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Overview

Snowcapped peaks, vast icefields, beautiful glacial lakes, soothing hot springs, thundering rivers, and an extensive system of hiking trails make Jasper a stunning counterpart to its sister park, Banff. The park's most spectacular natural landmarks can be admired from the Icefields Parkway, regarded as one of the world's great mountain drives. The highlight of the parkway is the Columbia Icefield, a remnant of the last major glaciation that covered most of Canada 20,000 years ago. You can walk up onto the glacier, but the best thing to do is take a ride on an Ice Explorer, an oversized bus designed especially for glacial travel. Heading ...

Snowcapped peaks, vast icefields, beautiful glacial lakes, soothing hot springs, thundering rivers, and an extensive system of hiking trails make Jasper a stunning counterpart to its sister park, Banff. The park's most spectacular natural landmarks can be admired from the Icefields Parkway, regarded as one of the world's great mountain drives. The highlight of the parkway is the Columbia Icefield, a remnant of the last major glaciation that covered most of Canada 20,000 years ago. You can walk up onto the glacier, but the best thing to do is take a ride on an Ice Explorer, an oversized bus designed especially for glacial travel. Heading north, the parkway passes three photogenic waterfalls, numerous lookouts, and the trailheads for hikes to beautiful lakes. A side road leads to the base of Mount Edith Cavell, one of the most scenic spots in the Canadian Rockies. Visitors should also plan an excursion along Maligne Lake Road, which passes a deep canyon, a lake that “disappears” each fall, and ends at a lake with scenic boat tours and excellent fishing. At the north end of the parkway is the park's main service center, the town of Jasper, which has accommodations and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets.

Andrew Hempstead
About the Expert

Over the last 20 years, Andrew Hempstead has authored and updated more than 60 guidebooks for Avalon Travel, Frommer’s, Michelin, Odyssey, Dorling Kindersley, Michelin, and Sasquatch Books, including many books on Canada.

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Andrew Hempstead for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Jasper National Park is in the Canadian Rockies, spanning 4,200 sq mi. It is located in the province of Alberta, north of Banff National Park and west of Edmonton. The park boasts glaciers, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and mountains.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, late spring, early fall