After Banff, Jasper Alberta is the second largest town located in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks and is the only town in Jasper National Park. Jasper lies approximately 290km north of Banff, and much of the journey is along the incredibly scenic Icefields Parkway, which warrants the trip in itself. Jasper sees fewer visitors than Banff, which is part of its charm, but the mountain scenery is no less impressive in this area and a true tour of the Rocky Mountains would be incomplete without a visit to the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies.
History of Jasper
Jasper was fist settled in 1813 when the North West Company built an outpost there, which later became known as Jasper House. This outpost was later abandoned in the 1880’s, and in 1907 Jasper Forest Park was established, which was later to become a National Park in 1930. The first hotels in Jasper were built in the 1920’s and tourism has been strong ever since.
Jasper Tours & Activities
Jasper offers a varied choice of tours and activities from relaxing hot springs to adrenaline filled rafting adventures and everything in between.
If you are looking for mountain scenery, the Jasper Tramway offers amazing views of the Athabasca River and the peaks of Jasper National Park, and sightseeing tours to Maligne Lake, and the Columbia Icefield are also not to be missed.
Hiking in Jasper National Park is an absolute joy, and the trails tend to be much quieter than those in Banff National Park to the south, and in the winter Marmot Basin offers excellent skiing and snowboarding, just a 20 minute drive from the town of Jasper.
With horseback riding, helicopter sightseeing tours, and even motorcycle tours, there is no shortage of ways to get out and about around Jasper National Park.
Jasper Hotels & Accommodation
Whether you are searching for a mountain style log cabin, an affordable downtown hotel, or a magnificent lakeside lodge, you are sure to find accommodation in Jasper Alberta to match your taste and budget.
For the rustic cabin experience, Beckers Chalets is a popular place to stay on the Icefields Parkway, and the budget conscious will appreciate the attractive rates at the Bear Hill Lodge.
The Astoria Hotel and Whistlers Inn both offer a convenient downtown location in the mid level price range, while at the very top end of the scale, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is a grand Canadian lodge on the shore of beautiful Lac Beauvert.
Jasper also offers a good range of traditional bed and breakfasts, and a larger number of private home accommodations which are also often called bed & breakfast, but are mostly in the form of private suites without breakfast.
As is the case throughout the National Parks, campgrounds are also abundant in the Jasper area.