Jasper, an alpine town in Canada’s Alberta province, is the commercial centre of Jasper National Park. Amid the snow-capped Canadian Rockies, the park has glacier-fed lakes, forests and rivers. The Jasper SkyTram climbs to the summit of Whistlers Mountain, with views of downtown. The Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives presents exhibits on the fur trade, railway and early exploration of the park.
Established in 1813, Jasper House was first a North West Company, and later Hudson’s Bay Company, fur trade outpost on the York Factory Express trade route to what was then called “New Caledonia” (now British Columbia), and Fort Vancouver in Columbia District on the lower Columbia River.
Jasper National Park was established in 1907. The railway siding at the location of the future townsite was established by Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1911 and originally named Fitzhugh after a Grand Trunk vice president (along the Grand Trunk’s “alphabet” line). The Canadian Northern Railway began service to Fitzhugh in 1912. The townsite was surveyed in 1913 by H. Matheson. It was renamed Jasper after the former fur trade post. An internment camp was set up at Dominion Park in Jasper from February 1916 to August 1916.
By 1931, Jasper was accessible by road from Edmonton, and in 1940 the scenic Icefields Parkway opened, connecting Lake Louise and Jasper.