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Cruise The Icefields Parkway: 10 Bucket List Adventures In Jasper National Park

Roll the windows down and breathe in the mountain air.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Alberta is home to one of the greatest scenic drives on the continent and with spring in the air and summer just around the corner, it's road trip planning time. The Icefields Parkway winds its way up through Jasper National Park, passing by a healthy dose of trailheads, glaciers, alpine lakes, waterfalls, and towering mountains along the way. Whether you stick to the main road and sightsee or get onto the trail and away from the crowds, you're sure to be left in awe by the beauty of this landscape. Here are ten adventures to get you stoked for your road trip through the best of the Canadian Rockies.

1. Explore Sunwapta Falls

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Catch an amazing view of this gorgeous waterfall plunging 60ft to the rocks below. It’s a short walk to the falls and be sure to bring your camera! Learn more.

2. Catch the Best Views of Jasper on the SkyTram

Photo: Tourism Jasper

Want to gain summit views without the thigh-crushing hike? Take the Jasper SkyTram up to the top of Whistler’s Mountain and make the short hike to the summit or grab a bite to eat. Learn more.

3. Explore Athabasca Falls

Photo: Jonathan Sinclair

Athabasca Falls is not as tall as some of the other waterfalls in the area, but incredibly powerful during spring and fall when the falls are raging. Learn more.

4. Swim at Jasper National Park’s Horseshoe Lake

Photo: Jonathan Sinclair

Is there anything better than a dip in a cool mountain lake after a summer hike? Maybe, but we don’t know what it is. Horseshoe Lake is as just as ideal as it looks and easily accessible, making it the perfect place to spend the day. Learn more.

5. Hike to Wilcox Pass

Photo: Brenda Lin

You’ll catch stunning views of the Columbia Icefields from the road, but they pale in comparison to what you’ll find on the 7 mile hike to Wilcox Pass. It’s far from a secret though...prepare to share the trail! Learn more.

6. Camp at Maligne Lake

Photo: Talia Touboul

A detour off the Icefields Parkway to Maligne Lake is well worth it. Campsites really don’t get much more scenic than this. Plus the lake provides all the adventure you need for the day...hike, swim, and paddle your way around one of the most gorgeous lakes in North America. Learn more.

7. Explore Cavell Lake

Photo: Kyle Szegedi

A quick turn off the Parkway and a short walk from the parking lot leads to this gorgeous alpine lake with the massive Edith Cavell Mt. as the backdrop. Learn more.

8. Hike to Bald Hills

Photo: Brenda Lin

If you decided to camp at Maligne Lake and need a good trail nearby, you're in luck. Hit the trail early to beat the crowds and heat and catch incredible views of Maligne Lake, the Queen Elizabeth Ranges, glaciers, alpine meadows, and endless forest. Learn more.

9. Hike the Saturday Night Loop

Photo: Talia Touboul

If you want to take an overnight detour from the Parkway, spend a night in Jasper's backcountry on the Saturday Night Loop trail, one of the few backpacking trips in the park that's starts and ends at the same spot. Learn more.

10. Capture the Northern Lights at Patricia Lake

Photo: Mason Boring

The Icefields Parkway ends where it meets Yellowhead Highway and just a few miles from this intesection you'll find Patricia Lake, which makes for a great spot to chase the aurora borealis after grabbing a bite in Jasper. Can you think of a better way to finish your day of adventure than taking in this gorgeous scene? Neither can we. Learn more.

Cover photo: Jonathan Sinclair

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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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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