Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Canada Road Trip (Part IV): Icefields Parkway

To travel the Icefields Parkway is to experience one of Canada's national treasures and most rewarding destinations. Stretching 232km through the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, this world-class journey offers access to a vast wilderness of pristine mountain lakes, ancient glaciers and broad sweeping valleys. This special travel route winds its way through two national parks, boasting a unique and irreplaceable landscape rich in history and natural beauty second to none.


The scenery is spectacular. The animals are amazing. I’ve often thought that few places can rival Alaska for stunning scenery but the ice fields are definitely a top contender. I’ve even go so far as to say that they’re more beautiful but my husband, ever the fiercely patriotic Alaskan, would scoff at that assertion. :) Just know that this is gorgeous high country.

Pictures simply cannot do these mountains justice.

The Glacier Skywalk is now open. We passed on both it and the glacier walk. They looked interesting but the glacier walk required extensive time on a bus...not great with a fussy baby in tow. Maybe next time.

But these guys were hanging out just past the Skywalk. Love the bighorn sheep.

Coming down the valley into Lake Louise and Banff, it became abundantly clear that we were no longer in black bear country; this was the land of the grizzlies.

And they were BIG.

Check out these amazing wildlife bridges over the highway. Here is an awesome graphic of a GPS-collared mountain lion and its path around Banff townsite, including usage of the bridges and tunnels.

By the end of our four day trip through the park we’d seen seven brown bears and twelve black bears. Thankful that we didn’t run into any while out hiking, despite carrying bear spray.

We did a short jaunt up Wilcox Pass, which gave us a great view of the Athabasca Glacier and the valley. Ben was feeling a bit under the weather, however, so we cut it short and continued south towards Banff. 

Poor kiddo. 

We arrived at our lodgings (Banff Beaver Cabins) and tucked our sweet guy into bed. A long day for the little pooper. 

Fortunately he was back to his normal enthusiastic self the next day. Not sure what laid him low but glad it was a 6 hour bug (and that it didn’t get the rest of us sick!).



PS: Check out the Facebook page for Banff National Park. They have some awesome photography on display.

Canada Road Trip 

Introduction: Route
Part I: Kamloops Horse Ranch

Up Next:
Part V: Banff and Lake Louise 
Part VI: Calgary