Wrap Up: Ultimate Canadian Icefields Parkway Road Trip

The dream of a road trip along the Canadian Icefields Parkway has been an essential part of our future trip plans for a few years now.  The idea of traversing the 260 kilometre road between Banff and Jasper and experiencing both the amazing landscapes and awesome wildlife sits as a slow burning desire which we will eventually fulfill.

Views along the Icefields Parkway in Canada
Views along the Icefields Parkway in Canada

At the moment it appears that it will be a few years before we fulfil this trip vision as part of a larger road trip around the west coast of the USA and Canada. We are currently constrained by leave options and budget, but in the interim period it is great to be re-inspired on a regular basis by other visitors until we are able to do the trip ourselves.

I have found four great articles which show that you can spend anywhere from one to five days to experience this amazing route!  I hope that they also inspire you to visit this amazing part of the world.

Roadtripping in the Canadian Rockies; The Icefields Parkway

Iain Mallory from the Mallory On Travel blog shares his wonderful day exploring the Icefield Parkway road trip from Banff to Jasper.

There are many ways to enjoy the Canadian Rockies, perfect for outdoor adventure activities including, climbing, trekking, biking, or rafting. Patient, and fortunate visitors may see some of the incredible wildlife. However, when the weather is right, the mountains are simply breath-taking, and just standing back to admire them is enough.

The rugged peaks are easily accessible, often from the roads which bisect them, which makes them ideal for taking a roadtrip. I was recently fortunate enough to return, following the Kananaskis Trail, through Canmore, Banff, and along the Icefields Parkway to Jasper.

Stopping regularly to appreciate the scenery, taking dozens of photographs it dawned on me just how much the Rockies appeal to me; they are my favourite mountain range. They may not be as high as the mountainous spines on other continents, but they make up for this in rugged beauty, iconic wildlife, and accessibility.  Read more and see more gorgeous photos of the Icefields Parkway…

Getting a bit too close to a bear along the Canadian Icefields Parkway
Getting a bit too close to a bear along the Canadian Icefields Parkway

Getting High in The Rockies: On the Icefields Parkway: Stunning Aerial Views of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains

Mariellen Ward from the Breathedreamgo travel blog shares her amazing journey along the Icefields parkway.  I particularly love her descriptions of the Glacier Skywalk experience and her heli-yoga adventure – I love yoga but I would never have thought to get on a helicopter to find a place at the top of the world to do a yoga session!

It’s on just about every list of scenic drives in the world. The Icefields Parkway is the legendary 232 kilometre highway that runs through both Jasper and Banff national parks in Alberta. This is smack in the middle of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the North American equivalent of the Himalayas. Though not as high they are nevertheless spectacularly beautiful, jagged, rocky peaks streaked with bright white snow against Canada’s big blue sky.

I drove the Icefields Parkway both directions, from where I got off the train in Jasper (read about my epic train journey here) to Banff, and back again, over the course of five sunny, warm days in June.  Read more about Mariellen’s experiences on the Icefields Parkway…

Icefields Parkway: One of the Most Scenic Drives in the World

Amy Clark from the Unsettled Meliorist travel blog shares her road trip along half of the Icefields Parkway.  I particularly love her description and photo of the turquoise Lake Peyto from the ‘just a short (but steep) walk up the hill’ lookout.

Just north of the the town of Banff in Alberta, Canada is one of the most stunning roads in the world. Icefields Parkway is a highway that runs along the Canadian Rockies, stretching between Banff and Jasper National Parks. I did the gorgeous drive as a day trip, starting in Banff and going as far as Athabasca Glacier, just past the Jasper Park border.  Read more about Amy’s trip dodging slow moving campervans along the Icefields Parkway…

View over Lake Peyto along the Canadian Icefields Parkway
View over Lake Peyto along the Canadian Icefields Parkway

In Search of the Light: Along the Icefields Parkway

Hans Couwenbergh from the Hans Couwenbergh Photography blog shares the story of his road trip along the Icefields Parkway across two articles on the Wonderful Wanderings travel blog. 

I do a lot of research up front when we’re going on one of our trips. Some places you don’t travel to every year so better make the most of it, right? I always try to minimize the driving between locations and we also learned that it’s worthwhile staying several nights to have enough time to explore.

On the other hand, in between those stops I usually just look at the travel distance in order not to spend too much time in the car.

So when I was planning last year’s Canada trip I initially dismissed spending much time along the Icefields Parkway, seeing it as just a way to bridge the distance between Banff and Jasper National Parks.

What ignorance!

Luckily I checked out the route as well. I very quickly came to the conclusion that even if we’d take the whole day for our less then 250 kilometers between Moraine Lake and Jasper we’ d still only be able to scratch the surface on all the splendor to see along this iconic highway.

I finally ended up planning to explore the southern part when staying at Moraine Lake, the northern part from Jasper and the middle while on the road.  Read more about Hans’ trip along the Icefields Parkway from Banff to the Columbia Icefields, and the second part from the Columbia Icefields to Jasper…

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Have you ever visited or thought about visiting the icefields parkway in Canada?  Please share your experience in the comments below.

14 thoughts on “Wrap Up: Ultimate Canadian Icefields Parkway Road Trip”

  1. Wow, I’ve never seen scenery like that before, although it makes sense as I’ve never been to the USA or Canada. I don’t know what I would have done if confronted with a bear like that!

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