COVID-19 still presents a very real and dangerous threat to public health. While much of Alberta’s outdoors have been reopened to visitors, it is recommended to plan ahead, check local restrictions and current public health measures, and avoid any areas that may be too crowded.
Clear next weekend’s schedule, pack up the car, and grab a few friends; it’s road trip time.
Some people may think that road trips are something of a summer-only experience… Those people have never driven Alberta’s Icefields Parkway.
- See also:
For your own safety, please make sure you are prepared before heading out on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from Albertaparks.ca and AdventureSmart. Parks Canada visitor guidelines are available here.
Always remember to leave no trace, pack out what you pack in, stick to designated trails, and refrain from feeding wildlife — and please note that irresponsibly taken selfies (even if they look great for the ‘gram) can be fatal.
The 232-km stretch of highway between Jasper and Lake Louise is packed full of stunning works of nature, demanding hikes, and views that take the breath away.
No single spot is the real destination, so it’s about the drive and what you discover along the way, just as a great road trip should be.
Make sure those camera batteries are charged – you’ll be needing them.
Where is it?
The Icefields Parkway extends from Lake Louise in the south all the way up to Jasper, stretching 232 km along Highway 93.
It snakes through the Rockies, passing by the mountains, forest, and rivers of both Jasper National Park and Banff National Park. A Canadian national parks permit is required and can be ordered here.
How do I get there?
The easiest way to get onto the Icefields Parkway from Calgary would be to take Highway 1 west to Lake Louise. Once there, simply drive, bike, hike, or bus your way up Highway 93 as far as you’re willing to go!
Those driving from Edmonton will simply need to head south until they reach Jasper, and then start driving south towards Lake Louise.
Along the drive visitors will see more than 100 glaciers, frozen waterfalls, shimmering lakes, green forest, and much more. There’s plenty of opportunity for hikes (both easy and difficult), camping, and general sight-seeing.
The best way to experience the parkway is to take your time and explore any areas you find interesting.
Tours are available on icefieldsparkway.com if you want to make sure that you’re not missing out on any of the highlights — and make sure you check the weather conditions before heading out.
Highway 93 (AKA the Icefields Parkway) does require winter tires or chains between November 1 and March 31, so be sure that your vehicle is suitable for the trip!