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Icefields Parkway: Probably the most lovely journey on this planet

The journey by means of Banff Nationwide Park and Jasper Nationwide Park, linking Lake Louise and Jasper, is likely one of the most lovely on this planet. The Icefields Parkway, as it’s recognized, is 233 kilometres of hovering mountain peaks, expansive icefields and limitless valleys.

To drive it continuous would take just below three hours. Nevertheless, this isn’t a highway to be consumed however an journey to expertise. Cross historical glaciers, spectacular waterfalls, turquoise lakes and breathtaking forests as you progress deeper into the distant wilderness. It should really feel such as you’ve left the whole lot behind with no cellphone reception and solely a lonely gasoline station alongside the best way.

Pure magnificence will encapsulate you want by no means earlier than, so take it sluggish, cease on the viewpoints, cling onto your digicam and take in the splendour of the Canadian Rockies.

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

Lake Louise

We’d recommend beginning this journey after just a few days of exploring the pure mountain panorama that’s Lake Louise. Well-known for its turquoise lakes, towering mountain peaks, grand chateau and spectacular mountaineering and snowboarding, it’s a spot that may take your breath away. The sights and adventures are jaw-dropping and you must expertise them to imagine it.

It might be smart to begin the journey with a crammed tank, loads of snacks or a picnic basket, and a map of the world. With just one gasoline station alongside the best way and few services, it’s greatest to be ready.

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

Bow Lake

The primary cease after Lake Louise is definitely noticeable because it strains the Icefields Parkway. You’ll be able to both cease alongside the highway or take the turn-off to the parking space. Benefit from the beautiful views and exquisite color of the water.

Peyto Lake and Bow Summit

Peyto Lake is likely one of the hottest and photographed spots alongside the Icefields Parkway. The dazzling blue color of the water is from the Peyto Glacier above the lake and a part of the Wapta Icefield. The most effective viewpoint for the lake is from Bow Summit at 2088 metres above sea stage. It’s the highest level on the Icefields Parkway. The view is so spectacular you’ll really feel as in case you are stepping right into a postcard.

Saskatchewan River Crossing

The Saskatchewan River Crossing is three rivers that meet; the North Saskatchewan, the Howse and the Mistaya. It was named “The Crossing” when fur merchants and travellers used this level to cross the North Saskatchewan river on their strategy to British Columbia. The significance of The Crossing is that it’s the start line for excursions within the Columbia Icefields space and it’s also the one place to make use of restrooms, the gasoline station and eating places alongside the route.

Weeping Wall

Because the identify suggests, the mountain seems to be like it’s crying as a result of many tiny waterfalls cascade off the cliffs creating this phantasm. The primary waterfall is even known as the Teardrop. It is a shortstop and could be considered from the aspect of the highway. The most effective time to see the Weeping Wall is when it’s frozen throughout the winter months. Your complete cliff face steadily freezes into an attractive blue wall of ice.

A mountain face with water cascading down

Large Hill and Large Bend

It will likely be clear to you once you arrive at Large Hill and Large Bend. At Large Hill, the descending highway clings to the wall of a mountain and provides an expansive view of the valley, the river, and all of the options that make the Icefields Parkway probably the most scenic drive on this planet. The Large Bend is the well-known hairpin flip that wraps in a circle beneath towering peaks. Preserve driving and benefit from the beautiful view.

Road winding through a high cliff face

Parker Ridge

That is the longest cease by means of the Icefields Parkway. In complete, it’s a five-kilometre hike. If you happen to’re not up for a hike, you’ll be able to all the time skip it and proceed in your means. The Parker Ridge is a must-do although for individuals who need a little bit of elevation to absorb a large number of mountain ranges and the Saskatchewan Glacier. A giant bonus is that you will discover a pleasant spot alongside the best way for a picnic lunch.

Columbia Icefield

These fields of ice that lie between Banff Nationwide Park and Jasper Nationwide park are the biggest south of the Arctic Circle. They’re 325 sq. kilometres in space, as much as 365 metres in depth and obtain as much as seven metres of snowfall per yr. Throughout summer time you’ll be able to journey on the glacier in “snow-coaches” or you’ll be able to view them from the roadside car parking zone.

White snow covered mountain ranges

Glacier Sky Stroll

Think about standing on a glass-floored remark platform 280 meters above the Sunwapta Valley. This distinctive expertise opened in Might 2014 and offers you panoramic views of the valley. If heights are usually not your factor then you’ll be able to nonetheless view the Sunwapta Valley from a lookout level close by.

Athabasca Falls

You do not need to overlook the Athabasca Glacier. One of many six principal ‘toes’ of the Columbia Icefield, it’s probably the most visited glacier in North America – and it’s big. You’ll be able to see it from the highway, nevertheless it’s value it to leap on the Athabasca Glacier path to get nearly proper to its edge. If you wish to hike onto the glacier you’ll must ebook a tour with a correct information for security.

Waterfalls with a mountain in the background


Ranging over 11 000 sq. kilometres, Jasper is the biggest nationwide park within the Canadian Rockies. Identified for its huge wilderness, majestic peaks, plentiful wildlife and excellent pure magnificence, guests from throughout Canada and around the globe journey right here to expertise this very particular place.

The most effective instances to go to Jasper Nationwide Park are March by means of Might and September by means of November. The temperatures will probably be chillier nevertheless it’s a small worth to pay for a quieter and fewer crowded park.

Blue lake, green trees and white snow capped mountain peaks


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Winter wonderland

No drive is ever the identical on the Icefields and that’s very true when probably the most lovely journey on this planet turns right into a winter wonderland. Throughout November and March, overwhelming tranquillity settles in on the Icefields Parkway because it transforms into a spot of solitude and awe. Roadside stops reveal historical glaciers and cascading waterfalls. Snow-covered trails tempt you to tug over and placed on snowshoes or skis for a winter journey.

Greatest images

Each second spent on the Icefields Parkway provides beautiful alternatives to seize the proper picture. Beneath are some extremely really useful images spots.

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 greater than a drive, it’s probably the most lovely journey on this planet and it deserves discovery. Take your time, take in the sheer expanse of nature and immerse your self within the expertise.

Andrew Morten is the Founding father of Little America. Little America creates bespoke, tailor-made journeys to america and Canada.

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