Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park, a vast outdoor wonderland, preserved a large swath of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta. Home to a glacier, hot springs, and mountain peaks, the national park has some of the most amazing scenery in all of Canada. No matter the season you visit or the activities you chose, Jasper National Park will provide a fantastic setting for a Canadian getaway.

Protecting 4,200 miles of pristine scenery, Jasper National Park Canada is the largest national park in the entire Canadian Rockies region. It's located in western Alberta, 200 miles from Edmonton, via the Yellowhead Highway. Icefields Parkway connects with Trans-Canada Highway 1, just outside Banff and Lake Louise. Jasper, along the Banff National Park, is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Via Rail connects Jasper with Edmonton and Vancouver, and bus service is readily available. However you decide to get to the park, you'll need somewhere to stay once you arrive. A host of Jasper National Park hotels are eager to provide hospitality to park visitors.

Once you've checked into your hotel, you'll be ready to start exploring Jasper National Park. Any visitors, including those just driving through, need to purchase a park pass. Both daily and annual passes are available. For park visitors, the list of things to do is only limited by their imagination. For many visitors, spending some time on the hiking trails is popular. Since the park opened in 1907, the network of trails has been expanded. Many of the trails are within quick walking distance of the Jasper National Park hotels, and several of the trails parallel the site where the Maligne, Athabasca, and Miette rivers come together.

As the hikers quickly discover, the wildlife watching opportunities are plentiful in this outdoor wonderland. Many large animals, including elk, sheep, and deer have a home in Jasper National Park Canada. This is one of the last places were woodland caribou can be seen in the wild—most people have never seen one outside of the Canadian quarter in their pocket. Birdwatchers also will find much to like here.

Anglers also include Jasper National Park in their plans for Canadian fishing trips. The Sunwapta River is open for fishing year-round, as is a portion of the Athabasca River. In later summer and early fall, fly fishing is a possibility along the Maligne River as it flows into Medicine Lake. Many of the other lakes and streams allow fishing between the middle of May and end of October.

Once winter arrives, a host of new activities open up within the bounds of Jasper National Park Canada. Many of the same hiking trails transform into trails for cross-country skiing. Park visitors also face up to the challenge of ice climbing. If you're not the type to seek out adventure, you'll still find much to like in the wintertime. Many tour companies offer guided tours of the Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Ice Fields in heated, enclosed vehicles. Also, plenty of Jasper National Park hotels offer stay-and-play packages that allow you to spend as much time inside as you want. Even if it's too chilly for your taste, you can stay inside and admire the scenery.

No matter what time a year you visit, you can expect to see an amazing night sky. Jasper has been declared a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

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