Renewing Jasper National Park's Visitor Experience
Jasper National Park is truly a world-class destination, attracting over two million visitors per year. Travelers from across the world come to enjoy unique experiences and majestic scenery in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Whether they prefer sightseeing and viewing wildlife from the roadside, hiking deep into the wilderness, enjoying views from a mountain top or gliding across emerald-hued lakes in a canoe, Jasper’s experiences are awe inspiring. To us, this is our home and our backyard, and we enjoy it every day through a variety of recreational activities. Even those of us who have lived and breathed the crisp mountain air for our whole lives rarely take this special place for granted - we strive to protect it by becoming local ambassadors, and we know that by sharing it with others, we can help inspire them to protect it too.
At over ten thousand square kilometres, Jasper is one of Canada’s largest National Parks. It is also part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site, an international designation that seeks to identify, protect and preserve places “around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity” (www.unesco.org).
Within Jasper National Park, Parks Canada maintains over 300 kilometres of roads and scenic parkways, nearly 1000 kilometres of trails, including wilderness trails and the extensive Three Valley Confluence trail network, ten vehicle accessible campgrounds with over 1700 total sites, two visitor centres, over 120 privies and washroom facilities, 61 vehicle accessible scenic viewpoints, nearly 50 day-use/picnic areas, numerous exhibits and interpretive programs, and much more. Parks Canada reinvests park entry fees to help offset the costs of maintaining the offer for visitors and local residents, and over the last couple of years many significant investments have been made. A lot of these investments such as the new and completely updated trailhead kiosks are readily apparent, but a lot of work also goes on behind the scenes.
Over the next couple weeks, watch this space on Renewing Jasper National Park’s Visitor Experience, and share our excitement about some of the investments Parks Canada had made recently, as well as plans for investment in upcoming projects.