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Jasper National Park

Elk
Jasper National Park is one of the seven Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks established in the late 19th century and is a hiker's paradise, with over 600 miles of trails. It's a spectacular wild area where bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolves and wolverines roam free. There's plenty of great hikes for kids, but it's also best to stick to trails. After all, the bears and wolves live here – you're just a guest.
    Jasper
Kids at the Columbia Icefields
  Hike onto Prehistoric Ice (Columbia Icefields) – TheAthabasca, Stutfield and Dome glaciers at the Continental Divide are known collectively as the Columbia Icefields. The enormous “field” of prehistoric ice melts into rivers running to the Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans. A finger of the ice fields looms spectacularly close to the highway. From the Adventure Centre you can take a “Snocoach” tour (mid-April to mid-October). The Snocoach is a huge bus with tank like rollers that goes right onto the glacier – safe and comfortable, but keeps you at arm's length. For a more up-close-and-personal experience, even little kids can make the hike from the public parking lot up to the ice on their own. Peer down into blue ice fissures – but use caution, people have been known to fall into crevices.
  Cathedral Mountain and The Spirals– Pull over and walk out on the observation platform. The railroads are still the backbone of Canadian commerce so you may well catch sight of a enormously long freight train threading through the mountain tunnels so that it seems broken into two or three pieces.
    Drive up to EdithThat's Mt. Edith Cavell, south of Jasper. A winding road (about 40 minutes from Jasper) will bring you within sight of the Angel Glacier. Leave your car and, in sturdy shoes, hike the trail right to the glacier. Along the way, stop to read exhibits about the area. There are only rustic "out houses" up here, but plenty of places for picnics. 
  Pitch a tentThere are ten campsites in the park, with almost 2,000 campsites, so no matter what your family thinks is the "ideal" camping experience, you're bound to find it here. You can camp in wilderness areas, or close into Jasper. In the summer, Parks Canada presents outdoor theatre programs and you can also sign-up for guided day hikes or backcountry trips. Click here for information on campgrounds in Jasper National Park.
    Miette Hot Springs (Fiddle Valley) These are the hottest hot springs in the Canadian Rockies. There are two hot pools here, plus a cool pool as well, all supervised by lifeguards, but accessible only in the warmer months. Bring a picnic and make a day of it, taking time to follow the "Pocahontas Trail" (a self-guided trek to the mining ghost town) or up to Ashlar Ridge for a spectacular view.
    Ski Yes, yet another ski resort. Well, what did you expect in the Canadian Rockies? Marmot Basin is famous for long, long runs and the competition from, not other skiers but elk and deer. Discounted tickets for kids (under 6 are free!). Click here for details on lift tickets, etc. 
      Tip: Place names tell many stories, and learning them will help you learn a lot about what was important to early settlers: Mt. Athabasca (Cree for "where there are reeds")  Mt. Edith Cavell (honoring a British nurse executed in WWI for helping allied prisoners escape) Mt. Kerkeslin (Stoney Indian word for wolverine) Mt. Henry MacLeod (a surveyor who searched for railway passes) Roche Miette (French intrepretation of the Cree word for bighorn sheep: "myatuck,") Samson Peak (the Stoney who first drew a map to Maligne Lake) are just a few.
kids books alberta canada
     
Deer, Moose, Elk & Caribou  

Fun facts about these fascinating animals you'll see in Jasper National Park. A moose is really just the largest deer, elk make lots of squealing and grunting noises, mule deer hop with stiff legs like a rabbit. Also, how to identify moose, mule deer, caribou and elk tracks. (Picture book)

 

     
Bears
Deborah Hodge

Before you spot a bear up close, find out about the habits of black bears and grizzlies what they eat (honey and fruit, plants and leaves, fish, deer), how fast they can run (up to 30mph), natural predators (none). (Picture book)

 

 
Bears
(More children's books on other Alberta pages)
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