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Ten things about Jasper you may not have known

pyramid mountain jasper national park

Pyramid Mountain reflection in Patricia Lake – Jasper National Park, AB ©theexplorerslens.com

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Jasper National Park celebrates it’s 105th this month. In honour of the Parks’ birthday we’ve compiled a list of things about Jasper National Park you not have already known.

    The first permanent European settlement in the Jasper area was established in 1813. Jasper wasn’t designated a National Park until 1930, 23 years after the government of Canada established the Jasper Forest park;

    Jasper National Park is the 11th largest park in Canada and the largest 2nd largest National Park in the province of Alberta. For the curious Wood Buffalo National Park (AB/NWT) is the largest in the country;

    The Park is the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve;

    The largest group to assemble within the park at one time was an assembly of First Nations celebrating the raising of the ‘Two Brothers’ totem in 2011 ;

    Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum starred in ‘River of No Return’ which was partially filmed within the park in 1953;

    Parks Canada has strict guidelines regarding residency in Jasper townsite (Banff as well). Bottom line – Get a job within the Park if you want to live in this little slice of heaven;

    The first road connecting Jasper to Edmonton was completed in 1928;

    The 230km stretch of highway connecting Jasper to Lake Louise was completed in 1939;

    Over 10 million people have stood on the Athabasca Glacier;

    In 2010 over 7,600kg/16,755 pounds of invasive, non native vegatation was removed from the Park;

    Just under 2 million people visit the Park each year.

We know… eleven!

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Little A Glacier – Jasper National Park

little a glacier - jasper national park ©theexplorerslens.com

Starting out towards Little A Glacier - Jasper National Park, AB ©theexplorerslens.com

Greetings from Jasper National Park!

This is our first weekend, of hopefully many, in the Park this summer. Things got off to an iffy start as Saturday morning was a little on the soggy side with persistent rains in town. We decided to press our luck and tempt fate driving to the Columbia Icefield area to test some new gear, axes, boots, and crampons on Little A Glacier – fun stuff – pictures coming. Our patience was rewarded with a mix of sleet and snow, and intermittent BIG BEAUTIFUL BLUE skies!

Last month we posted a list of Ten Free Things to Do in Jasper National Park and we’re attempting to do them all this summer. It looks like we’ll manage at least two this weekend – Touch a Glacier and Wildlife watching.

We’re hoping to photograph some bald eagles as they’ve been spotted nesting in the Lake Annette and Medicine Lake areas. We’ll post our progress.

Thanks for dropping in!

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Ten Free Things to do in Jasper National Park

top ten free things to do in jasper ©theexplorerslens.com

Overlooking Jasper townsite from atop the Whistlers - Jasper National Park, AB ©theexplorerslens.com

The days are growing longer and warmer.  Time to start thinking about our favourite summer hang out – Jasper National Park.

Here’s Ten Free Things to do in Jasper Nation Park this summer.

1. Go for a Hike

    With 1200km of hiking trails Jasper National Park offers something for everyone of all abilities.  The Parks Summer Trails Guide is a good place to start.

2. Visit the Jasper Information Centre National Historic Site

    Locacted off the main drag, across from the train station, this building is not only an architectural gem, it also is home to one of two Parks information centres within Jasper (the other is located within the Columbia Icefield Visitor Centre). If you’re looking for information about the Park this is where you want to be.

3. Watch Wildlife

    While not as easy as a safari, most wildlife within Jasper National Park can be viewed from the comfort and safety of your car. Bighorn, elk, mountain goat, black bears and deer are often found roadside foraging. A visit to the aforementioned Information Centre will give you an ideal of where the critters are ‘hiding’. Safety first – please drive carefully and obey posted warnings – Keep the Wild in Wildlife.

4. Climb a Mountain

    Our favourite – Mount Wilcox

5. Photograph Wildflowers

    We consider the Edith Cavell area as one of the best areas for stunning wildflower photography opportunities within the Park.

6. Watch a Glacier Calve

    Watch Angel Glacier along the Cavell Meadows Interpretive Trail calve house sized chunks of ice. Don’t get too close!

7. Take in the Local Art Scene

    A number of truly remarkable artist take inspiration from Jasper’s beauty. Check out their work at the Jasper Artists Guild.

8. Go for a Swim

    Horseshoe Lake, approximately 25km south of Jasper offers tranquil blue waters with a bit of a twist for the adventurous… cliff diving. Adult supervision highly recommended.

9. Spend a Night Star Gazing

    If the daytime views aren’t enough look skyward after dark. Jasper National Park is the worlds largest dark sky preserve. Great for smores and star gazing. The Park operates special programs May through December with the Jasper Dark Sky Festival showcased in October – Parks Canada/Jasper National Park website

10. Touch a Glacier

    The toe of Jasper’s Athabasca Glacier is easily accessible from the Icefields Parkway at the Columbia Icefields Interpretive Centre. Please take care and DO NOT climb on the glacier itself.

Bonus – Go for a Pinic

    A hot summers day and Lake Annette go together like peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Located less than 10km from Jasper townsite, adjacent to the Jasper Park Lodge.
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