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Canada: Jasper National Park of Alberta Canada
Posted on Sunday, June 19 @ 20:07:24 CDT by donna

Horse Camping & Trails Box 10, Jasper, AB Canada T0E 1E0

Phone: (780) 852-6176
Fax: (780) 852-6152
Back-country Trail Reservations
(780) 852-6177

Jasper Tourism & Commerce provides local tourism and business information for the community of Jasper, Alberta, Canada, which is peacefully nestled in the midst of Jasper National Park's vast, unspoiled grandeur.

As Jasper's Chamber of Commerce, we present to you the first-class accommodations, facilities, services and visitor attractions of Jasper and Jasper National Park. Surrounded by scenic wilderness, Jasper National Park is Canada's largest Rocky Mountain Park and one of North America's largest natural areas - spanning 10,878 sq. km (4,200 sq. mi.) of awe-inspiring, scenic splendor.

Shimmering glaciers, abundant wildlife, crystal clear lakes, thundering waterfalls, deep canyons and evergreen forest surrounded by towering, rugged mountain peaks are what your eyes have been waiting to see.

Jasper is an internationally recognized, four-season destination with so much to see and do to suit everyone's tastes. Whatever spectacular time of year you choose to visit - just be sure you plan to stay awhile. You'll want to have enough time to enjoy Jasper's many exceptional offerings.

The idea of a Canada-wide system of protected areas took root in the Rockies more than a century ago. Today, national parks protect significant landscapes that represent Canada's vastness and diversity.

National historic sites commemorate Canada's evolution as a country, past and present. Together, they are a family of special places which symbolize the important link between stewardship of the land and respect for our human heritage.

Established in 1907 on the eastern slopes of the Rockies, Jasper is part of the UNESCO Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. At over 10,800 sq. km, the park is a living example of a protected mountain ecosystem that allows for visitors to enjoy solitude, wildlife, outdoor recreation and a wide range of learning opportunities. Within the boundaries of Jasper National Park there are also five National Historic Sites.

Backcountry Camping and Hiking

Backpackers can enjoy over 1200 kilometres of trails in Jasper's wilderness. All backcountry travellers must practice low impact camping techniques and are responsible for their own safety. Information, current trail conditions, maps and books are available at park information centres.

If you are planning on camping overnight, you need to purchase a wilderness pass. You can reserve your trip up to three months in advance by calling (780) 852-6177 or fax (780) 852-6152.

Horse Users Guide Jasper National Park
Horses have been used to explore the mountains of Jasper National Park for a long time. Early outfitters and explorers established many of the trails in the park’s 1200–kilometer network. Today, these same trails sit within one of Canada’s most spectacular national parks and a world heritage site.
Horse travel is welcome in many areas of the park. This guide will assist you in planning your horse trip and help limit your impact on the parks important (and fragile) wilderness

Where Can You Ride?
Horse travel is permitted throughout the park EXCEPT for the following trails and areas:

  • Old Fort Point, Wilcox Pass, Sulphur Skyline, Self-guided trails at Mt. Edith Cavell (Meadows, Path of the Glacier Trails), Lee Foundation Trail at Lake Annette, Whistlers Summit Trail, Maligne Canyon Trail, Mary Schäffer Loop (Maligne Lakeshore) and Miette Hot Springs Nature Trail (Sulphur Pass via Fiddle River Trail).
  • All park picnic sites, campgrounds or camping facilities accessible by motorized vehicle and public use areas within Jasper townsite.
  • The old mining and former townsite area at Pocahontas.
  • All designated public beach areas.
  • Fryatt Valley
  • Geraldine Lakes
  • Merlin/Jacques Pass
  • Jonas Pass
  • Skyline Trail from Big Shovel Pass to Maligne Lake
  • Eremite Valley
Party SizeDay use
There is no restriction on party size for day use in Jasper National Park. However, trail conditions will be monitored and restrictions applied where necessary to protect trails and natural features.
A maximum group size of ten people and twenty horses is permitted for private horse groups using backcountry camping facilities.

Maximum group size for licensed commercial operators is twenty people and thirty-eight horses.

Backcountry Horse Trips
Horse camping is permitted at designated backcountry horse or horse/hiker campsites. Campfires are a luxury in the mountains and are not permitted in all areas. Fires are permitted only in the grates or established fire circles and only fallen, dead wood may be used for firewood.

