Jasper

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Nestled amid the sharp and craggy Rocky Mountains in Alberta’s Jasper National Park, the town of Jasper is small, cozy, isolated, and welcoming, yet wants for nothing as far as amenities are concerned. Surrounded by untouched wilderness — the glacial waters of the Athabasca River, the towering trees and impossible cliffs — Jasper townsite is a place where visitors can feel at home, making it the perfect base from which to explore the many attractions of the surrounding Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In fact, the town of Jasper was built on tourism, and boasts what seems like an infinite number of activities and attractions, indoors and out.

With its raging waterfalls running through the gorge in the summer and its eerie, unbelievable natural ice sculptures in the winter, Maligne Canyon never fails to impress. And it doesn’t matter if you’re hoping to see bears, bighorn sheep, moose or simply the adorably ever-present ground squirrels, there’s a good chance it will happen in Jasper, too. But just to be sure, you can join a wildlife-spotting tour from one of the local operators. There’s also spectacular whitewater rafting and fishing in the area.

Of course, eating is another activity that’s essential in nature. And while the focus in town may be on the outdoors, quality dining is very much at the forefront of Jasper’s attractions. From fine-dining restaurants to laid-back pubs, the well-rounded destination’s got it.