Icefields Parkway Video Travel Guides

Canada

The Icefields Parkway is a highway, approx. 230 km (140 miles ) long, connecting Jasper National Park and Banff National Park. Along the length of the highway and around almost every turn there are spectacular scenic views. Follow the parkway from Jasper town to Banff via our series of videos.





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Icefields Parkway Overview

The Icefields Parkway is a 230km scenic road in Alberta. It runs parallel to the Continental Divide, traversing the rugged landscape of the Canadian Rockies, travelling through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.

A 30 second short.

Icefields Parkway Overview


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Alberta Highway 93 Icefields Parkway

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Jasper to Athabasca Falls

Starting at Jasper down head south and follow the Icefields Parkway through the mountains as far as Athabasca Falls. Stopping at the bridge over the Athabasca River and the Athabasca Pass Lookout

Jasper Bridge

Jasper to Athabasca Falls

As you leave Jasper Town heading south, there is a good view just outside the town at the bridge crossing the Athabasca River. Looking south you can see deep into the mountain ranges along the Icefield Parkway, looking down stream you see Jaspers mountainous backdrop.

Jasper Bridge to Athabasca Pass Lookout

Jasper to Athabasca Falls

Follow the drive along the Parkway as it winds its way through mountain passes.

Athabasca Pass Lookout

Jasper to Athabasca Falls

Stop at the roadside pull in and view the Athabasca Pass in the distance.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Alberta Highway 93 Icefields Parkway

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Athabasca Falls to Sunwapta Falls

Follow the Icefields Parkway fro another 25km and you arrive at Sunwapta Falls - a double level water fall.

Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls to Sunwapta Falls

While not a very high waterfall, these falls are renowned for the thunderous amount of water which constantly flows through the short gorge.

Athabasca Falls to River view Point

Athabasca Falls to Sunwapta Falls

About 8km south of Athabasca Falls there is a good viewing point overlooking the Athabasca River and surrounding mountain ranges. The short drive to this viewing point passes some great mountainscapes.

Athabasca River View Point

Athabasca Falls to Sunwapta Falls

From this viewing point over looking the Athabasca River on a clear day you can see Mount Fryatt to the west and Mt Kerkeslin to the north east.

Athabasca River View Point to Sunwapatha Falls

Athabasca Falls to Sunwapta Falls

Follow the Icefields Parkway through some stunning landscape for another 17km and you arrive at Sunwapta Falls.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Athabasca Falls

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Sunwaptha Falls

The Sunwapta Falls are close to the main road and easily accessible. The Upper Falls is closest to the car park, while the lower falls is a short walk down river. The water flow is at its highest in late spring early summer when the mountain snow melt is at its highest.

Upper Falls

Sunwaptha Falls

The Upper Falls is beside a carpark just off the highway and is easily accessible.

Lower Falls

Sunwaptha Falls

The Lower Falls is a short walk down river from the car park. These falls are usually less busy than the upper ones.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Sunwapta Falls

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Sunwapta Falls to Suttfield Glacier

This section of the Icefields Parkway is a 37km stretched taking you to the Suttfield Glacier viewing point.

Sunwapta Falls to Endless Chain View Point

Sunwapta Falls to Suttfield Glacier

The Endless Chain viewing point is about 10 km south of Sunwapta Falls.

Endless Chain View Point

Sunwapta Falls to Suttfield Glacier

At this viewing point there is a reasonable large car parking area. Looking back north along the Icefields Parkway the Endless Chain of mountains seem to stretch out as far as you can see.

Endless Chain to Suttfield Glacier View Point

Sunwapta Falls to Suttfield Glacier

From the Endless Chain viewing point drive another 22km through endless scenery to the Suttfield Glacier viewpoint.


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Suttfield Glacier to Athabasca Glacier

This section of the drive takes you past the Suttfield Glacier to the Glacier Skywalk and on to the Discover Center a distance of about 22km.

Suttfield Glacier View Point

Suttfield Glacier to Athabasca Glacier

From here there is an excellent view of the first really close glacier, this view helps to build the excitement of what is to come at the end of this leg of the drive.

Suttfield Glacier View Point to the Glacier Skywalk

Suttfield Glacier to Athabasca Glacier

After leaving the Suffield Glacier viewing point the road starts to rise again as it heads upwards towards the pass at the Athabasca Glacier.

Glacier Skywalk

Suttfield Glacier to Athabasca Glacier

The Glacier Skywalk is the latest activity from the Brewster Travel company. The cliff-edge walkway leads to a platform where glass is all that separates you from a 918 foot drop to the valley floor below.

Glacier Skywalk to Discover Centre

Suttfield Glacier to Athabasca Glacier

On the final 6km of the drive the road winds downhill and opens out in a wide open moon like plain which approx. 1120 years ago was the mighty Athabasca Glacier. While the glacier has shrunk massively in the intervening time it is still a very impressive sight.


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Athabasca Glacier

Due to its close proximity to the Icefields Parkway the glacier is easily accessible. The glacier moves down from the Colombia Icefield at a rate of several centimetres per day though it has lost about half of its size in the last 125 years. The toe of the glacier can be visited, a small car park is about 150metres from the glacier. The glacier itself is cordoned off as it is dangerous to walk on the ice due to the many hidden crevasses. To explore the glacier further you can take a bus tour right onto the thicker ice.

