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Icefields Parkway Itinerary

Atlanta, Ga
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Icefields Parkway Itinerary

Our family of four (kids ages 14 and 16) will be traveling Banff to Jasper (spending 3 nights) and returning to Banff for 4 nights. We plan on seeing Lake Louise and Moraine Lake during our stay in Banff. We are staying at Becker's Chalets so we could also see Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls while in Jasper. We have a 9:00 Ice Walk planned for our return trip to Banff.

I'm wondering if there are certain stops we should see going one way versus the other? We are interested in hiking Parker Ridge and seeing the usual stops.

Thank you for any suggestions.

7 replies to this topic
Jasper, Canada
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1. Re: Icefields Parkway Itinerary

Since you'll be in a rush to get to the Athabasca Glacier for your ice walk on your southbound driving day, I would be sure to stop at Tangle Falls on your northbound journey. The waterfall is located about 1 kilometre north of the skywalk (about 10 km north of the Icefield visitor centre). Similarly, if you want to stop at the "Goats and Glaciers" viewpoint, I'd do it on your northbound day or else on the day visiting AthaB and Sunwapta Falls while based in Jasper. I saw mountan goats there yesterday, when I drove by.... hopefully they'll still be around when you visit.

Atlanta, Ga
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2. Re: Icefields Parkway Itinerary

Thank you KRP, we will plan on stopping at Tangle Falls and Goats and Glaciers on our north bound journey.

Banff, Canada
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3. Re: Icefields Parkway Itinerary

Hi there,

This is Sam from the Banff visitor centre, thank you for your interest in visiting Banff National Park!

The Icefields Parkway is a beautiful drive and you'll want to take your time so you can experience everything along the way. A few highlights include Hector Lake, Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and Bow Summit. All of these are located between Lake Louise and the Athabasca Glacier Ice Walk so you could either do these stops on your way to Jasper or on your way back to Banff after you've done your ice walk.

Before setting out on the Parker Ridge hike make sure you check the trail conditions to ensure the trail is safe. You can get up to date trail reports here https://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/tcond/cond_e.asp… Parker Ridge can be found at the bottom of the page in the Icefields Parkway section.

For visiting Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, depending on the time of year you're visiting, we do often recommend arriving at these popular locations early in the morning or later in the evening to ensure you're able to get a parking space. During the summer months, the best time to visit Moraine Lake is before 8 am or after 7 pm and Lake Louise before 10 am and after 6 pm. Alternatively for Lake Louise only there is overflow parking located on the Trans - Canada highway with a free shuttle to the lake or there is a shuttle service from Banff to Lake Louise.

If there's anything else I can do for you, just let me know!

Sam

Edited: 13 June 2018, 00:57
Atlanta, Ga
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4. Re: Icefields Parkway Itinerary

Thank you Sam for the info.

We had planned to hike and hang out at Mistaya Canyon after our ice walk but it is closed. Are there any other similar stops close to the Ice walk where we can hang out (or short hike) for awhile and enjoy a picnic lunch?

Jasper, Canada
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5. Re: Icefields Parkway Itinerary

Mistaya Canyon is not a "hike"... it's a short walk down from the parking lot (when open).

You could hike up to the red chair lookout on the Wilcox Pass trail - the chairs are 2 km up the trail. There are the Rampart Creek and Howse Pass picnic areas further south on the Icefields Parkway; the first a bit north of Saskatchewan Crossing, the other just before the bridge over the Saskatchewan River (just south of The Crossing Resort). There's no hiking involved ... these are roadside picnic areas, with dry toilets.

Calgary, Canada
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6. Re: Icefields Parkway Itinerary

Not sure when your trip is, but definitely keep a close eye on road conditions for your drive to the Columbia Icefields. There is apparently a fair bit of construction on the parkway (repaving/scaling). Some of it is between Jasper and the Icefields Centre, so you want to make sure you leave enough leeway to get to your IceWalk on time.

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7. Re: Icefields Parkway Itinerary

Visited this area late August last year and agree that it’s best to get to Moraine Lake early morning, then Lake Louise. We did the scenic highway the same day so didn’t spend a lot of time at the lakes. Stopped frequently on the highway scenic pullouts. Highly recommend Bow Lake and the Icefields. We did not make it all the way to the town of Jasper because we had been advised that sunset at Vermillion Lake (aka Mt. Rundle) near the city of Banff where we were staying was very often stunning. We hit it at just the right time and it was indescribable. After that, had a great dinner in Banff, then walked around the town a bit. Next morning, we toured the Fairnont Hotel and saw the sights from the outdoor patios before we headed out to Montana and Glacier National Park. We never felt rushed during our one full day in Banff/Jasper NP’s. But if there’s a next time, will make it to the town of Jasper. Hoping you don’t get hung up due to construction. Best of luck with your trip!

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