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The Icefields Parkway

With both Banff and Jasper headline acts on virtually every Rockies itinerary, it’s not surprising that the road connecting them – the Icefields Parkway – is one of the world's great drives

Yet, it’s hard to be prepared for what awaits. The cornucopia of snow-capped peaks along the Continental Divide produces the grandest possible scenic backdrop and between them lies an overwhelming mix of immense glaciers, blue-green iridescent lakes, churning waterfalls and rapids, glaciers, wild-flower meadows and forests.

And the chances of spotting wildlife from the road – including elk, deer, moose, mountain goats and even brown and grizzly bears – are very good. These chances improve if you stop at some of the many tempting roadside viewpoints, pull-offs and trails.


A number of short hikes are offered at the many stop-offs along this wonderful drive between Lake Louise Village and Jasper. Be sure not to miss the short walk to the Peyto Lake Lookout; a stroll around Bow Lake.

For an excellent half-day hike try Wilcox Pass. Further north, and closer to Jasper, Cavell Meadows is another excellent and deservedly popular option.

The Athabasca Glacier

Hike or 4x4 a glacier

Glacier Sky Walk

The Sunwapta Valley for those without vertigo!

The Icefield Centre

Columbia Icefield views & info

Wilcox Pass

Meadows hike & great icefield views: 3.5hrs/Moderate/8km

Text © Christian Williams

Images by Photo by BC Randonneurs Photo Gallery, Photo by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Photo by Richard Taylor