Alberta

Driving the Icefields Parkway

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 –

This morning after breakfast, we headed north on the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper National Park.

Banff to Jasper

Banff to Jasper

The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) runs 140 miles northwest to Jasper mostly parallel to the Continental Divide. It was completed in 1940. After leaving Lake Louise, we headed up the Bow River Valley and passed Crowfoot Glacier, Hector Lake and Bow Lake before reaching Bow Summit and Peyto Lake. Then we followed the Mistaya River Canyon to Saskatchewan Crossing.

100_2112

100_2114

The Icefields Parkway then took us north along the North Saskatchewan River to the Columbia Icefield. We admired the tremendous glacial fields out the left of our Jeep as we headed north. They were mammoth and reminded us of Alaska.

100_2120

Later, we crossed into Jasper National Park at Sunwapta Pass. Right off the highway and near the pass we arrived at the Suwapta Falls. The waterfalls consist of a lower and upper falls, both easily accessible. The water originates from the Athabasca Glacier and drops about 60 feet with a tremendous roar through the steep valley.

We then headed to the Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge, located in the shadows of the Catacomb Mountains, and about 30 miles south of downtown Jasper. We had a steak dinner at the lodge that night before going back to the room to plan tomorrow.

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