Alberta's Icefields Parkway
By Jessica Pook
Stretching between Lake Louise and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies, this epic roadtrip passes ancient glaciers, cascading waterfalls and towering mountain peaks.
Day 1: Break the ice
Morning: Before beginning the 144-mile journey, don’t miss the chance to see Lake Louise in Banff National Park, one of the Alberta’s most iconic sights. For panoramic views take a ride on the Lake Louise Summer Sightseeing Gondola.
Drive north on the Icefields Parkway until you reach the lookout point for Bow Lake, which is a breathtaking sight on its own. Just up the road is Peyto Lake, take an easy 10-minute walk to reach the viewpoint which brings you to the highest elevation on the Icefields Parkway. Surrounded by mountain scenery, the sparkling lake below offers one of the best photo opportunities in the Rockies.
Afternoon: Saskatchewan Crossing marks the halfway point on the Icefields Parkway, and it’s the last service station before you reach the town of Jasper. Stock up on snacks and fuel and savour the views before getting back on the road.
Continue north until you cross over into Jasper National Park and spot one of the most unforgettable sights on the Icefields Parkway, the Columbia Icefield. Stop at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre for a ride aboard the Ice Explorer and enjoy an evening at the Glacier View Lodge. The hotel offers a VIP option, including a private evening tour of the Columbia Icefield Skywalk and a stargazing experience.
Day 2: Chasing waterfalls
Morning: Enjoy breakfast at the lodge before hitting the road with a drive tothe Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge, located approximately 30.4 miles from the Glacier View Lodge. This is the access point for the roaring Sunwapta Falls and the start of an epic waterfall tour. There are two falls to see here, and the first is only a five-minute stroll from the lodge. Advise clients to take the additional 10 minute walk to reach the lower falls – it’s well worth the detour!
Finish the morning with one of Jasper National Park’s most powerful rapids - Athabasca Falls. Head towards the junction of Highway 93 and Highway 93A and look out for the Athabasca Falls Viewpoint. Follow directions to the lookout point, until you reach the awe-inspiring falls. Edge closer to embrace the refreshing cool spray before the final drive.
Afternoon: End the roadtrip in the charming mountain town of Jasper. Make the town, surrounded by untouched wilderness and stunning alpine scenery, the basecamp for adventure. Some of the must-do things in Jasper include a visit to Maligne Canyon (the deepest canyon in the Canadian Rockies), a boat cruise to see Spirit Island (one of the most photographed places in the world) and a ride on the Jasper SkyTram. •
Where to book it
Book it with... Canadian Affair
A 6-night Alberta Icefields Parkway Adventure for May 2022 is priced from £1,349pp. The package includes return flights, 6 nights’ accommodation, car hire, and a Glacier Adventure Excursion including an Ice Explorer tour and Glacier Skywalk.