The Glacier

Athabasca Glacier

This is the most accessible glacier in the Rockies and accordingly the most visited. The glacier is approximately 6 km (3.7 mi) long, covers an area of 6 square km, and is measured to be between 90300 metres (300980 ft) thick. You can drive to within a few hundred meters of the glacier toe and walk along a path cut out of the lateral moraines till you stand almost ta the glacier base. The glacier has retreated almost 1.5 km since 1884.

Discovery Bus

Athabasca Glacier

Another way to see and explore the glacier is to take a tour on the Brewster Ice Discovery Bus which literally drives onto the ice.

On the Glacier

Athabasca Glacier

While on the Glacier Tour be prepared for all weathers from Sunny with Blue skies to a raging blizzard at sub-zero temperatures.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Athabasca Glacier

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Athabasca Glacier to Mistaya Canyon

On this section, an approx. 55km drive, you pass Parker Ridge View Point, Bridal Falls View Point, Saskatchewan Crossing and the Weeping Wall.

Wilcock Pass Trail Head

Athabasca Glacier to Mistaya Canyon

From the Wilcock Trail car park you can easily find the trail head and explore the Wilcock Trail wilderness. If just passing through be sure to stop and admire the outstanding views.

Parker Ridge View Point

Athabasca Glacier to Mistaya Canyon

From the car park you can access a trail which follows along the ridge and provides some great views or you can just simply take in the 360 degrees outstanding natural beauty.

Bridal Veil Falls

Athabasca Glacier to Mistaya Canyon

Bridal Veil Falls originate in the Huntington Glacier on the slopes of Cirrus Mountain. Its waters drain into Nigel Creek, then into the North Saskatchewan River at the Big Bend or Big Loop of the Icefields Parkway

Loop Road View Point

Athabasca Glacier to Mistaya Canyon

After the Bridal Falls the Hiway takes a shark descent and loops around almost on its self to a viewing point overlooking the North Saskatchewan River Valley.

Along North Saskatchewan River to Weeping Wall

Athabasca Glacier to Mistaya Canyon

This section of the parkway crosses a small town or hamlet called Saskatchewan River Crossing. There are some facilitates such as food available, lodgings and fuel.

Weeping Wall to Mistaya Canyon

Athabasca Glacier to Mistaya Canyon

After stopping to view the Weeping Wall, a series of cascading falls ( best in late Spring ) down a 300-metre cliff right beside the road, continue the relatively short distance to Mistaya Canyon.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Saskatchewan River Crossing Alberta

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Mistaya Canyon to Waterfowl Lakes

The Mistaya Canyon lies just off the Parkway and is a popular visitor site. Continuing on the Icefields Parkway another 14km will bring you to the fabulous Waterfowl Lakes.

Mistaya Canyon

Mistaya Canyon to Waterfowl Lakes

The Mistaya Canyon with its unusually shaped rock formations lies just of the Icefields Parkway. The Canyon is formed by the Mistaya River cutting its way through the underlying Limestone rock. The Canyon is easily accessible from the Parkway.

Mistaya Canyon to Waterfowl Lakes

Mistaya Canyon to Waterfowl Lakes

From Mistaya Canyon it is another 14km drive through mountains to the beautiful Waterfowl Lakes.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Mistaya Canyon

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Fabulous Lakes

This final stretch of the Parkway brings you to some beautiful lakes. Al the lakes - Waterfowl, Peyto and Bow are close to the Parkway and easily accessible. This stretch is 23 km long, after Bow Lake the Parkway continues for another 40 km Passing Hector Lake and onto Lake Louise.

Waterfowl Lakes

Fabulous Lakes

There are two Waterfowl lakes very close to each other, the more northerly one is bounded by Mt. Chephren which rises to 3300 metres. Both lakes when light by bright sunshine have an amazing green hue.

Waterfowl Lakes to Peyto Lake

Fabulous Lakes

From the Waterfowl lakes continue another 16 km and you reach the amazing Peyto Lake. There are two car parks off the Parkway the upper one is usually reserved for buses and larger vehicles.

Peyto Lake

Fabulous Lakes

Peyto Lake was named after the trail guide and trapper Bill Peyto who lived in the area.During the late spring and summer as the snows melt, significant amounts of glacial rock flour flow into the lake, and these suspended rock particles give the lake a bright, turquoise colour. The suns blue rays are reflected from the glacial floor while the red frequencies are absorbed in the lake. The lake is fed by Peyto Creek, which drains water from Caldron Lake and Peyto Glacier. Peyto Glacier is part of the Wapta Icefield. The Mistaya River flows out of the lake.

Peyto Lake to Bow Lake

Fabulous Lakes

From Peyto Lake it is a short drive to Bow Lake ( approx. 7km ) past more stunning mountain views.

Bow Lake

Fabulous Lakes

Bow Lake lies close to the Parkway and as its easily accessible from Banff it is a popular tourist destination. The lake is the starting point of the Bow River whose waters eventually reach Hudson Bay. The view of Bow Summit across the lake has become an iconic view of the Rockies.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Peyto Lake


Video Locations on Map


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Copyright Trav Vid Feb 19 2018

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