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Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park, 4,200 sq mi (10,878 sq km), W Alta., Canada, in the Canadian Rocky Mts.; est. 1907. It is the second largest of the Canadian scenic national parks and contains many high peaks, glaciers, lakes, hot springs, and streams. It is a game reserve and a popular recreation area, with mountain climbing and excellent fishing. The park was named for Jasper Hawes, agent of the North West Company fur-trading post established (1813) on the Athabasca River. Jasper, a resort town, is the park headquarters.

National park, western Alberta, Can. Located on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, it was established in 1907. It occupies 4,200 sq mi (10,878 sq km), including the Athabasca River valley and the surrounding mountains. It encompasses part of the great Columbia Icefield, the meltwaters of which feed rivers that flow to the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans. The park's wildlife includes bear, elk, moose, caribou, and cougar.

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Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, spanning 10,878 km² (4200 mi²). It is located in the province of Alberta, to the north of Banff National Park and west of the city of Edmonton. The park includes the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and, of course, mountains. Wildlife in the park include elk, caribou, moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, grizzly bear, black bear, beaver, Rocky Mountain pika, hoary marmot, gray wolf, mountain lion, and wolverine.

History

Jasper was named after Jasper Hawes, who operated a trading post in the region for the North West Company. Before this it was referred to as Fitzhugh. The park was established on September 14, 1907 as Jasper Forest Park, and was granted national park status in 1930, with the passing of the National Parks Act.

In 2006, Jasper National Park had 1,988,600 visitors.

World Heritage Site

This park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, together with the other national and provincial parks that form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, for the mountain landscapes containing mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons and limestone caves as well as fossils found here.

Geography

Major river systems originating in the park include the North Saskatchewan River (part of the Hudson Bay basin), the Athabasca River and Smoky River (part of the Arctic Ocean basin).

Attractions

Some of the park's many photogenic vistas include Mount Edith Cavell, Pyramid Lake with Pyramid Mountain, Maligne Lake, Medicine Lake, and the Tonquin Valley all considered best photographed at sunrise except for Maligne Lake, which is best in the evening. Other attractions are the Marmot Basin ski area, the Snocoach (bus-sized snowmobile) tours of the Athabasca Glacier, a distributary of the Columbia Icefield, Athabasca Falls, Maligne Lake, Whistler Sky-Tram the Jasper Tramway, and numerous other outdoor related recreational activities (such as hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, rafting, kayaking and camping). The Miette Hotsprings are located close to the northeast entrance.The Miette Hotsprings is created by an extremely hot spring cooled by the mountain just right allowing for humans to use. It is the most natural hot tub in the world.

Among the most stunning of attractions is the Icefields Parkway, a highway 230 km (143 miles) in length from Lake Louise, Alberta in Banff National Park, to Jasper, Alberta. The highway parallels the continental divide, providing motor and cycle access to glorious mountain scenery. Along the highway travellers can take in both the Athabasca, and Sunwapta Falls which are easily accessible. An aerial view of the one of the falls can be seen here

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