October 2013
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Travel – Jasper – Canada – Part 1

Jasper is a specialized municipality in western Alberta in Canada.

Overview of Jasper

• Jasper is known as the commercial centre of the famous Jasper National Park and is located inside the Athabasca River valley, in the Canadian Rockies
• In terms of distances, Jasper is located at some distance from these towns: Edmonton (Jasper is located 362 kilometers to the west) and Banff (Jasper is located 290 kilometers to the north of Banff)
• Alberta is located at the intersection of two main roadways, the Yellow head Highway and the Ice fields Parkway.

The Municipality of Jasper comprises of the Jasper town site.
• And also includes the rural areas surrounding the town.
• The history of this municipality was that it was setup as a specialized municipality on July 20, 2001.
• Because of the proxomity to the natural park, the Canada federal Parks agency municipality shares governance.

History of Jasper

• Jasper has a long history, starting with it first being a North West Company (established in 1813)
• Over a period of time, it later became the Hudson’s Bay Company, a fur trade outpost on the York Factory Express trade route heading to “New Caledonia”.
• Because of the natural beauty of the place, Jasper National Park was established in 1907.
• In 1911, the location for the town was established by setting up the railway siding by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.
• The name of the town was originally called Fitzhugh, the name being that of a Grand Trunk Vice-president.
• The importance of the location increased after the Canadian Northern Railway began an operation to Fitzhugh in 1912.
• In 1913, the site was surveyed by H. Matheson and the name of the site was changed to Jasper, that being the name of the former fur trade post.
• In 1931, the accessibility by road of Jasper was increased when it was connected by road to Edmonton.
• The scenic Ice fields Parkway opened in 1940 and increased the connectivity, connecting Jasper to Banff.

Geography of Jasper

In terms of geography, Jasper lies between:
1. Victoria Cross Ranges-northwest
2. Pyramid Mountain – north
3. Maligne Range-southeast
4. Indian Ridge -southwest

In terms of road connectivity,
• Jasper is connected to the west via the Yellowhead Highway and the Yellowhead Pass to Prince George; and also to the east of Edmonton.
• The Icefield Parkway is towards the south and leads to Banff and Banff National Park.

Lakes located near Jasper are:
• Lake Annette
• Lake Edith
• Lac Beauvert
• Lake Pyramid
• Lake Patricia
• Lake Maligne
• Lake Medicine
• These are just the bigger lakes, and there are numerous other smaller lakes

The Jasper Tramway takes visitors to:
1. The Whistlers’ summit
2. The Marmot Basin ski resort
• The Tramway is located at the town.

In terms of things to see, the places in the town are:
• Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
• Jasper-Yellowhead Museum
• Archives
• Jasper Visitor Centre

Places to see in Jasper

The most important is the Jasper National Park:
• With a location at the heart of the Park in Rocky Mountain.
• With a promise of pristine natural beauty and wilderness, Jasper offers an incredible experience to viewers.
• It covers a huge area, with Jasper National Park stretching over an area of 11,228 km.
• Canada has a total of 15 UNESCO sites, and Jasper National Park is one of them.

In terms of attractiveness, what does Jasper National Park promise:
1. White and Shimmering glaciers
2. Large number of wildlife
3. Beautiful lakes
4. Waterfalls that leave you spellbound
5. Canyons and their depth
6. Evergreen forest
• And everywhere you go, since these are after all the Rocky Mountains, you will find tall, rugged mountain peaks.

Wildlife in Jasper National Park: The park has a varied wildlife quotient:
• Dangerous animals such as grizzlies and black bears
• Mountain caribou
• Elk and moose
• Wolves

The park also has many smaller creatures like:
• Hoary marmots
• Pikas
• Columbian ground squirrels
In addition, there are a number of birds
1. Bald eagles
2. Endangered harlequin ducks
• If you want to visit the park to enjoy the wildlife, the best time during the year to visit and enjoy Jasper’s wildlife is from March to June or in the fall from September to November.

Out of these wildlife, which ones are more popular with tourists ? Some of these are predictable:
• Black Bear
• Ground Squirrels
• Hoary Marmot
• Porcupines
• Beavers
• Moose
• Elk
• Mule Deer & White-tailed Deer
• Woodland Caribou
• Bighorn Sheep
• Rocky Mountain goat
• Coyote
• Wolf
• Jasper Cats
• Silver-tip

Best time to visit / climate

• Jasper’s summer months are temperate, which means you can enjoy a quick dip in the lake without freezing yourself, and also makes outdoor activity comfortable.
• As you get to Fall, it brings beautiful colors along with fabulous hiking conditions.
• Spring is good in most parks, and here also Spring brings wildflowers and gushing rivers which also makes it the ideal time for rafting.
• Winter has both cold snaps and warmer Chinook winds and in between also provides a good feel of Alberta sunshine.
• Altitude of the place is: 1062 m
• Time of the year for Spring: mid-April and reaches the high country by mid-June.
• July is the warmest month with a mean daily maximum temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius.
• September and October brings fall and along with these, also bring in clear skies and cooler temperatures.
• The winter season has periods of cold snowy weather with the coldest month being January (the average maximum temperature of -7.8 degrees Celsius – cold)

Location on Google Maps

View Larger Map

How to get there

By vehicle:
• Driving to Jasper National Park is scenic and beautiful.
• One of the options is the Highway #16 (also known by an alternate name: the Yellowhead Highway) which runs through the park.
• This highway is the main east-west route to and from Jasper.
• However, this highway pales in comparison to the Icefields Parkway which is the most scenic stretches of highway in the world.
• This highway runs north-south connecting Jasper and connects with the Trans-Canada Highway #1 near Lake Louise and Banff.

By Air
International airports are serviced by major national and international carriers in:
1. Edmonton
2. Calgary
3. Vancouver

By Rail
• Jasper National Park can be accessed by both Via Rail and Rocky Mountaineer.
• Rail travel allows travelers to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery found anywhere on the planet.

By Bus
• Sundog Tours has services to the Calgary International Airport from Jasper via Banff.
• This runs along the spectacular Icefields Parkway.
• The Edmonton International Airport links the new Edmonton-Jasper connector to Jasper.
There is Greyhound bus service regularly to Jasper from:
1. Calgary
2. Edmonton
3. Vancouver

By Rental Car
There are several car rental agencies located in the Jasper.

Some Travel Books on Canada

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canada Lonely Planet Discover Canada Lonely Planet British Columbia & the Canadian Rockies

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):
Hotels at tripadvisor.com
Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at jasper.travel
Hotels at jasperhotels.com

Blogs / Sites:
blogs at wikitravel.org
blogs at jasper.travel
blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs and reviews at tripadvisor.com

Images and photos:
images at wikitravel.org
images at jasper.travel
images at wikipedia.org
images at google.com


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