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Where better to taste fresh alpine air, tread forest trails and marvel at crystal clear lakes than in Jasper National Park? Located at the edge of the Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park is Alberta’s largest and draws visitors from all around the world. The park covers a whopping 4,200 square miles and is barely populated, with just a single town at its centre. Fortunately, Alberta’s cities are not too far away, meaning civilisation is always within grasp. However, a visit to Jasper National Park nevertheless promises to show you the world as it must have been before the dawn of civilisation.
Jasper — Situated in the centre of Jasper National Park, Jasper is a small, friendly and fully sustainable town. The commercial hub of the region, the majority of visitors come to this alpine town to experience the peace of mountain life and to ride SkyTram, Canada’s highest aerial tramway.
Columbia Icefield – To the north of the park lies Columbia Icefield, one of the world’s last surviving remnants from the great Ice Age. For peace of mind (and to guarantee the best vantage points of the dramatic landscape) many visitors prefer to book guided snow coach tours in advance.
Miette Hot Springs — These natural springs offer outdoor pools at four different temperatures, overlooked by quiet, serene surrounds. Ideal for soothing those muscles after a long mountain hike, Miette Hot Springs also offers cabins so, if you wish, you can choose to turn your day visit into a romantic getaway.
Athabasca River — Fishing, wildlife spotting, white water rafting and stunning mountain trails are all on offer along the Athabasca River. Of particular note are the Athabasca Falls. While they aren’t Canada’s highest, they are a sight to behold for the sheer force with which they pummel the quartzite rock below.
Pay a visit to the iconic Maligne Lake, which offers one of the best views across the Canadian Rockies. The small island at its centre, Spirit Island, back dropped by the dramatic rise and fall of the mountains, is one of the most photographed areas in Jasper National Park. For those who wish to enjoy the peace of this scenery from the crystal waters of the lake, boat cruises are also available. Beyond the lake, there are valleys and wilderness trails in abundance – just make sure you bring extra batteries for your camera!
Jasper National Park attracts hikers, bikers and climbers, but there is something for everyone here. You can fish fresh salmon on the river and spot golden eagles and other wildlife. To explore all on offer take a self-guided driving tour to see the sights without wearing out the legs! In winter, skiing and snowboarding are the top activities on the list at the nearby Marmot Basin ski resort. The resort’s remote location means the slopes tend to be much quieter than their European counterparts, making this ideal for a quiet ski holiday.