The town of Jasper–
Jasper is located inside the Jasper National Park and is essentially “all things tourist” in an upscale way. It was very busy with lots of tourists when we were there but business owners said this was a slow year despite the fact that people had to drive round and round looking for a parking spot. We parked the RV a few blocks from town and just walked. When we first arrived in town, there was a light drizzle, but then the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful day. The Visitor Center for the National Park is right in the heart of Jasper so we walked over there and got lots of information. The town reminded us of Truckee and South Lake Tahoe in California. Cute towns with lots of things to do and see, all in a beautiful environment. We spent most of the day poking around this pretty little town. In and out of art galleries, coffee shops, etc. Even took a look at a house for sale (from the outside). A lovely way to spend the day.
It does get cold here in the winter of down to about 20 degrees F. but they say they get very little precipitation (at least in the valleys), so it’s fairly dry. You wouldn’t say it was dry by the look of it with everything either green or in bloom.
Though there are pull0ffs in the park, as with most National Parks, boondocking is not allowed. We had been exploring Jasper National Park and the town of Jasper that is actually in the park. After a busy day, we tried to get a campsite at the campground last night that we were sent to by the National Park staff because it had some “openings”. It was full when we arrived so we pulled over and waited for a park ranger to ask about options. The only option he could suggest was a campground right near the northeastern exit of the park. So off we went and rather than stay in a campground at the inside edge of the park we opted to exit the park and stay at a nearby Walmart parking lot.
We were a little aggravated that we were unable to find a place to stay near the beautiful Maligne Canyon in the closest campground. We were sent there by the NP staff but we arrive to find every campsite taken. We’ve learned not to “sweat the small stuff” so we started driving northeast toward the outlying campground. On the way, we pulled over and got wonderful pictures of a majestic elk with his antlers still in velvet. Also this drive gave us views of the northeastern part of the park we would not have seen with our original plan of exploration.
By the time we were approaching the Jasper National Park’s most northeastern campground we were almost at the exit so we decided just to keep driving and park in the nearby Walmart parking lot with a planned return to the park for the morning. That move paid off in a great viewing of a big bull moose with a large mantle still in velvet just grazing on the side of the road. He was kind enough to stay around so quite a few folks got some great pictures. What luck! Our only two wildlife sightings and they were due to a perceived inconvenience! Ha! Talk about lemonade out of lemons!