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Connecting with the wilder side of Jasper National Park is as easy as finding the nearest trailhead. Over 97% of the park is wilderness. Basic facilities, such as trails and backcountry campgrounds, support visitor activities in some wilderness areas, but large areas of the park do not have any facilities at all. These areas provide secure habitat for wide-ranging animals like grizzly bears and caribou.
Wilderness visitation is rising in parallel with park-wide attendance. With around 1,200 km of trails and 100 backcountry campgrounds, asset maintenance and compliance are operational challenges. Commercial operators provide services that complement Parks Canada’s wilderness offer, and commercial facilities and activities are managed to ensure they contribute to Parks Canada’s objectives for visitor experience and ecological integrity. While Parks Canada has been working to improve wilderness facilities and services for specific groups, such as new Canadians and families, more work is required.