Jasper 2017

2017 was a big year for Canada being their 150th anniversary and offering free admission to the National Parks and public lands. I didn’t plan to visit two of the parks for that exact reason but was able to see two of Canada’s most beautiful and more famous parks, Banff and Jasper. I visited Banff in the late summer season and might I assume, the perfect season? Many would make that claim, but I might say that winter is just as stunning, if not more so. You would actually need to visit in winter to find out which very few are willing to do but here is my argument. Below are my shots from Jasper National Park taken in late December which will give you a slight taste of the beauty (though I might add, an inadequate one). First of all, there are no large masses of people to obstruct your views. You will encounter a few of the more hearty and adventurous tourists who mainly stick to the turn-outs on the highway, but if you dare venture off that parking lot vista and onto a poorly-trodden, snow-covered trail that could potentially go as far as you desire into the wilderness, you will see ABSOLUTELY nobody! Yes it’s very cold, and several of these shots were taken early in the morning with a high of nine degrees after two miles of hiking on a frozen lake to stand in the cold wind to get the perfect shot, but in my opinion, very much worth it. My second point would be to point out the array of colors you will see, more so than in the summer season. You will still see the stunning greens and reds of the conifers along with the stunning mineral green, glacial-fed lakes. On top of that is a white crystal coating of snow that adds an almost unbelievable and “magical” element that just leaves you in awe after every turn you make on the Icefields Parkway. Lastly, although I did not get the chance to witness them, the northern lights are at their peak in the winter and from the images I’ve seen, that alone would make a winter getaway worth it. I would add that the amazingly clear night skies are also a worthy contender for top reasons to visit one of Canada’s parks in the winter, but until you actually visit, you won’t actually realize that winter is possibly the better season.

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