Journey on the Icefields Parkway | Your Discovery

Sunrise arrives early as my spouse Dave and I roll out of bed in Deer Lodge at Lake Louise, Alberta. It is 4:30 a.m., but soon the parking lots will be stuffed with travelers flocking to see the pure splendor of the emerald lake.

Lake Louise has captivated website visitors due to the fact 1890 when the to start with chalet was created on its shores. First Nations individuals had been coming to the lake for thousands of yrs, but in 1882 western explorers begun surveying the Victoria Glacier and named the physique of h2o Lake Louise. Folks from about the world have been coming to appreciate its attractiveness ever since.

Our trip starts at the Calgary Intercontinental Airport, in which hosts clad in cowboy attire greet us and level us to the rental automobile ton. We decide on up our SUV rental from Business. It is the best car or truck for touring the Rocky Mountain roadways.

Banff Countrywide Park

Banff Countrywide Park is little a lot more than an hour’s travel from the airport. As we leave the town boundaries, the Wonderful Plains give way to jagged mountain peaks. Quickly, we are surrounded by rock towers with names like The Three Sisters and Mount Yamnuska, a Stoney Nakota identify that interprets to “Wall of Stone.” The mountains are the beginning of our highway journey as a result of the Icefields Parkway.

Spanning from Lake Louise in Banff National Park to the town of Jasper in Alberta, this extend of freeway weaves as a result of the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains for 238km (145 miles).

Driving through the Icefields Parkway with a SUV rental from Company.

Banff Scorching Springs

Our initially halt is Banff Sizzling Springs, the most popular attraction in the city of Banff. A few railway personnel discovered the springs in 1883, which led to the creation of Canada’s first countrywide park. A bathhouse and pool had been before long created at the discovery website, and individuals have been coming to encounter these therapeutic waters ever due to the fact.

The incredibly hot springs are 1 of the best draws here, but there are many matters to do in Banff. With three individual ski hills, many picturesque lakes, and climbing trails, it’s an adventure lover’s aspiration. It’s also a key locale for street tripping, and we are grateful to have the liberty of our car or truck to cease at scenic lookouts as we make our way north.

Bow Lake

We established out from Banff just before dawn to see the reflections of Crowfoot Glacier sparkling in the even now waters of Bow Lake. We are properly forward of the crowds as we go from 1 staggering view to an additional. The drive is only a couple hundred kilometers from Lake Louise to Jasper, but with 100 glaciers lining the route, it’s effortless to get distracted as just about every flip reveals a single gorgeous vista immediately after another.

We pause to acquire hikes alongside the North Saskatchewan River and close to Peyto Lake, and then we end yet again to stretch our legs at the Large Bend Viewpoint. From high over a set of hairpin turns, we glance down at the highway slicing via the canyon.

As we pull absent from a person of our a lot of stops, we see a park ranger’s truck stopped on the aspect of the highway. A grizzly bear is hanging out in the bushes, and the rangers are observing it to make absolutely sure it is safe. The bear face is just another working day on the Icefields Parkway.

The still waters on Bow Lake.

Columbia Icefields

The Columbia Icefields Centre at the Athabasca Glacier is the halfway level. The Columbia Icefield spans the border of Banff and Jasper countrywide parks. At 325 square km (125 sq. miles), they are the major fields of ice outdoors the Arctic Circle.

We really suggest using the Ice Explorer, an all-terrain bus, to see the glacier’s deep crevasses and ice caves. The adventure enterprise Pursuit permits site visitors to bundle the glacier encounter with a visit to the Columbia Icefield Skywalk. The glass-bottomed walkway juts out 280m (918 foot) over the Columbia Icefields and yields spectacular sights.

It’s been a whole day on the parkway, so right after our Skywalk experience, we travel to Jasper for the night time.

Readers on the Columbia Icefield Skywalk.



We make our foundation at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and commit two days discovering Alberta’s other legendary national park. Our log cabin is rustic but magnificent, and it delivers stunning sights of Lac Beauvert, a little lake in Jasper Countrywide Park. As we push up to the lodge, herds of elk walk in entrance of our motor vehicle, and whitetail deer scamper by means of the grounds. We are truly in the terrific outside.

Jasper is renowned for currently being the 2nd-most significant dark sky preserve in the planet, and we take edge of the crystal clear views at close by Edith and Annette lakes to witness the Aurora Borealis. We go to the lake in the wee hrs of the early morning and then hold out till dawn for stunning mountain views.

Later on that early morning, we drive out to the Maligne Route Trail for a working day hike by way of Maligne Canyon. Plunging 50 metres (154 ft) down, the path takes us in excess of bridges, waterfalls, and walkways as we investigate the 2.1 km (1.3 miles) path. The day finishes at Maligne Lake, the premier organic lake in the Canadian Rockies.

The Wildlife of Jasper

Again in Jasper, we get a sidecar motorbike tour and stumble upon a mom grizzly with her cub. A Parks Canada ranger warns us to continue to keep a safe and sound length absent but lets us view as the bears forage for food stuff in the very long grass. The come across reminds us that we’re truly in the wilds of Alberta and that mother nature below is up close and own. The Icefields Parkway has been the excursion of a life time, and we simply cannot feel that all these encounters are along a solitary stretch of freeway.

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