The Municipality of Jasper, comprising the Jasper townsite known as the Town of Jasper and a surrounding rural service area, was established as a specialized municipality on July 20, 2001. Governance is shared between the municipality and the federal Parks Canada agency.
Established in 1813, Jasper House was first a North West Company, and later Hudson's Bay Company, fur trade outpost on the York Factory Express trade route to what was then called "New Caledonia" (now British Columbia), and Fort Vancouver in Columbia District on the lower Columbia River.
Jasper National Park was established in 1907. The railway siding at the location of the future townsite was established by Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1911 and originally named Fitzhugh after a Grand Trunk vice president (along the Grand Trunk's "alphabet" line). The Canadian Northern Railway began service to Fitzhugh in 1912. The townsite was surveyed in 1913 by H. Matheson. It was renamed Jasper after the former fur trade post. An internment camp was set up at Dominion Park in Jasper from February 1916 to August 1916.
By 1931, Jasper was accessible by road from Edmonton, and in 1940 the scenic Icefields Parkway opened, connecting Lake Louise and Jasper.
Jasper is located in the Athabasca River valley, at the confluence with Miette River. It lies between the Victoria Cross Ranges (northwest), Pyramid Mountain (north), Maligne Range (southeast) and Indian Ridge (southwest).
Jasper is connected to the west via the Yellowhead Highway and the Yellowhead Pass to Prince George and to the east to Edmonton. Toward the south, the Icefields Parkway leads to Banff and Banff National Park.
Located near Jasper are Pyramid Lake and Patricia Lake, as well as Lake Annette, Lake Edith, Lac Beauvert, Maligne Lake, Medicine Lake and other smaller lakes. The Jasper Skytram, which takes visitors to The Whistlers' summit, and the Marmot Basin ski resort are located near the town, as is the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. The Jasper-Yellowhead Museum and Archives is located in the Jasper town site, as is the Jasper Visitor Centre.
Jasper experiences a borderline Humid Continental/Subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb/Dfc). The highest temperature ever recorded in Jasper was 36.7 °C (98 °F) on 16 July 1941. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −47.2 °C (−53 °F) on 24 January 1916.
In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Municipality of Jasper recorded a population of 4,590 living in 1,576 of its 1,702 total private dwellings, a change of 7000360000000000000♠3.6% from its 2011 population of 4,432. With a land area of 924.06 km2 (356.78 sq mi), it had a population density of 5.0/km2 (12.9/sq mi) in 2016.
In the 2011 Census, the Municipality of Jasper had a population of 4,051 living in 1,399 of its 1,615 total dwellings, a change of -5% from its 2006 population of 4,265. Statistics Canada subsequently amended the 2011 census results to record a population of 4,432 living in 1,606 of its 1,819 total dwellings, a change of 3.9% from 2006. With a land area of 925.52 km2 (357.35 sq mi), its population density was 4.8/km2 (12.4/sq mi) in 2011.
The population of the Municipality of Jasper according to its 2011 municipal census is 5,236, a change of 10.3% over its 2008 municipal census population of 4,745. Jasper's 2011 population of 5,236 comprises 4,584 permanent and 652 non-permanent residents, while its 2007 census counted 4,235 permanent and 510 non-permanent residents.
Jasper railway station is served by Via Rail with two passenger services. The Canadian and the Jasper – Prince Rupert train both operate three times per week.
Jasper Airport is located 7.2 nautical miles (13.3 km; 8.3 mi) north of Jasper.
Jasper's educational services are provided by:
Grande Yellowhead Public School Division No. 77
Greater North Central Francophone Education Region No. 2