Icefields Parkway Drive, Canada

lake Louise To Jasper: Guide to Canada’s Most Scenic Routes The Icefields Parkway Drive

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This beautiful drive from Lake Louise to Jasper is known as Canada’s most scenic driving routes and dubbed the ” Icefields Parkaway drive”. If you are a nature lover and crave to witness the breathtaking beauty of the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park, then Icefields Parkway Drive should be on top of your bucket list.

This scenic drive, also known as Highway 93, stretches over 232 km (144 miles) through the heart of the Canadian Rockies and connects Banff National Park with Jasper National Park. This scenic drive is home to some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring stops, including waterfalls, hikes, and amazing viewpoints.

Icefields Parkway Drive, Canada

Here are the top must-see stops and hikes you should stop along the Icefields Parkway Drive.

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The Best Stops Lake Louise To Jasper

Must-See Stops Along The Icefields Parkway Drive

One of the most beautiful drives you can do is The Icefields Parkway drive! Here are some of the must-see stops you will find along the route to Jasper. I’ve created the itinerary with the stops in order of arrival to save you some time! If you find this helpful, leave a comment or share it on Pinterest, or with a friend.

Rent A Car In Advance: Reserve your Rental Car in advance! I’d say as soon as you book your flights is when you’ll want to reserve a car. The last time we went, most of the vehicles were already booked up. We ended up having to pay more. Don’t let this happen to you.

Note: Although you can complete this drive in one day on the way to Jasper, keep in mind that each stop will take time! So realistically you may have to skip some of these stops to get the most out of the drive or make it a two-day trip to take it all in.

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Rent A Car

I recommend booking a car in advance with Discover Cars. They have been wonderful and have a large selection of vehicles and companies to price compare from. They also have flexible cancelation policies should your plans change ! Make sure you book as soon as you know your travel dates

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I share more useful tips on how to make this drive to Icefields Parkway as smooth and enjoyable as possible below along with FAQs

Lake Louise

One of the top destinations along the Icefields Parkway Drive is the world-renowned Lake Louise. This glacier-fed lake boasts turquoise-blue water and is surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Canadian Rockies. You can take a stroll around the lake, rent a canoe, or hike the Plain of Six Glaciers trail to see some of the most stunning views in the region.

outfit details here– What to wear to Banff

Moraine Lake & Valley of the Ten Peaks

Located just a few miles from Lake Louise, Moraine Lake is another breathtaking destination along the Icefields Parkway Drive. It’s the first and most popular stop. This glacially fed lake is famous for its vibrant blue color and stunning views of the Valley of the Ten Peaks. You can take a leisurely stroll around the lake, hike to the top of the nearby Rockpile Trail for incredible views, or take a guided tour of the area to learn more about its history and geology.

Important Note : Lake Moraine and Lake Louise are both the most popular stops in Banff National Park, and parking is very difficult. It’s best to do these two stops on a different day than on your way to Jasper driving the Icefields Parkway. I included them here because it is part of the drive but I don’t want you to be disappointed, as you probably won’t be able to see them on the drive, so plan ahead! See my 3 Days in Banff Itinerary

outfit details here: What To Wear To Lake Moraine BanffN O. 3

Herbert Lake

Herbert Lake is a small but picturesque lake located just a few miles north of Lake Louise. The lake is surrounded by dense forest and is a popular spot for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. You can also take a short hike around the lake or just sit back and relax while enjoying the stunning views.

 Hector Lake

Hector lake Banff National Park Icefield Parkway Drive
Hector lake

Another beautiful destination along the Icefields Parkway Drive is Hector Lake. This peaceful lake is situated near the town of Field and is surrounded by dense forest and towering peaks. You can hike 2.2 km to reach the higher viewpoint, or you view it from the viewpoint, or simply sit back and relax while taking in the stunning scenery.N O. 5

Bow Lake, Crowfoot Glacier & Bow Glacier Falls Hike

40 kilometers (25 miles) from the starting point of Lake Louise Bow Lake is a beautiful glacier-fed lake located just a few miles north of Hector Lake. The lake is surrounded by the stunning peaks of the Canadian Rockies and offers stunning views of the nearby Crowfoot Glacier. You can also hike the nearby Bow Glacier Falls trail to see the stunning Bow Glacier and its cascading waterfalls, it’s about a 4.6 km one way.

