essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottles, and snacks.

Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife

Keep a safe distance from wildlife and never feed or approach animals. Be bear aware by carrying bear spray, making noise while hiking, and properly storing food to prevent attracting bears.

Stay Informed

Be Prepared for Weather Changes

Mountain weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for sudden changes in conditions. Check weather forecasts before heading out and carry essentials like rain gear, warm clothing, and extra food and water.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Jasper National Park

Yes, Jasper National Park is open year-round, offering a range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy regardless of the season.

The best time to visit depends on personal preferences and interests. Summer (June to August) is popular for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing, while winter (December to March) offers opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, and viewing the northern lights.

Yes, there are entrance fees for Jasper National Park. Visitors can purchase daily or annual passes, with fees varying depending on age, vehicle type, and duration of stay.

Yes, camping is permitted in Jasper National Park at designated campgrounds. Both tent and RV camping options are available, with facilities ranging from basic amenities to full hookups.

Yes, Jasper National Park is a prime location for viewing the northern lights, especially during the winter months when the skies are clear and dark.

If you encounter wildlife, maintain a safe distance and never approach or feed the animals. Observe from a distance and follow Parks Canada’s guidelines for wildlife viewing to ensure both your safety and the animals’ well-being.

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