Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park

5 out of 5 stars 5 Stars - 33 Reviews

Highway #93

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    Icefields parkway
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Icefields parkway
    Icefields parkway
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Icefields parkway
    Icefields parkway
    by Jim_Eliason
  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    Columbia Icefields

    by RACCOON1 Updated Jun 20, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I am not sure the Columbia Icefields are really a must see item . They are a small part of a huge glacier just over the ridge . But people come from all over the world to stand on the ice .

    You need a sunny day for this one.

    To get onto the ice you have to take a bus and then a large off terrain vehicle.

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Parker Ridge Trail

    by chewy3326 Written Nov 20, 2011
    Saskatchewan Glacier from Parker Ridge
    2 more images

    The expansive views of a vast, unspoiled stretch of wild mountains and glaciers from the alpine tundra of Parker Ridge is usually reserved for the places that require days of backpacking to reach; yet the hike up and down Parker Ridge is a short 5 km round trip with about 250 m ascent, making it a doable hike for anyone in decent physical shape. That means this is quite a popular trail: on a nice summer day, you'll undoubtedly be sharing the trail with tens of other hiking groups. Also, check to see whether or not this trail is open before you go: early in the season, before the snow melts, the trail is closed to protect the fragile tundra. Also, don't cut switchbacks! Doing so badly damages the landscape.

    From the parkway, the trail quickly begins ascending through forests and meadows, which give way to just meadows and tundra after about a kilometer of switchbacking uphill. During the climb, there are good views of Mt. Athabasca and the Nigel Pass area. The trail continues to switchback until it reaches a ridgetop, when huge views of the Saskatchewan Glacier flowing from the Columbia Icefield suddenly appear to the west. If you continue following the main trail, the views of the glacier get progressively better; eventually, a 180-view of the peaks along the Saskatchewan River valley and the glacier is visible.

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  • vtveen's Profile Photo

    a dream to drive

    by vtveen Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Icefields Parkway: a fantastic road to drive. We never had an idea driving in the mountains, nowhere hairpins or sharp bends, juts abroad valley. For us as Europeans so amazing, while touring through the Alps, you will find everywhere winding roads and passes.

    We enjoyed the great scenery and quietness very much, being surrounded by the impressive Rocky Mountains. Icefields Parkway lies between Jasper in the north and 230 km's further to the south Lake Louise (and later Banff).
    I would recommend to take more or less a full day for your drive to be sure you have time enough for a stop at one of the sights along the road.

    Picture was taken almost on the highest point near Bow Summit/Peyto Lake.

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  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    Icefields Parkway and Peyto Lake

    by RACCOON1 Updated Sep 14, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Icefield Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper is a must drive. You need a sunny day . You really only have to drive the lake Louise to Columbia Ice Fields segment ( this is a personal opinion ). Bring a picnic lunch .

    This picture is Peyto Lake. As I grew up in Calgary and spent a lot of time in the National Parks this is how I feel all lakes should look like .

    Tip for Peyto Lake:
    There are two parking lots .
    The low one is for cars and you have to climb to get to this lookout.
    The upper parking lot is for buses and RVS . Drive to the upper parking lot .

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  • lazyman_1's Profile Photo

    Drive the Icefeilds Parkway

    by lazyman_1 Written Aug 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    Simply driving the Icefeild parkway is a treat in itself let alone the spectacular places that it will bring you to. This photo is typical scenery along the parkway. quite possibly one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

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  • lazyman_1's Profile Photo

    Colombia Icefields

    by lazyman_1 Written Jul 30, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the Premier attractions in the park is the colombia Icefield. You take a bus out onto the icefield where guides have roped of a safe section of the icefield for tourists to walk about on. This is neccessay as the icefield is full of crack, crevices and fissures waiting to swallow up unsuspecting people. To be quite honest, i wasn't personally impressed with the icefields as snow and ice is nothing new and exciting to a Canadian.

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  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Parker Ridge

    by madamx Updated Jun 1, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Part of the North Saskatchewan Glacier

    Along Highway 93 (Icefields Parkway) there is the very popular roadside pull-out for Parker Ridge. You can relax for a bit and have a washroom break (however, you will need to pinch your nose hard -- did I mention that this stop is very popular?) Or, you can stretch your legs and lungs for a couple of hours and hike to the viewpoint over the North Saskatchewan Glacier.