Bow lake Banff National Park Icefield Parkway Drive
Bow Lake

Peyto Lake (Bow Summit)

Peyto Lake is one of the most stunning destinations along the Icefields Parkway Drive. This glacier-fed lake boasts a vibrant turquoise-blue color and is surrounded by the breathtaking peaks of the Canadian Rockies. You can hike to the nearby Bow Summit to get incredible panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings. There is a quick stop option, with a short 10-minute walk you’ll reach the newly renovated lookout point. There are outhouses and plenty of parking.

At Peyto Lake, keep walking after you get to the platform overlook for about 10 more minutes for even better views!

Waterfowl Lakes & Chephren Lake Hike

Waterfowl Lakes are a set of two beautiful lakes located just a few miles north of Peyto Lake. The lakes are surrounded by dense forests and offer stunning views of the nearby Chephren Mountain. You can also hike to Chephren Lake, which is located just a short distance from Waterfowl Lakes, for a more challenging and rewarding hiking experience. It’s about 7.7 Km and has an elevation gain of 151 meters. Not a walk in the park! But the views are pretty epic.

Waterfowl Lakes Banff National Park Icefield Parkway Drive
Waterfowl Lake

Mistaya Canyon

Mistaya Canyon is a beautiful and unique destination along the Icefields Parkway Drive. This narrow canyon features stunning waterfalls and rock formations and is a popular spot for photographers looking to capture the stunning waterfall. You can take a short easy hike down to explore the canyon and take in its stunning natural beauty!

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/lake-louise-to-jasper/

Saskatchewan River Crossing

Saskatchewan River Crossing is a popular stopping point along the Icefields Parkway Drive. This area offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is a great place to take a break and stretch your legs. You can also grab a bite to eat at the nearby restaurant or stock up on supplies at the gas station and gift shop.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/lake-louise-to-jasper/

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Glacier Lake

Glacier Lake is a beautiful and remote destination located just a few miles north of Saskatchewan River Crossing. This turquoise-blue lake is surrounded by the stunning peaks of the Canadian Rockies and is a popular spot for hiking and camping. You can also take a guided tour of the area to learn more about its history and geology.

Weeping Wall at Cirrus Mountain

The Weeping Wall at Cirrus Mountain is another unique destination along the Icefields Parkway Drive. This natural wonder features a wall of cascading waterfalls that flow down the side of the mountain. You can stop by and take in the stunning views, or hike the nearby Cirrus Mountain trail for a more challenging and rewarding experience.

Icefields Parkway lookout, Bridal Veil Falls & Panther Falls

The Icefields Parkway lookout is a popular stopping point along the drive that offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. You can also hike to the nearby Bridal Veil Falls and Panther Falls for stunning views of these beautiful waterfalls.

Looking for a place to stay along Icefield Parkway Drive?

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Parker Ridge Hike

Parker Ridge is a popular hiking trail, if you want to do one hike on the Icefield Parkway drive, this would be the one! located just a few miles north of the Icefields Parkway lookout. This 2-3 hour hike has a 2.5Km gradual incline, is a moderately challenging hike, offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers and is a great way to experience the beauty of the Canadian Rockies up close. IThe views from the top are stunning! I wish we had time last time to do this hike!

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Wilcox Pass Hike

Wilcox Pass Hike is a stunning hiking trail located just a few miles south of the Icefields Parkway Drive. This moderate hiking trail is a longer one, 9.5km and will take you about 4-6 hours to complete. It offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and takes you through beautiful alpine meadows filled with wildflowers. You can also spot some wildlife along the trail, such as bighorn sheep and mountain goats.

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Columbia Icefield, Athabasca Glacier, Toe of the Athabasca Glacier

The Columbia Icefield is one of the most popular destinations along the Icefields Parkway Drive. This massive icefield covers an area of over 325 square kilometers and is home to eight major glaciers, including the Athabasca Glacier. You can take a guided tour of the area and even walk on the glacier itself. The Toe of the Athabasca Glacier is also a popular spot for visitors, where you can witness the power and beauty of this magnificent natural wonder up close.

Athabasca Glacier

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Stutfield Glacier Viewpoint

The Stutfield Glacier Viewpoint is another stunning destination along the Icefields Parkway Drive. This viewpoint offers stunning views of the Stutfield Glacier and its surrounding peaks, and is a popular spot for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. You can also take a short hike to explore the area and take in its stunning natural beauty.

