Icefield Parkway is A Must-See for Canadian Scenery
Canada and its spacious wilderness and majestic mountains and waters is a country filled with destinations for the adventure-seeking outdoorsy vacationer. Among its many attractions, Icefield Parkway, a picturesque drive on Hwy 93, is definitely one of the most beautiful and is a must-see for visitors looking for beauty and wilderness.
The Parkway runs about 230 kilometers long, from Lake Louise within Banff National Park on the south, to the town of Jasper in the north, in the provinces of Edmonton and Alberta. The roadway must be entered from one of these two points, and anyone wishing to travel it must have a Canadian National Parks pass. Commerical vehicles are not permitted.
The trek along the Parkway is entirely in a protected zone of the spectacular Canadian Rockies, and runs along the watershed point of the continent, meaning that it divides west-flowing and east-flowing water for the whole continent. Therefore the road has high elevation which offers spectacular vistas of mountains, waterfalls and lakes so still and unspoiled they look like crystal-clear mirrors as they reflect the mountainous terrain. There are viewing, camping and hiking opportunities all along the road, but no gas stations or commercial establishments, so fill up before you go.
The drive can take as little as three hours, but most people want to plan a whole day in order to be able to stop frequently and enjoy all the sights along the way. Bikers are also common, many packing along supplies and camping along the beautiful journey. Buses and tour companies are available, but the best way to see the Icefield Parkway for most people is by personal car, in order to have the freedom to linger and really enjoy everything it has to offer. The busiest time on the Parkway is July-August, but visitors drive the Parkway all summer. In order to traverse in winter, only the hardiest vehicles with four-wheel drives and chains are allowed. Icefield Parkway is a beauty to behold any time of year.