    The hike is uphill all the way and a bit of a lung buster, but take it slow and be patient; you will be awarded with stunning views along the trail. Don't forget water, a jacket, hat and gloves; the wind can get suprisingly very cold at the top. Plus make sure you bring your camera (like a dough head I left mine in the car). . You do not need hiking boots, the trail is doable in trainers/sneakers.

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  • david1982's Profile Photo

    Icefields Parkway

    by david1982 Written Jan 28, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Highway 93
    4 more images

    Apparantly one of the best drives in the world....amazing views, great things to see along the way, Peyto Lake, Athabasca Falls, you name it!

    A MUST if you are in the Rockies. Take your time and make sure you see everything. There are alot of guides you can pick up which point out every single point of interest which really helped. Pick one up in Lake Louise at the Visitor Centre.

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  • Quartzy's Profile Photo

    For a little sightseeing...

    by Quartzy Updated Mar 22, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My advice is: go in the summer. The scenery is still nice to see in spring (I was there at the beginning of May) but it's certainly more beautiful without snow.

    Make a stop at the Columbia Icefield Centre about halfway, in Jasper. It's free and educative. It isn't too big a museum so you won't waste too much time and you will learn interesting stuff about what you've been seeing on your way there. There's also a gift shop in the Centre.

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  • kymbanm's Profile Photo

    Take your time, and take the turn outs .......

    by kymbanm Updated Sep 3, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Somewhere in Banff

    So much of what I saw in the parks are sights that I don't even know the names of!! I took almost every turn out there was ... just to see what I could see .. and so much of what you can see from the roadside is simply fabulous!!!!

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  • Webboy's Profile Photo

    Icefields Parkway

    by Webboy Written Aug 2, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A view from the Icefields Parkway

    Icefields Parkway is by far the most stunning drive you will ever take in your life!

    Icefields Parkway, also officially known as Highway 93 runs from Lake Lousie, through the Rockies to Jasper - and every inch of it is breath taking.

    It is a long drive that will easily take 4-5 hours (without stopping). So plan in lots of time if you are intending to drive along it. We decided to drive from along the Parkway from Banff to Jasper, stay the night in Jasper, then return back to Banff the next day.

    We left on the Monday around 10am. We drove up through the Bow valley Parkway then went onto the Icefields Parkway - stopping at Bow Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, Peyto Lake, Athabasca Glacier and a few other smaller places - and arrived in Jasper around 6pm ...... a long day!

    There is so much to see on the Icefields Parkway from lakes and mountains to rivers and wildlife, there is no way you can see it all in one day. In fact, you probably could spend forwever going up and down it!

    There are several ways to travel it. We chose to hire a car, but we passed hikers, cyclists, motorbikes and coaches - so there really is nothing stopping you.

    The Icefields Parkway - Highway 97 is stunning and you would be a silly person not to visit it if in the area.

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  • Sakura_Kobe's Profile Photo

    Columbia Icefield

    by Sakura_Kobe Written Feb 1, 2004
    Snowcoach

    We heard Columbia Icefieldthis was the only place we could stand on the real ice field. So we joined the Snowcoach Tours. I think the prices in Canadian Rocky are very reasonable compared to Japan. But this tour is exceptional.

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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    The Mighty Saskatchewan River

    by zrim Updated Aug 4, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    North Saskatchewan River

    The Saskatchewan River starts as a tiny stream in the high mountains of Banff and is already a rushing torrent by the time it reaches the Icefields Parkway. It drains vast areas of Canadain Plains across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba before emptying into Hudson Bay via Lake Winnipeg and the Nelson River.

    To learn more about Canadian geography try: www.ccge.org/ccge/english/home.htm

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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    Mistaya Canyon

    by zrim Written Aug 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Frothy Mistaya River

    The roaring whitewater rushes from the mounatins in a frenetic jorney to join the mighty Saskatchewan River. The pot hole gorge is a short ten to fifteen minute hike from the Icefields Parkway. After visiting the canyon and falls there are several hikes that will take you up the cliffs to get a bird's eye view of the canyon and the surrounding mountains and valleys.

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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    Waterfowl Lake

    by zrim Written Aug 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    where are the mergansers

    Another galcial blue lake with snow-tipped peaks in the background. Did not see any waterfowl on this lake--I wonder where they all were hiding? Maybe somewhere up in the Yukon. There is a campgrounds at this lake for those who enjoy sleeping on the ground.

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