The nearest airport to Jasper National Park is in Edmonton, which rises from the Alberta prairies 140 miles east of the Rockies. Edmonton began as a trading post in 1795, expanded outside the fort over the next century and was incorporated as a city in 1904. It was named capital of Alberta a year later and grew modestly until oil was discovered nearby in 1947. As the oil and gas industry developed, the city boomed. Modern Edmonton has more than a million residents; thriving financial, high-tech and service industries; an unexpectedly vibrant arts scene; and one of the largest stretches of urban parkland in North America.