Jasper National Park is located in western Canada in the western part of the province of Alberta. It is north of Banff National Park along near the border of Alberta and British Columbia. The park boundaries encompass an area of 4,200 square miles (11,000 sq km) making it the largest of the national parks protecting the Canadian Rockies.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for majestic mountain peaks, splendorous waterfalls, tremendous canyons, and the beautifully colored lakes, rivers, and icefields.
Mount Edith Cavell with a summit of 11,033 feet (3,363 m) and Pyramid Mountain with a peak of 9,075 (2,766 m) are two of the more picturesque mountains within Jasper National Park. The Athabasca Falls is another stunning feat of nature measuring 60 feet (18 m) wide and falling 80 feet (24 m) to the waiting gorge below.
The Columbia Icefield feeds into the park through the Athabasca Glacier. This is only a plus to the other icefield features experienced on the Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper. Who is going to complain about this magnificent landscape?
Jasper is also home to a variety and abundance of wildlife. The sought-after predator species include black bear, cougar, coyote, fox, grizzly bear, lynx, timber wolf, wolverine, and then the bald and golden eagles from the sky.
Other popular mammalian species found within the national park boundaries include caribou, elk, moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, porcupine, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, and marmot.
It is hard not to call the entire Jasper National Park exploration a highlight. The park is renowned for some of the most stellar nature experiences. The glacier runoff creates some of the most beautiful blue colored rivers, lakes, and ponds.
The snow-capped summits create majestic mesmerizing mountainous landscapes. Of course, Mount Edith Cavell and Pyramid Mountain top off the picturesque mountain views. Athabasca Falls is another highlight.
Nature lovers can’t help but enjoy the scenic views offered by Jasper National Park, however, the variety and abundance of wildlife sightings will be exhilarating.
Although there are various activities to engage during a visit to the park, the best way to experience Jasper is through the intimate and personal exploration by hiking the abundance of trails provided to explore the park.
Trails in Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is one of the most beautiful wilderness environments in the world and there are over 100 trails to hike and explore this amazing collection of natural wonders. Trails range from easy to difficult providing something for everyone who wants to explore the outdoors.
Valley of the Five Lakes Trail: This is a 2.8-mile (4.50 km) loop trail with an elevation gain of 505 feet (153.92 m). The trail travels through dense forests and along with two different scenic bodies of water. A wooden footbridge carries you across a marshy area given you more views of the wilderness area.
Athabasca Falls: This is a short 0.5-mile (0.8 km) trail out across easy terrain to view the astounding Athabasca Falls. This is one of the most popular trails in the park because of the quick, easy, and accessibility of the trail that results in a stunning waterfall landscape.
Maligne Canyon Trail: This is an easy rated loop trail that meanders along the river and canyon while traversing through forests. The turquoise blue water is captivating. The loop trail covers a distance of 2.7 miles (4.34 km) while providing birdwatching opportunities.
Maligne Canyon Loop Trail: This is a 2.1-mile (2.38 km) over some rugged terrain and along the canyon overlooking the crystal clear blue water. You will see a waterfall and several other striking canyon landscapes while hiking through the forest. This is a moderate rated trail.
Skyline Trail: This is a challenging 29.9-mile (48.12 km) with an elevation gain of 5,921 feet (1,804.7 m). This difficult rated trail follows the ridge of a mountain while providing panoramic views of the mountainous landscape. There is a trek through the forest and views of a lake and wildflowers. This journey is for the more physically fit and adventurous hiker.
- Mount Edith Cavell
- Pyramid Mountain
- Athabasca Falls
- Athabasca Glacier
- All Trails, Best Trails in Jasper National Park, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/canada/alberta/jasper-national-park, retrieved July 2020.
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- National Geographic, National Parks of North America, Canada-United States-Mexico, National Geographic Society, 1995.
- Parks Canada, Jasper National park, https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper, retrieved July 2019.
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