June 10, 2016

Canada's Greatest Adventure

The moment you touch down in Edmonton, Canada’s fastest growing city, know that you’ve arrived at what will be the beginning of a one-of-a-kind excursion.

Your journey from Alberta’s capital city to the real Rockies covers it all. Explore a cultural urban hub before venturing beyond to discover the epic outdoor adventure that awaits you in Jasper National Park.

Indulge in Edmonton’s expanding culinary scene—dine at award winning restaurants such as Corso 32, uncover some of the best Canadian cuisine such as the farm to table dishes offered at RGE RD, and sip on craft beers at Mercer Tavern located in the new Ice District. Edmonton’s food landscape is inventive and diverse, just like the people who started the restaurants. In Edmonton, you’ll find everything from food truck festivals, high-end wine and tapas bars, to trendy burger and beer joints.

Edmonton has always been a hidden gem–once a magnet for fur traders, gold prospectors and other fortune seekers, now it shines as an arts and culture hub with festivals on the horizon year round. Perhaps it’s their legacy of entrepreneurs dreaming up oddities: the continent’s first, biggest and wildest Fringe theatre festival calls Edmonton home, along with over 50 other festivals happening throughout the year.

As Edmonton’s population continues to grow from the roughly 1 million people that call it home, so do the amount of local boutiques and shops. In this heavily entrepreneurial and creative city, there’s something for everyone. Take a stroll down Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona, home to locally-owned boutiques and global-reaching companies like Poppy Barley, a made-to-measure shoe company. Pop into one of many independent coffee shops, creative restaurants, yoga and fitness studios, and find all the shopping your heart desires.

Escape the city buzz and explore the Edmonton River Valley, the largest urban park in Canada, with more than 160 km of maintained pathways and 20 major parks - or, head a little further out of the city and discover Elk Island National Park. The park is located just far enough from the city lights that on a clear night it’s a perfect spot for stargazing or to witness the aurora borealis dancing across the sky above you.

Only a short journey to the west of the city, another opportunity to experience the dark sky awaits you. Go from 1 million people to 5,000 people, but with a billion+ stars.

The 365 km drive between Edmonton to Jasper seems to go by in a flash with incredible scenery to distract you along the way. The drive will reveal golden crop fields and crisp blue skies that transition into rolling hills and Alberta lakes, followed by the grand finale, the white-capped mountain ranges of Jasper. 

Jasper is your base of adventure, where the greatest personal expeditions begin. Here you’ll find adventure for all levels ranging from novice to extreme.

As Canada’s largest National Park in the Rocky Mountains and one of only 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Jasper National Park is a must-see destination. The awe-inspiring glaciers, abundant wildlife, crystal-clear lakes, thundering waterfalls, deep canyons and evergreen forest — all surrounded by towering mountains — are what make this backyard the best playground of all.

One of Jasper’s newest adventure travel companies, Wild Current Outfitters, is now providing a variety of raft and canoe trips and rental gear to Jasper’s visiting explorers. With four decades of guiding experience and enthusiasm for Jasper’s lakes and rivers under their belts, the team will ensure you make the most of your time exploring.

Rocky Mountain Canyoning

632 Connaught Drive
Local tip: If you’re seeking a little bit more of an adrenaline rush, give canyoning a shot!

If you’re seeking a little bit more of an adrenaline rush, give canyoning a shot! Rocky Mountain Canyoning provides guided tours in which you experience a canyon from within as you descend waterfalls using ropes to control your movements, rappelling from heights of approximately 15 meters. Explorers are warned: be prepared to get wet!

More than just your base of adventure, Jasper is also a designated Dark Sky Preserve having received designation by the Royal Astronomy Society of Canada in 2011. Due to the limited light pollution within the park, conditions for dark sky viewing are ideal.

To celebrate the dark skies, each October the Dark Sky Festival is held, where astronomers of every level are invited to gaze upon the wonder of the night sky. This year’s festival will run from October 14-23rd with both weekends featuring big name keynote speakers and presenters!

See for yourself what makes Jasper so unique by experiencing it through the eyes of a local! Here you’ll find the mountain town lifestyle different from that of any other mountain town. The characters of Jasper embody the ‘venture beyond’ culture, and embrace what it means to live in a landscape both accepting and challenging, ensuring that they’re prepared for the adventures they choose to embark on. Take a raw and intimate look at the stories of the humans who call Jasper home by visiting venturebeyond.ca.

For more information and to plan your next visit to Edmonton and Jasper, visit exploreedmonton.com and jasper.travel.

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