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Stanley Falls Hike

Stanley Falls Hike is a short but rewarding hiking trail located just a few miles north of Icefields Parkway Drive. This trail takes you through beautiful forests and past stunning waterfalls, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can also take a dip in the refreshing waters of Stanley Falls and cool off after a long hike.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/lake-louise-to-jasper/

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Sunwapta Falls

Sunwapta Falls is a beautiful waterfall located just a few miles north of Stanley Falls. This powerful waterfall cascades over a series of limestone terraces and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can take a short hike to explore the upper falls or lower falls. Explore the area and take in the beauty of this natural wonder. FYI, upper falls is more easily reachable but is much busier!

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/lake-louise-to-jasper/

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Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls is one of the most popular and top things to see in Jasper National Park. It is another beautiful waterfall located just a few miles north of Sunwapta Falls. This powerful waterfall drops over 23 meters into a deep gorge and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can also take a short hike to explore the waterfall up close. Just remember to be careful as the rocks are especially slippery!

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/lake-louise-to-jasper/

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Horseshoe Lake

Horseshoe Lake is a beautiful and secluded lake located just a few miles north of Athabasca Falls. This peaceful lake is surrounded by dense forest and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can also take a short hike around the lake or just sit back and relax while enjoying the stunning views.

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Valley of the Five Lakes

The Valley of the Five Lakes Hike is a classic Jasper National Park hike. It’s a beautiful hiking trail located just a few miles north of Horseshoe Lake. This trail takes you through beautiful forests and past 5 stunning lakes, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can also spot some wildlife along the trail, such as elk and moose.

Valley of the five lakes  in jasper National Park  on the Icefield Parkway Drive

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Glacier Sky Walk

If you are looking for a unique and cool experience in the Canadian Rockies, the Glacier Skywalk is a must-visit attraction around 1 hour and 20 minutes north of Lake Louise. Located along the Icefields Parkway in Jasper National Park, the Glacier Skywalk is a glass-bottomed observation platform that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.

the cost of admission : for adults was $39.95 CAD, while children (ages 6-15) were $19.95 CAD. There are also discounted rates available for seniors, students, and families.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/lake-louise-to-jasper/

Map of Icefields Parkway Drive Must-See Stops

To save this map click on the map and click the “star” to save it to your google maps!

FAQ

Tips for Driving the Icefields Parkway: A Comprehensive Guide

To help you make the most of your trip, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about driving the Icefields Parkway.

The Icefields Parkway drive is 232 km (144 miles) long and takes approximately 3 hours to drive without stopping. However, it’s recommended to take at least a full day to experience all the breathtaking viewpoints, hikes, and attractions along the way. We suggest starting early in the morning to avoid crowds and to have plenty of time to explore.

The best time to drive the Icefields Parkway is from mid-June to mid-September when the road is fully open, and the weather is mild. However, it’s also the busiest time of the year, so be prepared for crowds and higher prices.

If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of May or October, when the weather is still good, and the crowds have thinned out.

Driving the Icefields Parkway is free, but there are National Park Fees per person or per vehicle. There are several attractions and activities that require admission fees. For example, the Columbia Icefield Skywalk and Glacier Adventure both have separate entrance fees. Additionally, camping fees vary depending on the campsite, and some attractions, such as the Banff Gondola, are located off the Parkway and require a separate fee.

There are several restaurants and cafes along the Icefields Parkway, but they can be pricey due to their remote location. To save money, we recommend bringing your own food and snacks for the journey. There are several picnic areas and rest stops along the way, providing ample opportunities to enjoy a packed lunch with a scenic view.

The Icefields Parkway is open year-round, but it’s important to note that it can be hazardous to drive during the winter months. Heavy snowfall and ice can make driving conditions dangerous, and some sections of the road may be closed due to avalanche risk.

If you do plan to drive the Icefields Parkway in winter, make sure to check the road conditions and weather forecasts before setting out. It’s also recommended to have winter tires and chains on your vehicle.

Wi-Fi is not available along most of the Icefields Parkway, so it’s recommended to download maps and information ahead of time. There are several information centers along the route that offer free Wi-Fi, and some of the lodges and campgrounds may have limited Wi-Fi access. Consider purchasing a pocket/mobile router so you can stay well connected !

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