Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park has a beautiful, quiet and rugged landscape perfect for adventure. The town of Jasper and the National Park area is great destination for sightseers, hikers and backpackers.
About Jasper National Park
Jasper Forest Park was first established in 1907. This land was designated park area which kept the landscape and the wildlife safe from development. In 1930 Jasper Forest Park was officially renamed Jasper National Park.
In 1984 Jasper National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. When an area is designated a World Heritage Site it means that the area has cultural, historical or scientific significance. Once an area is designated a World Heritage Site, it is legally protected by international treaties. Jasper National Park is protected from development and destruction, so that the natural beauty of this landscape will be maintained for generations to enjoy.
There are currently 1,092 World Heritage Sites located across 167 countries. Canada has 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites across its provinces and territories.
Jasper National Park Today
Today’s Jasper National Park is roughly 11,000 square kilometres in area. This makes Jasper the largest National Park in the Canadian Rockies.
The boarder of Jasper National Park extends to the Great Divide and Mount Robson (to the west) and meets up with Banff National Park to the south.
Jasper contains approximately 1,200km of hiking trails. These hiking trails vary in length and difficulty, from short walks to full day hikes. In addition to its beautiful day hikes, Jasper is probably best well known for its many multi-day backpacking trails. Backpacking trails take hikers into the back-country of the National Park. Backpackers carry all of their food and equipment with them and camp along the trail. The longest backpacking trip in Jasper is the North Boundary Trail. This epic trails is 179km (111mi) in length and takes roughly 10-14 days to complete.
The Canadian Rockies have always been a popular destination for visitors; Jasper welcomes around 2.3 million visitors annually.
Click here to find out more about the Town of Jasper.
Jasper National Park includes two major river systems, the Athabasca and the Smoky River. Both of these large rivers originate in Arctic Ocean Basin. For this reason, the rivers water is always cold, even in the middle of the summer.
The Athabasca River flows from the the Columbia Glacier. You will see this glacier up close if you drive the Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Lake Louise.
Many of the mountain ranges climb to 3,000m (9,800 feet) with Mount Columbia being the highest peak in Alberta at 3,782m (12, 400 feet). The lowest point in the park is near the East Gate, here the elevation is only 985m (3,200 feet).
The highest mountain peaks are on the west side of the park. This is also where you will find the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide is where mountain streams are separated – the north and east rivers will flow towards the Arctic Ocean or Hudson Bay. The westward rivers will flow towards the Pacific Ocean.
The Canadian Rockies are limestone mountains. The layers of limestone can be clearly seen on many mountain faces, ranging in colour from grey to reddy-brown.