Driving by the world’s largest non-polar icefield and negotiating two mountain passes while watching for moose and bighorn sheep-what could be more dramatic? This amazing experience is available on the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper, which leads travellers past the Columbia Icefield, as well as the Peyto Glacier, Lake Louise, and Sunwapta Falls. The massive glacier feeds the Columbia, Athabasca, and North Saskatchewan Rivers, creating a varied and dynamic landscape with an abundance of plants and wildlife.
There are many things to do along the road. Hiking on some of the many trails lining the area is a popular activity, but visitors should be aware that grizzlies and black bears live in the area. Travellers can stop for a picnic or enjoy a walk to see the Weeping Wall Viewpoint, Bow Lake, or one of the nearby canyons. People who enjoy the outdoors will find almost no limit to the interesting sights and experiences available.
The Columbia Icefield itself is a major attraction. Guided ice tours provide information about the glacier along with the security of knowing that other people can help on the slippery glacier. The Icefield Centre is a good place to stop for information at the Parks Canada section or eat a meal while looking out over the ice.
With natural wonders and opportunities for enjoying the outdoors, the Icefields Parkway is much more than just a road.
|1||Jasper to Athabasca Falls||30 min||32 km|
|1||Athabasca Falls to Sunwapta Falls||20 min||25 km|
|1||Sunwapta Falls to Columbia Icefield||45 min||49 km|
|1||Columbia Icefield to Saskatchewan River Crossing||45 min||50 km|
|1||Saskatchewan River Crossing to Lake Louise||1 hr||79 km|
|1||Lake Louise to Banff||45 min||58 km|
|Total||4 hours||293 km|