Jasper National Park

Travel Guide North America Canada Alberta Jasper National Park



Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada, is one of the natural highlights of a trip through the Rocky Mountains. Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, spanning 10,878 km2. It is located in the province of Alberta, north of Banff National Park and west of the City of Edmonton. The park includes the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and mountains. Wildlife in the park includes elk, caribou, moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, black bears, coyotes, beavers, Rocky Mountain pikas, hoary marmots, grey wolves, mountain lions, and wolverines.

The town of Jasper, located within the parks' boundaries, serves as the main gateway.



Sights and Activities

Some of the park's scenic attractions include Mount Edith Cavell, Pyramid Lake with Pyramid Mountain, Maligne Lake, Medicine Lake, and the Tonquin Valley. Other attractions are the Marmot Basin ski area; the Snocoach tours of the Athabasca Glacier, an outlet glacier of the Columbia Icefield; Athabasca Falls; the Jasper Skytram, and numerous other outdoor related recreational activities (such as hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, rafting, kayaking and camping). The Miette Hot Springs are located close to the northeast entrance. The Miette Hot Springs are created by an extremely hot spring cooled by the mountain to temperatures suitable for humans.

The Icefields Parkway is a highway 230 kilometres in length from Lake Louise in Banff National Park, to Jasper. The highway parallels the continental divide, providing motor and cycle access to the mountains. The Athabasca and Sunwapta Falls are both accessible by the road.



Opening Hours

Jasper National Park is open year round. All major travel routes are maintained throughout the year, although temporary closures or warnings may come into effect in the event of adverse weather conditions.




All visitors stopping in the park (even just for gas) require a park permit. If you are driving through non-stop, the pass is not required. Day passes and annual passes are available.

For 2018, the entry fees are:

  • $9.80 per day for an adult (aged 17-64)
  • $8.30 per day for a senior (aged 65+)
  • free for children and youth (aged 0-16)

If you are entering the park as a group of 2-7 people travelling in a single vehicle, you can pay the group fee of $19.60 per day. (This is the same fee as paying for two adults.)

If you will be visiting Canadian National Parks for 7 days or more, you may save money by purchasing an annual Discovery Pass:

  • $67.70 for an adult
  • $57.90 for a senior
  • $136.40 for a family/group



Getting There

By Plane

The closest International Airports are in Edmonton (IATA: YEG), 350 kilometres east of the park and Calgary 350 kilometres south of the park. Edmonton is generally a quicker drive but Calgary is a more scenic route and has more international connections.

By Train

Viarails' Jasper - Prince Rupert train and the Canadian both serve Jasper. Trains go three times a week in either direction (east to Toronto, west to Vancouver on the Canadian, and also three times a week to Prince Rupert, with an overnight stop in Prince George.

By Car

Highway 16 (Yellowhead) bisects the park east-west. Hinton is 69 kilometres and Edmonton is 350 kilometres to the east. Valemount is 110 kilometres to the west. The only other way into the park is from Lake Louise in the south via the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93). If you plan to drive into the park in winter, check: 511alberta for road closures and weather conditions.

By Bus

Greyhound buses go from Jasper to Edmonton (4.5 hours), Prince George (5 hours), Kamloops (6 hours) and Vancouver (11.5 hours). Sundog Tours operates a daily shuttle between Edmonton (Airport or the West Edmonton Mall, via Edson and Hinton to Jasper daily. once in Jasper you will be dropped off at your accomodation. For the way back they can pick you up at your hotel and drop you off at the Mall or the Airport.Brewster Transportation has services to Lake Louise village (4.5 hours) and Banff (5.5 hours).



Getting Around

A car is the only way to really cover the distances involved, although you do see the odd intrepid cyclist. The only fuel stations in the park are in Jasper town.

The best way to see the area is by foot. Head a few hundred metres from a car park and you are in wilderness and does not take much longer to get away from the people.




