The Icefields Parkway is 227 km of mountain road built almost parallel with the Continental Divide. That’s why they say a drive on the Parkway is like driving on the backbone of the North American continent. The Icefields Parkway, named after the Columbia Icefields, is also known as Highway 93. From the TransCanada (Hwy #1) /Highway 93 interchange just outside of Lake Louise, the highway travels through Banff National Park for 122 kilometres. The rest of the Icefields Parkway traveling north, including the Columbia Icefield, is situated in Jasper National Park, Alberta.
Highway 93 is a north south route that travels through the western Unites States, into eastern Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, traverses the Continental Divide and ends in Jasper, Alberta. But did you know that Highway 93 boasts the Icefields Parkway but also shares its route with famous tourist destinations in the United States such as the Hoover Dam and Freemont Street in Las Vegas?
Around every turn on the Icefields Parkway reveals the bounty of nature's splendour; from the ancient glaciers at the Columbia Icefields to the mind-blowing colour of Peyto Lake, thundering waterfalls and viewpoints that extend for miles. The tough part will be choosing where to stop to take it all in. Click below for some suggestions.
As a mountain town, Jasper is relaxed and unpretentious with good food and drink, as well as endless outdoor wilderness at your doorstep. It's an outdoor sports lover's playground, with hiking and golfing in the summer and skiing and ice canyon walks in the winter. Jasper is the world’s largest dark sky preserve making for stunning star gazing. Year round festivals and events celebrate the diversity of Jasper National Park, its heritage and mountain culture.
Lake Louise is for those seeking the purest of mountain experiences. It is a special place to connect with nature and the Canadian Rockies landscapes. 40 minutes west of Banff, Lake Louise offers majestic wilderness without big crowds, as well as independent and locally owned restaurants, shops and boutiques. In addition to famous Lake Louise, the areas mountain side tea houses are a must visit in the summer. Winter time sees the popular Ice Carving Festival in January and World Cup skiing at Lake Louise Ski Area.
Ranging from short walks on wide paths to four-hour half day excursions, some of the best hikes along the Icefields Parkway are just off the highway. Hike to a tea house for a refreshing cup of tea or enjoy a leisurely stroll to an alpine lake. These short hikes have been chosen for you to enjoy and allows you to jump back in the car and carry on. In the winter time, snowshoeing is a favored activity along many hiking trails.
Every moment spent on the Icefields Parkway offers a photographic driving tour through your windshield with stunning opportunities to capture the perfect photo. We have chosen some of our favorite photography spots but you never know when that big bull elk will appear or a band of bighorn sheep will be roadside. Have your camera ready and respect the environment.