I’ve never seen such natural beauty and wonderment than what I experienced while driving down the IceFields Parkway in Jasper National Park, Canada. My first suggestion is to allow yourself plenty of time to take it all in. Thankfully our only agenda item was getting to Hinton, Canada where we would stay for the night before circling back to the Icefields the next morning for our Glacier Adventure tour. The drive was supposed to be a quick 3.5 hours but it took us 9 because we stopped along the way for pictures along the side of the road and a few pit stops at sights along the way. Here are 5 MUST SEE places as you travel along the IceFields Parkway.
Maligne canyon & lake
Picturesque in every way you could get lost just listening to the waterfalls and walking the trails and crossing the beautiful bridges. If you are lucky as we were you just might catch an Amazing Sunset. Note: there are tours available if you choose but can certainly be hiked solo. Sidenote: I hear its even prettier in the winter once all the water ices over.
Canada has no shortage of lakes and reservoirs.. this notable lake doesn’t disappoint. It’s aptly named lake & Beach. Great for Canoe rides and kayaking or just sitting on the floating pier starring at the snow capped mountains. Whatever your pleasure add this location to your list of places to see along the IceFields Parkway.
Goats & Glaciers
They say if you’re lucky and go at the right time of year you’ll happen upon a mountain goat or two. A beautiful body of water nestled up a hill is just a short walk from the parking lot to view the most magnificent panoramic views you can imagine.
Valley of five lakes
4.5 km in distance will take roughly 1.5-2 hrs to hike, offers beautiful clear lakes with unique shades of jade and blue. The third and fourth lakes are the highlights of the hike.
My money saving advise is that you rent a vehicle and take your time driving around. Tours are nice but surely are expensive and if you’re a quasi “budget” traveler like me I say spend the money on the rental vs the $100pp tours, eat a good meal and take it all in leisurely. How much time do you need? I’d say give yourself a good week to see it “all” BUT if you are limited on time I’d suggest you stay in Banff or nearby Kananaskis which is 30 or so minutes outside of Banff National Park ( which is where most of the “magic” happens). See post on where I stayed while in Calgary for hotel recommendations