Icefields Parkway
Winter Discoveries

No drive is ever the same on the Icefields and that is especially true when one of the world's most scenic drives turns into a winter wonderland.

A compelling stillness settles in on the Icefields Parkway as it transforms in a beautiful drive of solitude and wonder. Roadside stops reveal ancient glaciers shifting and growling, and cascading waterfalls become icefalls. Snow-covered trails entice you to pull over and don snowshoes or skis for a peaceful winter adventure. It calls to winter's outdoor enthusiasts.

Do you Know?

What waterfall is the headwaters of the Bow River?  It is also very kid friendly.

Find out

36 km from Lake Louise

196 km from Jasper

Crowfoot Glacier

Roadside Stop: Named a century ago after a three-toed crowsfoot, this glacier now has one toe that has melted and the middle toe is slowly disappearing.  However, you can see where the shape of this distinctive landmark took form.  

40 km from Lake Louise

192 km from Jasper

Bow Lake

Roadside Stop: Bow Lake is one of the most scenic lakes along the Icefields Parkway, this lake is the source of the 587 km Bow River that flows south past Calgary.  From the roadside take in the stunning views of Wapta Icefield, Bow Glacier, Crowfoot Mountain and Mount Thompson.

40 km from Lake Louise

192 km from Jasper

Bow Glacier Falls

Snowshoe or ski: This trail offers challenging avalanche terrain so caution is advised.  Trek along the shores of Bow Lake and then head up towards Bow Glacier Falls. This trail is 2-3 hrs return trip (6 km) with a 70 m elevation gain.

43 km from Lake Louise

189 km from Jasper

Peyto Lake

Snowshoe or ski: a short uphill snowshoe or ski from the road will take to the beautiful lookout over Peyto Lake, one of the most photographed in the Canadian Rockies. This lake is named after Bill Peyto, an early trail guide and trapper in the Banff area.

79 km from Lake Louise

153 km from Jasper

Saskatchewan Crossing Viewpoint

Short stroll: In sturdy boots or snowshoes, take a short 15 minute stroll with no elevation gain/loss to a magnificent view over the Saskatchewan and Howse river valleys. 

117 km from Lake Louise

115 km from Jasper

Nigel Pass

Snowshoe or ski: This trail offers challenging avalanche terrain so caution is advised.  Nigel Pass offers a gentle climb through open forest leading to a wide-open alpine setting at the Jasper-Banff National Park boundary.  5-6 hrs return with a 385 m elevation gain.

130 km from Lake Louise

102 km from Jasper

The Foot of the Athabasca Glacier

Roadside Stop: Standing at the foot of the Athabasca Glacier is amazing.  The dramatic landscape and towering peaks make you feel small standing in front of this massive glacier. Be sure to stop and listen as shifting ice groans and cracks.  Do not walk on the glacier as hidden crevases and other hazards can be deadly.

137 km from Lake Louise

95 km from Jasper

Tangle Falls

Roadside Stop: An ice climber's paradise, Tangle Falls is a breath-taking mastery of frozen water. This beautiful cascading icefall just steps from the road provides one of the best photo opportunities on the Icefields Parkway.

163 km from Lake Louise

69 km from Jasper

Endless Chain Ridge

Roadside Stop:  In her book, "A Hunter of Peace," Mary Schaeffer wrote "A short distance beyond the rock-slide and on the river''s right, begins a low, rocky ridge, which for length and unadulterated ugliness cannot be beaten. We trailed it for a day and a half and then named it ''The Endless Chain'' well named too, for on reaching the Athabasca shores, we found that it still stretched on in an unbroken line for miles down the river."

179 km from Lake Louise

56 km from Jasper

Sunwapta Falls

Roadside Stop: A popular stop year-round, Sunwapta Falls offers easy snowshoeing or access with skis to view a spectacular icefall that plunges into the canyon.  You can continue on another 2 kms on an easy trail to the lower falls.

203 km from Lake Louise

33 km from Jasper

Athabasca Falls

Roadside Stop:  Athabasca Falls offers an easy winter hike into one of the most breath-taking falls in the Rockies. Ever-changing ice formations and the roar of water behind the ice make an amazing winter experience. You are encouraged to stay behind the railings and on the designated trails. 

224 km from Lake Louise

10 km from Jasper

Valley of the Five Lakes

Snowshoe or Ski: Two hours round trip make the Valley of Five Lakes hike a family-friendly outing year-round. This 4.5 km loop takes you to five small, picturesque lakes set in a valley surrounded by soaring peaks.  66 m elevation gain/loss