October 2013
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Travel – Jasper – Canada – Part 4

Jasper is a specialized municipality in western Alberta in Canada, famous because of the presence of the Jasper National Park, with its immense natural beauty (and with the Rocky Mountains right there).

Read more in the previous post about Jasper (Jasper – Part 3)

Some attractions of Jasper

Miette Hot Springs
• Hot natural sprins attract a large number of visitors, and here, one can find the hottest such natural springs in the Rocky Mountains in Canada, with the temperature ranging between a hot 54ºC to a soothing 39ºC.
• These springs are a part of the scenic Fiddle Valley, with the location having a cool pool, two hot pools, a cool pool, and a place to eat. For those wanting to step into the pools, one can find towels, swimsuits and lockers.
• Besides the pool, there are other places nearby that attract visitors who want to do springs and other items, such as hiking trails, picnic sites, and of course places to stay.

Patricia and Pyramid Lake
• These are 2 sparkling beautiful lakes, with the access to these lakes through a winding road. A lot of stuff can be done here such as:
– Boating
– Hiking
– Fishing
– Picnicking (besides the above totally water dependent activities, just enjoying the lake shore can be great)

Lot of stuff to do where you can rent the equipment:
– Canoeing
– Windsurfing
– Sailing
– Boating
– Horse-back riding
• In winter, with the solidification of top layer of ice, other activities are available such as cross-country skiing and ice-skating on Pyramid Lake.
• When somebody thinks of a lake and its access to differently abled people, one would be surprised to learn that Pyramid Island is now wheelchair accessible.
• Common facilities available here include Seasonal accommodation and dining facilities.

Whistler’s Mountain
• Part of the charm of this place is the ride up the Jasper Tramway, which takes the visitors to the height of 2277 meters.
• The view from the tramway is great, providing some stunning landscapes of the nearby mountain ranges (at a height, the nearby can be relative, since these ranges extend about 80 km away).
• There are exhibits located at the Whistler’s Mountain, with these providing details about the high alpine environment and about a hiking trail. The trail leads to the summit of the mountain.
• There are facilities available here which include gift shops and dining facilities.
• View a map of Whistler’s Mountain & Jasper Tramway at www.jaspertramway.com/

Sunwapta Falls
• The meaning of the word Sunwapta is “turbulent river”, derived from a Stoney Indian word.
• The falls are spectacular, with the flow of the Sunwapta River changing from northwest to southwest.
• Even more spectacular, the river explodes into a cloud of spray straight into a deep canyon.
• One can have a picnic nearby, and there are options of dining and accommodation.
• Sunwapta Falls, when frozen, provide some differently shaped “ice sculptures”, something which photographers love.

Mt. Edith Cavell
• This is a real beautiful summit, with only a few other summits nearby that look so beautiful.
• In addition, there a glacier called Angel glacier that is powdery blue and small.
• The place is accessible by a short self-guiding trail that moves along the side of the lake.
• Using a different trail, visitors can reach the picturesque Cavell Meadows, but this is a longer trail.
• These trails can be busy, but are less crowded at times such as mornings or late afternoons.

Lake Edith and Lake Annette
Like many other lakes in the area, Lake Edith and Lake Annette offer:
– Day-use areas and places for poeple to have a picnic
• The water is refreshing and a number of people like to enjoy a swim in the lake.
• If you are not swimming, you can just relax in the calm environment next to the lakes and reflect on life or forget life for some time. Another option is a great walk.
• Another activity that can be done is to cycle with trails on which people can bicycle around Lake Edith.

• “Pocahontas Coal Mine” remains are found off Highway 16 on the Miette Road.
• There is also a self-guided interpretive trail with the trail taking visitors to the remnants of the mine.

Athabasca Falls
• If you fond of visiting falls, then the Athabasca Falls are a must visit, since the considered one of the most breathtaking falls in the Rocky Mountains, and very powerful.
• The Athabasca River water falls down a narrow gorge and such is the force that the water has smoothed the edges of the walls in the gorge.

Stutfield Glacier
• This glacier is a tongue of the massive Columbia Icefield.
• One of the unique points of this glacier is that the glacier falls to a vertical depth of over 900 meters of cliff face.
• The flow of the water forms a picturesque set of double ice falls that are visible from the road.
• This glacier is located 95 km south of Jasper and 135 km north of Lake Louise.

Goat Lookout
• Seems a bit strange in terms of name, but this lookout provides a great view of the mountain peaks around.
• It can be considered a picnic area located at a height that provides a panoramic view of the Athabasca Valley.

From this Lookout one can spot wildlife such as:
– Mountain goats
– Bighorn sheep
– And others.
• Goat Lookout is approximately situated 38 km to south of Jasper off Highway 93.
• It is located in the Ice fields Parkway Region.

Jasper dark sky
• One of the advantages of being outside civilization is that you are away from the ambient light that is all around, and can have a better chance of spotting the huge number of stars in the night sky.
• This is the world’s largest official Dark Sky Preserve located at 11,228 km2.

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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