Drive the Icefields Parkway

Canada Icefields Parkway

Added by Moe Lauchert

The Icefields Parkway in Alberta, also known as Highway 93, runs for 142.9 miles. The parkway is easily accessible and offers amazing views along the drive. There are pullouts for quick hikes, but many of the scenic viewpoints are quickly accessible from the road.

Starting at Lake Louise, a friend and I decided to drive up the Icefields Parkway which goes through Banff National Park into Jasper National Park. All along the parkway are pulloffs and short hikes that lead to extraordinary views of lakes such as Herbert Lake, Hector Lake, Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, and Waterfowl Lake.

There are many more lakes, and certain ones offer scenic views after a short hike. Continuing South on the TransCanada Highway there is a road called Bow Valley Parkway, which offers views of Lake Minnewanka as well as Two Jack. Most of the camping and trailheads close in the winter due to ice and snow hazards but remain relatively free of tourists during the cold seasons. Be sure to check what roads and trails are open, although many of the pulloffs are road access. Bring plenty of water regardless of the season, food, and layers depending on the weather. Bear spray is recommended especially if entering a backcountry area.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Food
  • Cell Phone (International SIM Card)
  • Camera
If Camping Overnight (In addition to the list above):
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Bug Spray
  • Bear Spray
  • Headlamp
  • Fire Starting Equipment (Check Fire Restrictions)
  • Park Pass
  • Camping Pass
  • Camping Trowel
  • Bear Canister
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

8 months ago

Leave at least an entire day!

This is an absolutely breathtaking drive with so many adventures along the way. We did the entire drive from Banff to Jasper in a single day and pushed the first part to arrive at the Columbia Icefield early afternoon to do the glacier walk tour. I wish we had taken more time and hit all of the stops along the way. We only stopped to explore Bow Lake and Peyto Lake, and a few lookouts before arriving at the the Icefield. But looking back I wish we would have taken advantage of the great weather and stopped more and done some of the short hikes along the way. We continued on from the Columbia Icefield tours and headed to Athabasca Falls, another busy place but do not miss the views here and leave yourself time to explore. We had planned to camp near Jasper but by the time we arrived all campsites were full and most hotels as well, better planning for next time!

8 months ago

about 1 year ago

Favourite drive

This drive is AMAZING on a sunny and clear day in the summer or in the winter. The mountains the lakes the views are just spectacular.

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

Mind Blowing

This is one of the most incredible drives on the planet. I've been up here a couple time now and it still impresses beyond belief. The Colorado Rockies where I live are great, but nothing compared to these.

about 1 year ago

Added by Moe Lauchert

Always eager to learn new skills and share my passion for the outdoors; I see every experience as a catalyst for self-growth. I believe in the idea that every interaction affects our worldview and who we become at our core.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Cataract Falls at Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

Canada / Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

The main parking lot is off of McLaren Road on the north-east side of the park, with an honour-pay system. Multiple hiking loops are well marked, with clear "Falls this way!" arrows on every sign.

Photograph the Toronto Skyline from Polson Pier

Canada / Jennifer Kateryna Koval's'kyj Park

Polson Pier has a small park at the very end near the nightclub that is ideal for taking dawn/dusk and night photos of the city.

Hike the Panorama Trail

Canada / Sea to Sky Gondola

After taking the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish (or hiking up!), just off the Sea to Sky Highway (HWY99), you are brought to the main lodge area where straight ahead, there is a larger viewing platfo.

Marissa Glavas
11 Saves