Sights and Scenerey around Jasper
The picturesque townsite of Jasper, nestled in the junction of the Athabasca and Miette Valleys, offers first class services and a wide variety of activities to over two million visitors each year. The town serves as the administrative centre for the park and is a hub of Canadian Naitonal Railway activity.
The Queen Charlotte Totem Pole, located near the train (Via) station, is one of the tallest in existence today.
Columbia Icefield is the greatest accumulation of ice in the Rocky Mountains. Athabasca Glacier is one of the many glaciers flowing from the great icefield. It is easily visible from the highway and accessible by a fleet of Specially Equipped Vehicles which provide visitors with close-up views of moraines, ice falls and crevasses.
Mount Edith Cavell is a 30 minute drive from Jasper up a steep mountain road winding up to the parking lot. From the parking a short hike affords an excellent view of Angel Glacier.
Roche Bonhomme (Old Man Mountain), is easily recognizable as the reclining figure above Jasper Townsite. He snoozes away year-round, and is most comfortable under a soft white blanket.
Pretty multi-colored Pyramid Mountain rises directly north of Jasper Townsite. At the base of Pyramid Mountain lies Pyramid Lake offering picnic sights, sandy beaches and fishing.
Mount Robson is a spectacular sight about one hour's drive west of Jasper. No photograph can truly convey the impressive 3000 meter (10,000 feet) rise from the base to its peak.
Roche Miette at Pocahontas is a famous landmark dating back to the earliest days of the fur traders. Over time, mother nature has shaped it into one of the most distinctive "rock faces" in the mountains.
Jasper Park Lodge, built in the dearly 1920's, offers visitors sumptuous interiors and immaculate grounds in a beautiful mountain setting. The Main Lodge overlooks the sparkling clear waters of Lac Beauvert. Golfers are challenged by the world-famous Golf Coarse that surrounds the Lodge. As well as the usual sand traps, players may have to contend with an errant elk or two on the fairways, or maybe a flock of Canada Geese.
Maligne Lake, with its Chalet and boathouse is about a 40 minute drive from Jasper. The unequaled cruise up the lake is a panorama of summits and glaciers. At the half-way point, the launch takes a wide sweep into a secluded cove, and the famous Spirit Island comes into view. Medicine Lake forms an ever changing scenic interlude on the way to the big lake.
Maligne Canyon offers visitors an excellent view of erosion at work in a limestone canyon. The canyon is Jaspers deepest gorge and part of what may be North America's most extensive underground river system. Access is provided through a series of foot bridges crossing the canyon at various places throughout its 4 km (2.5 mi.) length. Fabulous Frozen Waterfalls can be seen from the floor of the canyon. This beautiful hike is only available during winter.
Breathtaking Athabasca Falls thunder through a narrow gorge, shaping the rocks with the relentless force of rushing water. Broad shouldered Mount Kerkeslin provides a scenic background for this popular view of the falls.
The Sunwapta River originates at at the foot of Columbia Icefield. Sunwapta Falls is located near the River's last stage before it merges with the Athabasca River.
Elk are plentiful almost everywhere in the park. It is common to see herds of elk sitting on the lawn in front of the information centre or just walking through town. As friendly and tame as these animals may appear, they are still wild animals and potentially dangerous. People have been chased, kicked and knocked down suffering injuries by these animals. Males are best left alone during the mating season in the fall. Females and young ones should be respected during calving season in the spring and early summer. Females become especially aggressive and dangerous when protecting a calf or a calving area. Keep a safe distance when observing these animals.
Bighorn Sheep can commonly be found along the slopes near the east gateway to the park. The males have the characteristic curved horns that become battering rams during mating season.
Grizzly Bears live in the Jasper Park area, but generally stay away from the more travelled areas. Black Bears however can be spotted along side the roads just about anywhere in the Park.