Located on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, Jasper is located in Jasper National Park, the largest of Canada's Rocky Mountain Parks. Located in a park with 4,200 square miles of broad valleys, rugged mountain terrain, glaciers, forests and wild rivers, Jasper is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to some of Canada's most spectacular scenery.
WHAT TO DO
Jasper is the sleepier cousin to Alberta's other main mountain town of Banff. Because Jasper is further away from the major cities of Alberta, this town offers a more serene getaway. Because of Jasper’s location in a national park and in the Rocky Mountains, visitors to Jasper have a plethora of outdoor activities to chose from.
There is excellent hiking and camping in the summer and cross country and downhill skiing in the winter. Visitors can also take a soak in the Miette Hot Springs, visit the spectacular Athabasca Falls, or see the impressive Maligne Canyon.
Visitors can also experience the Columbia Ice Field or make it to the top of Mount Robson, which is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3954 meters and is home to abundant wildlife and scenic vistas.
Jasper is located about 4 hours from Edmonton (airport code YEG), which is the closest airport to this city. The easiest way to get to Jasper is to catch a flight to Edmonton and then rent a car for the drive to Jasper. However, if you are up for a long and very scenic drive, then travelers can also get a flight to Vancouver and then make the almost 500 mile drive to Jasper through the Rocky Mountains (this should probably only be done in the summer. There may be some airport shuttles that offer service to Jasper, but if you are driving to the airport it may be a good idea to reserve your airport parking in advance.
WHERE TO STAY
If you are in Jasper in the summer, there is a lot of great camping located in the National Park close to town. There are also a variety of mid-range and luxury hotels in Jasper, which range from cute bed and breakfasts to high-end lodges. For those on a budget, there is also a popular hostel in Jasper, which will save you a lot of cash, but also doesn’t have running water.