Special Note : Fires are not allowed in high-use areas like the Tonquin Valley because of the scarcity of wood.
Private horse groups may reserve campsites up to 3 months prior to departure date on a first-come, first-serve basis. Horse groups will be required to submit a daily campsite trip schedule when they apply for a reservation. A trip schedule prevents conflicts with other parties. Please call 780-852-6160, or fax 780-852-6152 for a horse-grazing permit.

Length of Stay
The maximum length of stay per trip at each campsite will be three nights except at waterfalls, Blue Creek, Oatmeal, Chown and Timothy Slides campsites, where stays are limited to two nights.

Unattended Camps
No permanent or semi-permanent camps may be established in the park. Camps may normally be left unattended overnight for only one night. Outfitter’s camps may be left unattended for two nights on back-to-back return trips at Miette Lake, Willow Creek, Middle Forks, Grizzly, Rocky Forks, Cline, Waterfalls, and Trapper Creek.

Grazing Quotas
All backcountry horse campsites in the park have established graze quotas. These quotas are based on the amount of available graze in each area.
Once a graze quota for a campsite has been reached, parties will be directed to other areas.
Horses kept in the backcountry must graze at random. To minimize environmental damage, tying of horses to trees is not recommended. If overnight tying is necessary, stretch a rope between two trees (high line).

A Pitch for Weed Free Hay
Weeds are the bullies of the plant world. Once they move in, even the hardiest native vegetation can’t compete. The effects on native habitat are disastrous. Non-native plants (weeds) eventually dominate the native plant communities that are an important source of food, shelter, and habitat for the insect and animal species in Jasper National Park.
The spread of noxious weeds through hay is widespread. Many agencies are working to convince horse owners to use certified weed free hay. Parks Canada has adopted the Weed free hay program for it’s own backcountry horse patrol program. Only commercial lodge operations may transport hay (certified weed free) into the backcountry.

More Information
If you have question regarding horse use in Jasper National Park, contact the Information Centre at 780-852-6160 or fax your questions to 780-852-6152.

Horse Stabling
If you wish to hold your horses overnight in the park, at the start or end of an overnight backcountry trip, you must use an approved corral space or holding facility (see list below). If you are staying in the frontcountry areas of the park or are passing through the park and need to board your horses, commercial holding facilities are available through the Cottonwood Corral Association at Pyramid Riding Stables. Please note that proof of a negative Coggins test is required to board your horses here. Contact Linda Patry at 780-852-3121 for information.

Holding Corrals
Horses may be kept for a maximum of 48 hours at any public holding corral in the park. The exception is with commercial operations at Portal Creek and Cavell Lake trailheads where stays of up to 72 hours are permitted. Grazing is not permitted at Trailheads – horses must be fed inside the corrals. Temporary primitive camps are permitted at holding corrals while stock is being held. Two herds-people and one tent/camper are permitted, but no fires are allowed.

Holding Corral Locations In Jasper National Park
  • Portal Creek Trailhead Marmot Basin Road
  • Poboktan Trailhead near Sunwapta Warden Station, 77 km. south of Jasper
  • Beaver Lake Trailhead south end of Medicine Lake
  • Maligne Pass Trailhead Maligne Lake
  • Whirlpool River Trailhead (Athabasca Pass) near Moab Lake parking lot
  • Camp Parker (Nigel Creek Trailhead) 114 km south of Jasper
  • Dorothy Lake Trailhead at Geikie Siding
  • Miette Lake Trailhead at Decoigne Warden Station
  • Miette Hotsprings Corral
Special Restrictions – At the Miette Hotsprings Corral
  • Horses may be kept at the Hot Springs corral for a maximum of 24 hours.
  • This corral is for private use only. No commercial use is allowed. It holds approximately eight horses.
  • Camping is not permitted at this corral
  • Horses must be fed inside the corral. Grazing is not permitted in the surrounding area. The nearest water source can be found at Sulphur Creek, 250 meters away.

    Must Sees in the Park

    32 km. (14.2 mi.) S. of Jasper townsite
    Among the most powerful and breathtaking falls in the Rocky Mountains, the Athabasca River thunders through a narrow gorge where the walls have been smoothed and potholed by the sheer force of the rushing water carrying sand and rock. Picnic sites available. Cross-country skiing. Capture the brilliance of rainbow-hued spray or the dazzling sheets of ice suspended from jagged rock on film!

    38 km. (22.8 mi.) S. of Jasper townsite

    From this elevated picnic area sweeps a panoramic view of the Athabasca Valley and the sheer mountain peaks surrounding it. This is a good place to spot mountain goats, bighorn sheep and other animals searching for mineral licks. Please remember, IT IS ILLEGAL TO TOUCH OR FEED WILDLIFE IN A NATIONAL PARK. Please help keep the wildlife wild and healthy.

