|Se rendre |||Head west from Edmonton on the Yellowhead Highway (16)|
Profil Dernière mise-à-jour: 16 février 2007
Slipping away to Jasper for a weekend or longer has been a favourite with residents of the Alberta capital since Jasper National Park was established in 1907. Jasper is 370 km west of Edmonton; a four and a half hour drive when traffic is moving at a normal pace, longer when there's long lineups of RVs and cars on the road.
Once people arrive there, Jasper is a year-round playground. The list of things to do in and around Jasper is almost unlimited.
A good place to start is at the Jasper Information Centre, managed by Parks Canada and located at 500 Connaught Drive. Parks Canada staff will help guide visitors to something that strikes their interest, and will include a few safety tips and brochures as well. A favorite for many newcomers, and even park regulars, is to drive down the Icefields Parkway, arguably one of the most scenic routes in Canada. Spots like Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls show the power and majesty of mountain rivers. At the Columbia Icefields, 92 km south of Jasper, visitors can book a trip on the Snocoach, which takes a tour of the Athabasca Glacier. For a more expansive view of the Columbia Icefields, the Wilcox Pass trail is a short and scenic hike.
Of course, for folks looking to see if Jasper's scenery matches the postcards, there's Maligne Lake, 50 km southeast of Jasper. Spirit Island, the quintessential Canadian postcard image, is about halfway down the lake. There are Maligne Lake boat tours, as well as canoe rentals, available by calling (780) 852-3370. For people wishing to get above it all and view sweeping mountain vistas, the Jasper Tramway, which lifts visitors to the top of Whistlers Mountain, is a marvelous treat. On clear days, nearby Mt. Edith Cavell dominates the skyline, while Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, is visible to the northwest.
...and a Few Other Things
A few things will help make your visit safer. The elk along the roadside and in town are big, fast, and potentially dangerous. Keep at least 30 metres away from them, especially as the fall mating season approaches. The same keep away warning applies to bears, but the distance should be a minimum of 100 metres. Remember that the mountain weather can change in minutes, and snow can fall in every month of the year. Bring appropriate clothing. Accommodations range from various campgrounds scattered in and around the park, to hostels (from deluxe to rustic), and a wide variety of hotels and bed and breakfasts.