THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ROAD IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
WHAT TO DO IN ICEFIELDS PARKWAY? MY JOURNEY
As like other Canadian national parks, if you stay there for several days, I advise you to buy the discovery entry card pass, which you can buy at national park entrances.
In this article, I will tell you about the points of interest where I went to share my experience with you. I will give you a link at the end of the article with all the points to discover if you want to visit more things.
Sunrise at Peyto Lake
Sunrise at Peyto Lake
The most beautiful lake to see on the road, in my opinion, is Peyto Lake! To get there you have a huge parking lot at the start of the hike. Then you have a small path of about ten minutes to access the observation platform. And this is where you can see the beauty of this lake! A large turquoise blue lake with mountains towering over it. It’s incredible! And if you look closely, the lake forms a wolf’s head. The view from the platform is impressive!
If you have some time and want to observe the lake from another point of view, lower down, I recommend the Lakeside View. To get there, you have a small car park, not really indicated. Then take a path for a good twenty minutes. The view is amazing from this place! I really didn’t feel like I was on the same lake as above. Be careful, for the return it is a little climb all the way.
Bow Lake is also one of my favorites on the Icefields Parkway. You have a very nice viewpoint at the Crowfort Glacier Viewpoint, which overlooks the lake. Then go to the parking lot near the lodge to continue the path that runs along the lake. If you are there in the morning, you can see the sun slowly rising over the huge mountains by the lake. That’s wonderful! If you want, there is a hike that goes to the Bow Glacier Falls. I didn’t have time to do it but it’s a well-known hike in the area (8.9 km round trip – 298 m elevation gain).
The Waterfowl Lake has two very nice viewpoints, the Viewpoint South and the Viewpoint North. Two very different but beautiful views of the lake.
And because the Icefields Parkway has plenty of lakes to see, here is one at the start of the road if you are coming from Lake Louise, it is Lake Herbert. It is a smaller lake than the others, on the side of the road. It is quite pleasant to spend time there, for a good lunch and/or a swim.
You also have Hector Lake up the road, but it’s not my favorite. If you don’t have the time, I wouldn’t recommend it.
WHAT ELSE TO SEE APART FROM THE LAKES
Viewpoint at the Icefield Parkways
One of the main points not to be missed on the Icefields Parkway is the Athabasca Glacier. There are tours that go to the glacier by bus and you can walk on them, but I didn’t do it. Click here for more information on this type of excursion. I have just been to the parking lot closest to the glacier, and even from there it is impressive to see! This big white trail between two mountains is just incredible!
The Mistaya Canyon is a beautiful canyon with a rather impressive water flow! It will take about thirty minutes to go around. It looks nice.
There are also several waterfalls to see on the way. One of them is the Sunwapta waterfall. One of the most beautiful that is on the road. There is a large parking lot at the entrance to the hike. You have a first waterfall that you can observe a few minutes walking from the parking lot. Then you have a short hike of about twenty minutes to go to the Lower Sunwapta falls which is super beautiful! And few people go that far. If you’re already at Sunwapta falls, it’s worth the walk to the Lower.
OUTSIDE THE ICEFIELDS PARKWAY
First of all, I advise you to make a stop at Preacher’s Point and Bubbles. These are two super beautiful viewpoints on the Saskatchawenna River. We see this huge turquoise blue river around rocky mountains as far as the eye can see. I was blown away by these views!
Then go to the Crescent falls. It is a very beautiful waterfall in 2 parts that can be seen from above and up close. Honestly it’s worth the detour, it is very nice! You can even see a resemblance to the Horseshoe bend at this location (not the same colors but the shape is similar).
The glacier walk is a very beautiful road not to be missed. The lakes are beautiful and the whole road too! I did not mention everything there is to see on the road because in 2 days it is a short time. But here you have the essentials. Do not hesitate to stop from time to time at the various car parks on the sides to admire the views.
WHEN TO GO?
I was on the Icefields Parkway around mid-July and I did not have very good weather. But honestly I feel like it varies quite often. You can have a rainy day or a sunny day. It depends on your luck
I think two full days are enough to go around all the points of interest. There are a few hikes but very few. Take an extra day or two if you really want to take your time and dwell on several points for a long time.
WHERE TO SLEEP? MY ACCOMMODATION
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
Site 127 Comp 6 RR4, Rocky Mountain House,
AB T4T 2A4, Canada
Price : CA $37,65 – €28,60 / night / tent spot
Click here to book for a night
When I made my reservations, I hadn’t found any available campsites on the road so I had to wander off a bit. But which was ultimately not so bad because I was also able to discover other places on this road. The campsite is very good, the spots are quite close to each other.
MY 3 TIPS TO VISIT ICEFIELDS PARKWAY
- I advise you to do it in the morning because the sun illuminates the mountains well, and on the prettiest side.
- Note the points of interest you want to see before going there because there is no network on the road
- Sleep halfway to cut the road in half