  • The town of Jasper has a good selection of places to eat.
  • There is a cafeteria at Columbia Icefield
  • Maligne Lake. Basic cafeteria
  • Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge (On the Icefields Parkway halfway between Jasper and the Columbia Icefield), ☎ +1 780-852-4852. Restaurant and cafeteria options.




  • There are 10 designated camping sites throughout the park. There is an interactive map available online with information and fees. It is illegal to camp outside of designated areas without a special backcountry pass.
  • HI-Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake Rd (turn south off highway 16 just east of the townsite), ☎ +1 778 328-2220, toll-free: +1-866-762-4122. Check-in: 5:00pm-10:00pm, check-out: 10:00am. Closed Wednesdays Oct-Apr, open all other times. This 24-bed hostel, is an excellent place to get away from things for a while. Though it lacks running water, you'll not miss anything else. There's a good sized kitchen, a supply of drinking water, and a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. $20-26/person for HI members, $24-30/person for non-members. edit
  • HI-Mount Edith Cavell, Mt Edith Cavell Rd (26km south of Jasper townsite off highway 93A, 12 kilometres up Cavell Rd), ☎ +1 778 328-2220. Check-in: 5PM-10PM, check-out: 10AM. The 3,363-metre peak of Mt. Edith Cavell towers over this little wilderness hostel set in a narrow valley. An ideal base from which to explore Angel Glacier, Cavell Meadows or the Tonquin Valley. The views are amazing! There is no running water and no electricity. Full kitchen facilities with propane gas. Wood heating in the dorms, so in winter be prepared to stoke the fire 2 or 3 times a night. Toilets are outside. In summer (May to Oct) a manager lives on-site. The road closes in winter, ski-in only, a key can be picked up from HI-Jasper or HI-Lake Louise. $20-26/person for HI members, $24-30/person for non-members. Bookings recommended in summer months.
  • HI-Athabasca Falls, Highway 93 (32km south of Jasper townsite, 1 km south of Athabasca Waterfall), ☎ +1 778 328-2220. Check-in: 5:00pm-10:00pm, check-out: 10:00am. Rustic hostel with no running water, there is power however. Boasting a fantastic large wood-paneled common room/kitchen with wood heater, this spacious hostel is ideal for groups. Located next to the powerful waterfalls of the same name. A great base for hikers: the Fryatt Valley, Geraldine Lakes, and Athabasca Pass are nearby. Chill out at the fire-pit any time of year. 'Cowboy' showers are available for those not willing to wash in the cold creek. Sleeping is in two dorms. Some private rooms are available. $20-26/person for HI members, $24-30/person for non-members. This place fills up quick, bookings recommended in summer months.

HI-Beauty Creek, Highway 93 (75 km south of Jasper townsite, 17 kilometres north of Columbia Icefields), toll-free: +1-866-762-4122. Check-in: 5:00pm-10:00pm, check-out: 10:00am. This small rustic hostel is a favourite stop for cyclists between Jasper and Banff. Located adjacent the gentle waters of the Sunwapta River, the location is spectacular! Sleeping is in two dorms, nestled either side of the small kitchen and semi-outside common room. There is no running water and no electricity. Full kitchen facilities and refrigerator with propane gas. Toilets are outside. In summer (May to Oct) a manager lives on-site. Closed in winter. Expect snow any time of year here $20-26/person for HI members, $24-30/person for non-members. Bookings recommended in summer months.

  • Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, 1 Old Lodge Road (Follow the signs on Highway 16. Turn left (if coming from the east) or right (if coming from the west) onto the black steel bridge over Athabasca River and follow the road), ☎ +1 780 852-3301. Full service hotel outside of Jasper Township. Has a world-class golf course on site, and a world-class restaurant. Expect to pay world-class prices.
  • Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge (On the Icefields Parkway halfway between Jasper and the Columbia Icefield), ☎ +1 780-852-4852. Quality lodges, restaurant.



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This is version 15. Last edited at 15:16 on Mar 19, 18 by Utrecht. 8 articles link to this page.

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