Downriver - Jasper National Park, Alberta

When talking about the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park is usually the first thing that comes to mind. It seems that its sister park, Jasper National Park, is a more of a step-sister. After spending some significant time there, I think that Jasper holds its own with Banff. Many may not know that Jasper is actually quite a bit larger (10,900 square kilometers vs. 6,650 square kilometers). Another factor is the proximity to a large city. Jasper is almost 4 hours from Edmonton, while Banff is only 1.5 hours from Calgary. Take into account that Calgary's population of 1.2 million is significantly greater that Edmonton's population of 878 thousand.

So what does all of this mean? To me, it means that there is so much more to see in Jasper and a lot less people to contend with. Take this shot of Edith Cavell Lake that I took in early morning. It was probably around 9am, and I had been in the area since around 5:30am. I literally came across only two other people in 3.5 hours. I felt like I had the park to myself (I actually did) and the serenity and beauty that I enjoyed is just what I love about visiting Jasper.