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Jasper, Alberta

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Introduction

The picturesque, small resort town of Jasper has been described as “the little town in the big park”, being completely nested inside Jasper National Park. Despite being a resort town in an area that boasts magnificent glaciers, abundant wildlife, crystal lakes and waterfalls, the town still has the feel of a small, friendly community.

Attractions

Jasper National Park
The largest national park in the Canadian Rockies is home to such wonders as natural hot springs, sparkling lakes, thundering waterfalls, the Columbia icefield, and some of the most beautiful scenes of mountain peaks crowning the horizon. Its deep limestone canyons and evergreen forests are also awe-inspiring.

Shopping

Maligne Lake Downtown Shoppe
'Cabin concept' store featuring rugged outdoor apparel by Canadian Designers along with home decor items with a mountain cabin theme. Currency exchange services are also available here. (616 Patricia St.)
Mounted Police Gift Shop
This gift shop sells the official licensed items of Canada's historic mounted police. Quality clothing for men, women and kids, Mountie memorabilia, and Jasper souvenirs all make for great gifts. You can also have your photo taken with the giant “Mountie” moose! (610 Patricia St.)
Maligne Lake Boathouse
This boathouse is an Alberta historic site, selling fishing and outdoor gear and apparel. Sea kayaks, canoes, rowboats and freight canoes with electric trolling motors are available for rent, along with fishing tackle and licenses. (48 km south of Jasper townsite)
Gravity Gear
All products for technical, alpine, ice and sport climbing -- axes, ropes, harnesses, helmets and ice/rock protection are sold here. Backpacking gear, brand name outerwear, and casual clothing also available. (618 Patricia St.)

Activities

Jasper's natural surroundings are known for such activities as mountain climbing, hiking, and white water rafting. It's also a ski destination in the winter. There are opportunities to go backpacking and rock climbing and even golfing. Kayaking and rafting fans will take to the turbulent rivers in the surrounding area, while mountain bikers will have plenty of terrain to ride through. Rent a boat on Maligne Lake to relax as you take in the beautiful scenes of snowy mountains and lush forest greenery.
Enjoy the soothing mineral-rich waters hidden within beautiful Fiddle Valley. With modern facilities that feature two hot pools, a cold plunge pool, showers, lounge areas, café and gift shop, you'll be peacefully relaxed in no time. (61 km east of Jasper town site)

History

The Jasper area was first discovered by surveyors in 1810 and originally provided access for fur traders. Later, much of it was explored through many historic mountaineering expeditions. The Canadian Pacific Railway operated through this area early on and was later joined by two other railways, leading to the establishment of Jasper as a tourist destination in 1918. Some of this area's mountains have been the site of notable mountaineering adventures, with Mount Robson, first scaled in 1913, remaining a daunting feat to this day.

More Information

The official site for the municipality of Jasper, Alberta
Parks Canada's page on Jasper National Park with lots of visitor information and links.
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