Minimum two–night stay:
Jasper is a World Heritage Site: a destination much anticipated by travellers from all parts of the world.
Jasper National Park is immense: 10,878 square kilometres or 4200 square miles. It takes extra time to see even just the highlights of Jasper National Park as each of the major attractions is on a road in a different direction from the townsite.
Are you coming to Jasper from the south (Lake Louise, Banff?)
The Icefield Parkway, the road between Jasper and Banff, is one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the world. It is a 4-6 hour drive from Banff, and that is rushing it. In fact, we recommend you take a full day for this trip; there are so many scenic views and stops along the way.
Many of these points of interest cannot truly be seen as you drive by. You will want to stop, park the car and walk for 5 to 20 minutes, sometimes longer.
With the 2 million visitors a year that Jasper National Park attracts summer traffic can be heavy. Further, there is the wildlife along the way which makes traffic slower as people step out of their vehicles to take photographs. You will want to stop too.
Coming to Jasper from the east or the west?
Jasper National Park is 4 hours from Edmonton to the east and the same from Kamloops to the west. Depending on traffic, that can be longer. You will arrive here in the late afternoon.
If you have to leave again in the morning you will have seen next to nothing, saying to yourself "I wish we had stayed longer!"
We heartily recommend you plan at least two nights to make Jasper the memorable highlight of your Canadian Rockies holiday.