Icefields Parkway – one of the most spectacular roads worldwide - Scenic Route

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Scenic Route

Icefields Parkway – one of the most spectacular roads worldwide

Scenic Route • Alberta
  • Peyto Lake
    / Peyto Lake
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • It is quite convenient to travel the Icefields Parkway with a camping car.
    / It is quite convenient to travel the Icefields Parkway with a camping car.
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • One of the Waterfowl lakes
    / One of the Waterfowl lakes
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Wild animals at the roadside aren't rare.
    / Wild animals at the roadside aren't rare.
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Helen Lake
    / Helen Lake
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Icefields Parkway takes us through the Canadian Rock Mountains – here “Castle Rock”
    / Icefields Parkway takes us through the Canadian Rock Mountains – here “Castle Rock”
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Helen Lake
    / Helen Lake
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • View over Helen Lake
    / View over Helen Lake
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Enjoying the fantastic view.
    / Enjoying the fantastic view.
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Hiking trails away from the road
    / Hiking trails away from the road
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Helen Lake and the Rocky Mountains in the background.
    / Helen Lake and the Rocky Mountains in the background.
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Travelling 144 miles through the national parks
    / Travelling 144 miles through the national parks
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Inlet into Peyto Lake
    / Inlet into Peyto Lake
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • View over Bow Lake
    / View over Bow Lake
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Hiking to the Bow Glacier Falls
    / Hiking to the Bow Glacier Falls
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Crystal clear Bow Lake
    / Crystal clear Bow Lake
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Bow Glacier Falls
    / Bow Glacier Falls
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Bow Lake
    / Bow Lake
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Bridge crossing a river on the Lake Minewanka Trail.
    / Bridge crossing a river on the Lake Minewanka Trail.
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Pier on Lake Minewanka
    / Pier on Lake Minewanka
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Athabasca Falls
    / Athabasca Falls
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • A stop at one of the many viewpoints.
    / A stop at one of the many viewpoints.
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Lake Minewanka
    / Lake Minewanka
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Mountains, lakes and rivers along Riversides Parkway
    / Mountains, lakes and rivers along Riversides Parkway
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • Viewpoints and hiking trails are always marked well.
    / Viewpoints and hiking trails are always marked well.
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
Map / Icefields Parkway – one of the most spectacular roads worldwide
1200 1500 1800 2100 2400 m km 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 Bow Summit Peyto Lake Bow Lake Helen Lake
Weather

Icefields parkway connects Jasper and Lake Louise. The highway is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, wide glaciers and impressive valleys.

232.1 km
3:34 h
2248 m
1770 m

It is one of the most beautiful and famous roads worldwide: Icefields Parkway. Also known as Highway 93 North the route passes azure lakes, glaciers, waterfalls and the Columbia Icefield. The two national parks Banff and Jasper are crossed by the road, therefore many wild animals can be watched at the roadside. It is possible to pass the 232 km (144 miles) in three hours but it is worth taking some more time to enjoy all the highlights of the tour. It makes sense to plan one day for the trip. Offside the road there are many viewpoints, hiking trails or other points of interest which should be visited.

Author’s recommendation

There are many deers, coyotes or black bears at the roadside. Wolves and grizzlies are rarer, so keep your eyes opened.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Hartmut Wimmer
Updated: 2017-07-13

Experience
Landscape
Altitude
2077 m
1035 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Simpson's Num-Ti-Jah Lodge
Lake Agnes Teahouse
Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse

Safety information

  • Restaurants, accommodations and the only patrol station are closed between November and April.  
  • Check the road conditions in advance.

Tips, hints and links

A special Nature park pass is needed to drive on the Icefields Parkway, even if you don’t disembark the car.

Start

Jasper (1060 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
52.873208 N -118.082223 E
UTM
11U 427160 5858714

Destination

Lake Louise

Turn-by-turn directions

Leaving Jasper we follow Highway 93. It takes us in southern direction 144 miles through Alberta to Lake Louise

Getting there

  • Coming from the east (direction Edmonton) follow AB-16 until Jasper.
  • Coming from the west follow Trans-Canada/BC-1 E and take AB-16A from Connaught to Jasper.

Parking

Parking lots in Jasper

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Distance
232.1 km
Duration
3:34 h
Ascent
2248 m
Descent
1770 m
Tour route Nice views Suitable for families and children With refreshment stops Geological highlights Faunistic highlights

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Statistics

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Highest point
 m
Lowest point
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