Jasper National Park

By joanne lemna | June 1, 2017

Exploring Jasper National Park: A Historical and Recreational Overview

Canada is celebrating 150 years by providing free entry to all national parks across the country. There’s no better time to explore Canada’s nature. Here’s a short overview on the largest Canadian Rocky Mountain national park.

In 1813 the North West Company built a supply depot on Brule Lake as part of their network of trading posts. It became known as Jasper House because of its clerk Jasper Hawes. In 1884 however Jasper House was abandoned as the fur trade declined. Geography kept the area relatively isolated. The North West Mounted Police made their first patrol through present-day Jasper in 1897 and it was only in 1898 that the Columbia icefield was discovered. In September 1907 Jasper Forest Park was created with 13000 km2 of protected land.

However times were about to change. In 1911 the Grand Trunk Railway Line built a new station called Fitzhugh. Around this new station a small community began to flourish. In 1913 this became Jasper. Jasper and Edmonton were connected by road in 1928 and the National Parks Act of 1930 officially created Jasper National Park and it was expanded to encompass 18878 km2. The park became an attractive place for adventurists looking for beautiful scenery and challenging terrain. In 1970 the Yellowhead Highway opened and in 1984 Jasper National Park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks.

For visitors today Jasper National Park bills itself as “Your Base of Adventure.” From hot springs to icefields there’s something for everyone. The park offers world-class skiing and snowboarding snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter as well as sleigh rides dog-sledding ice-climbing and skating. In the warmer seasons experience the incredible nature through hiking biking climbing and horseback riding. Take a peaceful canoe or kayak ride or a more exciting raft down a river. Fishing and wildlife viewing are also popular activities. Enjoy a round of golf or dinner at a world-class restaurant in Jasper. You can drive the Icefields Parkway or experience one of the many fantastic tours offered in the park. Visit the local galleries and museums or ride up the Skytram or enjoy viewing the stars in the dark sky preserve. Check out more things to do here .

The park offers accommodation in cabins and hotels as well as places for tents and RVs. There are four front country campgrounds and one backcountry campground with spots reservable here .