Jasper is a service center, a junction and a destination unto itself. It is the natural and obvious destination when traveling north from Banff and one of the two principal routes into British Columbia. As the largest park in the Canadian Rockies, there is so much to discover in this part of the world. Often people only visit for two or three days, but Jasper can be explored for a lifetime. These are but a few of the most exciting sights to visit.
Jasper is home to only 4,600 permanent residents, but welcomes millions of visitors. The town is an interesting mix of tourist services, Parks Canada and railway, as well as many local businesses, restaurants and pubs. Jasper has an incredibly relaxed feel and is easy to walk around, so give yourself a whole day to explore it properly.
Make sure to set aside enough time to visit the whole route of Jasper National Park’s East Gate. The front (east) mountain ranges are nearly vertical and are very exposed. This part of the Rockies is somewhat less-visited and worth every minute you’ll spend there.
Whether you go for a long walk or a short one, Maligne Canyon absolutely must feature on your itinerary. The canyon area is spectacular anytime of the year, well marked and easy to reach by road. From certain viewpoints you will look down to 160 feet (50m) into the depths. In the winter, the canyon should be visited from the inside with ice cleats.