Canada’s beautiful Icefields Parkway is definitely the most exciting part of your trip. I have tried walking along this road several times to capture its spectacular views.
This is a 230 km highway connecting Banff with the town of Jasper. Please read the article about the Icefields Parkway before you leave, and make sure not to miss any exciting places, because I assure you that there are so many beautiful views that you can’t finish it at once.if you want to go Yukon Click here.
I want to share with you some must-see attractions and routes, as well as some practical information about where to stay, and tips for driving along the Icefields Parkway.
First of all. Don’t try to finish in a day. Even though the 230-kilometer trip doesn’t seem to be much, there are many places to see along the way. It is still a bit wasteful to complete the entire trip in one day. I told everyone who planned to go this route to take it easy and not to see too many sights in too short a time. If you don’t have much time, try not to go this way! Because there is only one Icefields Parkway, there will be no more.
If you plan to leave in Calgary, Canada, give yourself at least two days! This is a minimum requirement. If you have an extra day or two of free time, it’s even better! There are many things to see and do here, you will read below soon.
If you want to quickly read the introduction of Banff attractions, please click here.
Own car! Must drive own vehicle. It will allow you to stop freely and get off to take pictures. If you are from abroad, please rent one!
Many Canadian tourists choose to travel in a camper van. I don’t think there is a better way to visit this country.
This is the map for tour
Please note that there is no signal on this road, it is best to print to paper.
Table of Contents
Best Photography spots on The Icefields Parkway
Icefields Parkway is incredibly beautiful and you must drive carefully! Be sure not to encounter any wild animals on the road! Many elk will cross the road at will.
During peak months (July and August), there will be many cars parked on the side of the road, and tourists will get off to take pictures, so you should also pay attention to driving and try to stay in the middle of the road.
You can drive along Park Avenue from north to south (from Jasper to Lake Louise) or from south to north. It depends on your starting point.
1.Herbert and Hector Lakes
Hector and Herbert lakes are beautiful glacial lakes to the south of Icefields Parkway. Herbert Lake is just off the road and is getting more attention. Lake Hector is 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the highway and many physically weak people are scared. Although this is a simple road, the road is flat and well maintained. So if you want to take some good-looking pictures quietly, you must walk more for this!
Distance from Jasper: 212km
Bow Lake-another small lake south of the parkway. During the summer months, the water injected by the glacier has an incredible turquoise color.
Distance from Jasper: 196 km
The viewing point is a 2 km (1.2 mile) walk from the parking area. Lake Peto may also be the busiest stop on the road, so you better go early. If you go late, your photos will be full of human heads.
Distance from Jasper: 190 km
4.Waterfowl Lake and Chephren Lake
From south to north as you drive along the road, Waterfowl Lake is on the left side of the road. Starting from the southwest corner of the Waterfowl Lake camp, hike to Lake Cirque or Chephren.
This trail can become muddy after the rain, so make sure you have a pair of waterproof boots. If you are departing from Banff, you have covered 111 kilometers. It should be in the evening, and I highly recommend you to spend the night here.
Distance from Jasper: 173 km
Be sure to read the map clearly, Mistaya Canyon and Mistaya Mountain are not one place. They are far apart. The entrance to the Mistaya Canyon is near Mount Murchison. Walk down the parking lot for 300m. The raging waters of the Mistaya River passed the ancient rocks, making a deep rumble, echoing the canyon walls.
The rocks are covered with moss, so be extra careful on the rocks because they can be slippery. It’s dangerous here, and it’s easy to die in the river.
Distance from Jasper: 159 km
Just a typical scene on Icefield Avenue! From this point marked on the map, you can see a wonderful road made of magnificent mountains. This is a curve on the Icefields Parkway. It is also the junction of the borders of Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.
Distance from Jasper: 116 km
Hiking is required from the road to Parker Ridge. It takes about an hour of uphill time (about 5 kilometers) to reach the top of the ridgeline.
When you reach the ridge, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains. You will be struck by the beauty of the Saskatchewan glacier.
Distance from Jasper: 112 km
This road is more difficult and longer. It takes at least 4 hours to complete. It will give you beautiful views of Athabasca Mountain and Athabasca Glacier.
If you are physically fit, you can carry a long focus lens. Note that bighorn sheep and goats will appear here. Have seen a lot! This is the most successful wildlife viewing place in the Rocky Mountains.
Distance from Jasper: 106 km
9.Athabasca Glacier/Icefield Centre
The Columbia Glacier is the largest in the Canadian Rockies. If you have always wanted to walk on the glacier, then you should not miss it! Just park your car at the visitor center and walk to the Athabasca Glacier attractions.
Distance from Jasper: 103 km
This incredible waterfall, the river is divided by the island, is divided in two. But a short hike is also worth it.
Distance from Jasper: 54km
11.Athabasca Falls and Canyon
This is one of my more tourist attractions on Icefield Avenue. Not only because of the famous waterfall, but also the canyon on the other side of the road, if there is suitable light, such as at sunrise or sunset, it will be very beautiful.
Remember, don’t try to stand on the edge of the canyon. These places are very slippery due to the mist of the waterfall.
Staying here and staying overnight is a great option.
If you are a hiker, you can try Evelyn Peak, which is also beautiful.
Distance from Jasper: 30km
Accommodation guide on Icefields Parkway
- There are plenty of lodging options along the Icefields Parkway with majority of them being campgrounds.
- Campgrounds cost between 15-22 CAD/site/night.
- My suggestion is to stay the first night at the Waterfowl Lake CAMPGROUND.
- Second night stay at Mount Kerkeslin CAMPGROUND.
Things you should know on the Icefields Parkway
- Carry bear spray with you and under no circumstances try to feed wildlife if you don’t want to pay hefty fines (up to 25.000 CAD!)
- Icefield Avenue spans two national parks-Banff and Jasper. A park pass is required and can be obtained online at the park entrance or at the tourist information centre.
- Campgrounds are usually operated on honesty box basis so if you are planning to camp make sure you have enough cash.