Icefields Parkway: The most beautiful journey in the world

BySteven I. Green

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The journey by way of Banff National Park and Jasper Countrywide Park, linking Lake Louise and Jasper, is just one of the most attractive in the entire world. The Icefields Parkway, as it is acknowledged, is 233 kilometres of soaring mountain peaks, expansive icefields and infinite valleys.

To push it non-quit would get just under a few hrs. However, this is not a highway to be consumed but an journey to encounter. Move ancient glaciers, amazing waterfalls, turquoise lakes and spectacular forests as you move deeper into the distant wilderness. It will experience like you’ve remaining anything powering with no cellphone reception and only a lonely fuel station together the way.

Natural natural beauty will encapsulate you like never ever in advance of, so acquire it gradual, end at the viewpoints, dangle on to your digicam and soak up the splendour of the Canadian Rockies.

Green trees with a turquoise lake and mountains on a sunny day

Lake Louise

We’d propose commencing this vacation immediately after a handful of times of exploring the pure mountain landscape that is Lake Louise. Famous for its turquoise lakes, towering mountain peaks, grand chateau and remarkable climbing and snowboarding, it is a put that will take your breath absent. The sights and adventures are jaw-dropping and you have to knowledge them to consider it.

It would be intelligent to begin the journey with a stuffed tank, plenty of snacks or a picnic basket, and a map of the region. With only one particular fuel station along the way and couple facilities, it is finest to be prepared.

Clear turquoise lake, with a cottage and mountains in the background

Bow Lake

The very first quit following Lake Louise is easily visible as it lines the Icefields Parkway. You can either stop together the road or just take the convert-off to the parking location. Get pleasure from the gorgeous sights and wonderful colour of the water.

Peyto Lake and Bow Summit

Peyto Lake is a person of the most well-known and photographed places along the Icefields Parkway. The stunning blue color of the drinking water is from the Peyto Glacier over the lake and aspect of the Wapta Icefield. The most effective viewpoint for the lake is from Bow Summit at 2088 metres earlier mentioned sea amount. It is the maximum level on the Icefields Parkway. The perspective is so breathtaking you will really feel as if you are stepping into a postcard.

Turquoise Lake surrounded by green forest and mountain

Saskatchewan River Crossing

The Saskatchewan River Crossing is a few rivers that fulfill the North Saskatchewan, the Howse and the Mistaya. It was named “The Crossing” when fur traders and travellers utilized this level to cross the North Saskatchewan river on their way to British Columbia. The value of The Crossing is that it is the starting off issue for excursions in the Columbia Icefields area and it is also the only put to use restrooms, the gas station and dining establishments along the route.

Weeping Wall

As the name implies, the mountain appears to be like it is crying mainly because numerous tiny waterfalls cascade off the cliffs generating this illusion. The main waterfall is even known as the Teardrop. This is a shortstop and can be considered from the side of the street. The most effective time to see the Weeping Wall is when it is frozen during the wintertime months. The overall cliff experience progressively freezes into a lovely blue wall of ice.

A mountain face with water cascading down

Large Hill and Large Bend

It will be clear to you when you arrive at Big Hill and Large Bend. At Massive Hill, the descending road clings to the wall of a mountain and offers an expansive look at of the valley, the river, and all the functions that make the Icefields Parkway the most scenic travel in the environment. The Large Bend is the renowned hairpin turn that wraps in a circle below towering peaks. Preserve driving and appreciate the amazing see.

Road winding through a high cliff face

Parker Ridge

This is the longest halt by means of the Icefields Parkway. In complete, it is a 5-kilometre hike. If you’re not up for a hike, you can always skip it and carry on on your way. The Parker Ridge is a ought to-do though for those who want a bit of elevation to just take in a multitude of mountain ranges and the Saskatchewan Glacier. A significant reward is that you can locate a nice spot together the way for a picnic lunch.

Columbia Icefield

These fields of ice that lie among Banff Countrywide Park and Jasper Nationwide park are the greatest south of the Arctic Circle. They are 325 square kilometres in location, up to 365 metres in depth and receive up to seven metres of snowfall for each 12 months. Through summer months you can travel on the glacier in “snow-coaches” or you can check out them from the roadside parking ton.

White snow covered mountain ranges

Glacier Sky Walk

Visualize standing on a glass-floored observation system 280 meters previously mentioned the Sunwapta Valley. This exceptional experience opened in May possibly 2014 and presents you panoramic sights of the valley. If heights are not your point then you can nonetheless perspective the Sunwapta Valley from a lookout point close by.

Athabasca Falls

You do not want to skip the Athabasca Glacier. One particular of the six principal ‘toes’ of the Columbia Icefield, it’s the most visited glacier in North The united states – and it’s large. You can see it from the highway, but it’s well worth it to leap on the Athabasca Glacier path to get practically proper to its edge. If you want to hike on to the glacier you will will need to guide a tour with a correct guide for security.

Waterfalls with a mountain in the background


Ranging more than 11 000 square kilometres, Jasper is the greatest nationwide park in the Canadian Rockies. Regarded for its huge wilderness, majestic peaks, plentiful wildlife and exceptional organic attractiveness, website visitors from all over Canada and about the planet journey below to knowledge this pretty unique area.

The most effective occasions to stop by Jasper Countrywide Park are March via May well and September as a result of November. The temperatures will be chillier but it’s a modest selling price to pay for a quieter and a lot less crowded park.

Blue lake, green trees and white snow capped mountain peaks

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Winter wonderland

No push is at any time the very same on the Icefields and that is especially true when the most lovely journey in the earth turns into a wintertime wonderland. Through November and March, overpowering tranquillity settles in on the Icefields Parkway as it transforms into a area of solitude and awe. Roadside stops reveal historic glaciers and cascading waterfalls. Snow-coated trails tempt you to pull in excess of and set on snowshoes or skis for a wintertime adventure.

Greatest photographs

Every moment used on the Icefields Parkway presents gorgeous options to capture the excellent picture. Underneath are some very encouraged images places.

Lake Moraine
Peyto Lake
Waterfowl Lakes
Bridal Veil Falls
Parkers Ridge
The Columbia Icefield
Sunwapta Falls

Blue lake surrounded by mountains

The Icefields Parkway is additional than a drive, it is the most beautiful journey in the entire world and it warrants discovery. Consider your time, soak up the sheer expanse of nature and immerse you in the knowledge.

Andrew Morten is the Founder of Tiny The united states. Very little The united states generates bespoke, tailor-made outings to the United States and Canada.

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