Jasper National Park is located on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains of west-central Alberta, east of the continental divide. This location strongly influences its climate, geology, plants and animals, and also has affected its human history. The mountain landscape has been formed by a variety of geological events over millions of years. This has resulted in a rugged topography with a large range in altitude from about 985 metres in the Athabasca Valley to nearly 3800 metres at the top of Mt. Columbia.