    55 km. (33 mi.) S. of Jasper townsite

    Year-roundSunwapta is a Stoney Indian word for "turbulent river". At the falls, the Sunwapta River abruptly changes course from northwest to southwest and plunges in a cloud of spray into a deep canyon. Seasonal accommodation and dining. Picnic sites available. A frozen wonder in winter, Sunwapta Falls will delight photographers with its uncanny "ice sculptures".

    95 km. (57 mi.) S. of Jasper townsite

    A tongue of the massive Columbia Icefield, the Stutfield Glacier pours over 900 vertical metres (3000 ft.) of cliff face, forming a picturesque set of double icefalls visible from a roadside viewpoint. The Sunwapta River braids its way through several channels across the broad, gravel flats below.

    105 km. (63 mi.) S. of Jasper townsite
    The largest icefield south of Alaska, shimmering glacial ice and snow cover some 389 sq. km. (233 sq. mi.). An exciting 90 minute Brewster Ice Explorer Tour will take you out onto the Athabasca Glacier, a tongue of the Columbia Icefield, for an awe-inspiring glimpse of icy crevasses and ice-fed streamlets. Or, join a guided Glacier Ice-walk and visit the Icefield Interpretive Centre for informative exhibits and slide shows. Seasonal accommodation, dining and camping available. Hiking trails nearby.

    30 km. (18 mi.) S. of Jasper townsite
    Open end of June - Oct.
    Few summits in the park can match Mount Edith Cavell's craggy beauty. A small, powder blue meltwater lake and beautiful Angel Glacier are easily reached by a short self-guiding trail that winds its way along the shores of the lake. Another longer trail leads to picturesque Cavell Meadows. Trails are less crowded mornings or late afternoons.

    32 km. (19.2 mi.) S.E. of Jasper townsite
    This intriguing lake is a place of mystery and Indian legend. Due to a unique underground drainage system, the water level of the lake varies from season to season . . . sometimes it actually disappears! Early Indians once thought that "spirits" were responsible for the dramatic fluctuations in the placid waters. Watch for the interpretive signs along the road.

    48 km. (28.8 mi.) S.E. of Jasper townsite
    Open year-round

    Located in the majestic Maligne Valley, this exquisite lake is the second largest glacier-fed lake in the world, stretching 22 km. (14 mi.). A one-and-a-half hour boat cruise will take you past glacier-studded mountain peaks to world-famous Spirit Island. Try your hand at guided fishing, hiking, horseback riding. Superb cross-country skiing in winter. Restaurant and shopping facilities are seasonal.

    Horse Rentals And Trail Rides

    Toll Free:
    1-866-BYHORSE (294-6773)
    Experience a working horse ranch in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Witness "trust base communication" during an authentic "HORSE WHISPERING" demonstration as we start out our young horses. Saddle up for a 2 or 3 day OVERNIGHT CAMPOUT where you will never see another tourist! Trail ride for 2 hours or we will pack you a lunch to explore the backcountry all day. Also 5-Day All Inclusive Packages, Retreats/Seminars and International Youth Camps. Small groups, quality guides, happy horses.

    (780) 852-RIDE
    Only 4 km from Jasper. High above town on Pyramid Bench, a network of Trails offer scenic rides along the lakeshore and spectacular views of the Athabasca Valley. Ponies are available for small children. Jasper townsite and special occasion carriage rides are also available. Our log gazebo serves groups authentic western BBQ's. A central firepit, delicious food and beautiful scenery ensure a boot stomping good time! Winter activities include sleigh rides and our special Dine & Ride package.

    Phone/Fax (780) 852-4215
    Toll Free: 1-888-852-7787
    We offer trail rides from 1 hour to full day and overnight pack trips to our backcountry camp. Our main stables are located on the grounds of the Jasper Park Lodge. Backcounry hiker accommodation on the famous Skyline Trail and horse-assisted hiking trips are our specialty.

    Phone (780) 852-3909
    In Jasper National Park, on the continental divide, lies the Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge. Located 24kms from the nearest road at the base of the world famous Rampart Mountains and on the shores of pristine Amethyst Lake is where this wilderness haven lies. Accessible only by hiking or horseback riding, this lodge offers a true mountain wilderness that everyone can enjoy.

Related Links
· USDA Forest Service
· Veterinarians
· More about Horse Camping & Trails
· News by donna

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