Jasper is the largest of all the Canadian Rockies national parks. It spans approximately11,000 sq km (4,247 sq mi) from just south of Grande Cache to the northern edge of Banff National Park. Now part of a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site, it was established in 1907 and was originally known as Jasper Forrest Park. Jasper joins Banff National Park to the south via the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93). Touted by National Geographic as one of the most scenic drives in the world, the parkway offers unparalleled beauty as you travel alongside a chain of massive icefields straddling the Continental Divide.
It is home to some incredible features, such as Mount Columbia, Alberta's tallest mountain; Maligne Lake, the second-largest glacial-fed lake in the world; and diverse wildlife including grizzly and black bears, mountain goats,wolverines, elk and bighorn sheep.
It's a place where you can bike, climb, camp, fish or hike in summer and ski, board, snowshoe and dog sled in winter - all things we Canadians love to do in the great outdoors.
In Jasper, there’s no such thing as tourists. People who come here are adventurers and explorers, novices and experts. Here are nine amazing things to do in Jasper National Park.
1: Glacier Skywalk
The Glacier Skywalk is an experience like no other: a cliff-edge walkway where a glass floor is all that separates you from a 280 m (918 ft) drop. Are you daring enough?
2. Columbia Icefields Glacier Adventure
Next door to the Galcier Skywalk on the Columbia Icefields, book a trip on an Ice Explorer - massive vehicles specially designed fto take you up onto the surface to the famed Athabasca Glacier.
3. Maligne Lake Boat Tour
Spirit Island on Maligne Lake is one of the most photographed scenes in the world. Throughout the 1940s Peter Gales' image of Spirit Island hung in Kodak's Colorama showcase in New York City's Grand Central Station - people began travelling to Jasper just to see Spirit Island. Today, you can take a summer cruise with Maligne Lake Tours.
4. Wildlife Viewing
Jasper National Park has one of the highest concentrated black and brown bear populations in Canada and you are almost guaranteed to see at least one if you're looking close enough. Watch for deer, elk, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep.
5. Starry Nights
Jasper is the world's second largest Dark Sky Preserve (and certainly the most accessible). There are approximately 100 billion stars in our home galaxy - the milky way - and on any clear night in Jasper it feels like there are way more than that. We'd ask you to count for us, but we've tried so you'll just have to trust us that in Jasper you'll see millions of stars.
6. 1,200 km (745 mi) of Hiking Trails
With scenery ranging from soaring peaks,cascading waterfalls and emerald lakes to alpine meadows carpeted in wildflowers Jasper National Park truly is heaven for hikers. Whether you take a full or partial day hike, a multi-day hike or a casual stroll with your family there is something for everyone.
7. Jasepr SkyTram
Take the seven-minute ride up Whistler's Mountain on the Jasper SkyTram to an elevation of 2,285 m (7496 ft). SkyTram guides provide an informative tour up the longest and highest aerial tramway and explain the history and geology of the area. Once at the top you will have one of the best views in the entire Canadian Rockies, surrounded by six mountain ranges, with the town of Jasper nestled far below alongside the winding Athabasca River. Hiking trails lead you to the summit of the mountain.
8. Canada's #1 Public Golf Course
Stanley Thompson designed The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge's stunning golf course, ranked year over year as one of Canada's best. SCOREgolf calls it not only the best resort golf course but also the best public golf course in all of Canada. The 18-hole layout offers elevated tee boxes, dramatic bunkering and holes aligned with distant mountain vistas. Few golf courses in the world can match the rugged majesty of this national treasure.
9. Miette Hot Springs
In the summer months take the scenic drive from Jasper town site through the wild Fiddle Valley to the hottest mineral springs in the Canadian Rockies. Follow one of the hiking trails and then come back for a long leisurely soak.