As Jasper National Park is a nature preserve, you will probably encounter a good deal of wildlife in your visit. It is important to exercise good common sense when camping, hiking or driving through the park.

When driving through the park, it is best if you do not stop when you see a bear, as this contributes to them becoming "habituated" to humans, and as they lose their fear of people, they are more likely to become a hazard, which results in them being destroyed. ("A fed bear is a dead bear.") If you feel you must get a photo of a bear or deer or bird, pull off the road first, stay inside your car, and use a zoom lens. Parks Canada also recommends staying at least 100 meters away from bears and 50 meters away from all other large mammals such as elk. Do not feed any animals, as this is both dangerous (for the animals as well as for you) and illegal. This includes small animals like chipmunks and birds.

In addition to black and grizzly bears, wolves, coyotes and cougars roam Jasper National Park as well.  Elk cows are dangerous during the spring calving season (May and June), when they will charge at you to protect their calves, which will be well-hidden from view. The stags (or bulls, as they are called locally) are dangerous during "the rut" (mating season) in September and October when they battle each other with their antlers, attempting to round up as large a harem of cows as possible. Anything that gets between a bull and his cows is viewed as a threat, including cars and people. If an elk charges you, make yourself appear as large as possible by holding your arms, branches, trekking poles etc. over your head, back away, or put a solid object such as a vehicle or a tree between you and the animal. Cougars love to pick off smaller, weaker victims, so keep both children and pets close. All encounters with aggressive wildlife should be reported to the warden service. 

Pepper spray is legal in Canada if used for protection against wildlife; however, it is considered a prohibited weapon for all other purposes. If you feel you would like to carry pepper spray when hiking in the Jasper area, it is best to purchase it in Canada, rather than attempt to bring it across the border. And be careful not to carry it with you if you are not hiking.

If you are hiking, keep any pets you bring on a leash; otherwise, your pet could fall prey to a bear, coyotes, or other predators, or bring a bear back to you. By law, all dogs must be leashed within the national park, and within the town of Jasper, a "poop and scoop" bylaw is in force.

Natural areas have many hazards. Many of the waterfalls, canyons or viewpoints are equipped with guard rails to prevent people from getting too close to steep and slippery drop-offs. Fatalities have occurred when people have climbed over the guard rails, and fallen on the slippery rocks. Obey all warning signs, even if others don't, and if no warnings are posted, use extra caution whenever you get near a potentially dangerous area. Many people have died at popular locations like Athabasca Falls because they've seen others walking around beyind the barriers.

 People sometimes wander up the "toe" of the Athabasca glacier at the Columbia Icefields; this has resulted in deaths due to falling in hidden crevasses and hypothermia — even on a hot summer day. If you wish to venture onto the glacier, you should be properly equipped with mountaineering equipment and, if lacking experience, a guide.

For any trip into the backcountry, it is a good idea to let someone (preferably someone who loves you) know where you plan to go, and when you will return. You should be properly equipped with sturdy footwear, drinking water, sunscreen, a hat, etc. Because the weather can change very quickly in the mountains, you should always have extra clothing and rain gear. Equipment lists for hiking can be found on many hiking websites - if you're planning on anything more difficult than a short walk on a well-travelled trail you will want to check and make sure you have everything you might need. Be aware that cell phones may not work, so don't rely on them for safety.

Before venturing into the backcountry in summer, it is a good idea to check, either in a trail guide or at the  Visitor Information Centre in downtown Jasper, that the route you have chosen is within your skills and fitness level; if, for instance, you lack experience in fording rivers, you can choose an alternate trail that does not require this. Obtain a map from the Visitor Centre, and carry it with you. Plan your day to ensure you're back well before dark, and stay on marked trails for safety. 

In the winter, avalanches are a hazard, so you should check on the current conditions before going into the backcountry, and be properly equipped with avalanche tranceivers and rescue equipment. You can check with the Canadian Avalanche Centre for current avalanche risk information. DO NOT go into avalanche terrain without proper training! Note that custodial groups, such as church or school groups, MUST be escorted by a professional ACMG guide when going into the backcountry in winter. 

Do not drink water out of streams or lakes without disinfecting it first; this can be done with a water filter (available at outdoor shops) or by boiling for two to ten minutes (longer at higher elevations). Use of a small backpacking stove to boil water makes this procedure quick and convenient, while avoiding the environmental impact of campfires. When it  is not possible to boil water, chemical tablets can also be used, but may take a few hours to work - read nstructions for use carefully. Note that neither filters nor tablets are guaranteed to kill all pathogens, and cannot remove all chemical contaminents.