With shimmering glaciers, abundant wildlife, crystalline lakes, thundering waterfalls, deep canyons and evergreen forest all surrounded by towering peaks, it’s little wonder Jasper National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At 4,335 square miles it is also Canada’s largest park in the Rocky Mountains and the second largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world.
The laid-back town of Jasper is your springboard to the park’s outdoor pursuits and attractions. Adventurers can fill their boots with alpine day hikes, adrenalin pumping mountain biking, great paddling, climbing and canyoning. Those who prefer a more relaxed pace can take in the many scenic drives, picnic amongst majestic mountains and enjoy watching wildlife such as caribou, elk, moose, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, bears, wolves and a variety of birds. For an aerial perspective, ride the Jasper Skytram. It takes seven minutes to reach the high Upper Station where the jaw-dropping views include six mountain ranges.
Additional attractions include Miette Hot Springs, which are the hottest springs in the Rockies; stunning Maligne Lake whose baby-blue water and circle of photogenic peaks are a feast for the eyes; and the steep, narrow gorge of Maligne Canyon. Also not to be missed is the Columbia Icefield where you can hop aboard an Ice Explorer onto the Athabasca Glacier or step out onto the amazing Glacier Skywalk.
After a day in the wild, there are friendly pubs and charming cafés where you can dine alfresco in front of a vista as drool-worthy as the food on your plate.