Jasper National Park
The park is located in the Rocky Mountains in the Canadian Province of Alberta, west of the provincial capital of Edmonton. Jasper Forest Reserve was created in 1907. In 1930, the final boundaries of Jasper National Park were established after numerous changes.
The area of the park is 10,878 square kilometres (4,200 square miles). It is the largest and wildest of the Rocky Mountain parks.
In 1992, the Historic Sites and Monument Board of Canada proclaimed the Park Information Centre as a national historic site. In 1913, Canadian Northern Railway track is laid through the park. There are five National Historic Sites within its boundaries.
Tthe park has dramatic mountain peaks and expansive valleys. Many of the mountains rise to elevations above 3000 metres (9,843 feet). The Athabasca River and its tributaries drain more than four-fifths of the park.
Beginning at the toe of the Columbia Glacier, the Athabasca flows north and east through the park for nearly 150 kilometres (93 miles). The portion of the Athabasca which lies within Jasper National Park has been designated as a Canadian Heritage River.
There are three different life zones in the park – montane, subalpine, alpine. Trees do not grow in the cold conditions of altitudes above about 2200 metres (7,218 feet). Thus, forests are absent in the higher elevations.
In 1811, fur trader David Thompson of the North West Company crossed Athabasca Pass, in the southwest corner of the present park, on his return to Henry House, near the present site of the town of Jasper. By doing this, he established the main trade route through the Canadian Rockies for the next fifty years.
See map of the park.
See also: National Parks of Canada.
(This page was updated in November 2012.)