Icefield Parkway

Highway 93, also called Icefield Parkway connects Banff and Jasper National Parks. You can easily spend a whole day (as I did) exploring all the attractions along the highway.

Ice Field Parkway Mountain
Cool looking mountain along the parkway.

Mountains and blue lakes seem to be everywhere on the parkway. It is really easy to take your eyes off the road.

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River crossing along the Ice Field Parkway.

I also saw a lot of people bikepacking. It is basically a mountain bike with attached bags carrying their camping gear. I like how there was a lot of room for them to ride on the side of the road.

Temperatures were nice, sunny and 70 degrees. At one point I realized that the funky Astro vans I had been seeing was a company called Wicked Campers who was making them into camper vans to rent to travelers. They even had a tent on top. Evey one had some unique paint job to grab attention.

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Astro Van camper

There are also a number of great campgrounds on the parkway. They were a lot better and spread out than the ones you find at Banff. If I go back I am going to look into staying there as they are more remote and away from the crowds. I found this one while trying to find a bathroom and ended up hiking about 5 miles on a trail that took me along a blue river. I mean how many times do you get to hike on a blue river. We don’t have that in Michigan. =)

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Nice campsite along the parkway.

One cool stop was the Athabasca Glacier. It was impressive to see how huge it was but also depressing because you  could really see how much it has melted in recent years. It is free to walk up to where I am in the picture below. You have to pay if you want to go walk on the glaier. You have two options, joining a hiking group (they give you crampons for your shoes) and another option in which the company will drive you out on the glacier so you can get out and walk around. It does get cooler as you get closer to the ice so bring some warmer clothes.

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Athabasca Glacier

 

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Gabe and the Mountains

Another great place to stop is Athabasca Falls. I didn’t know what to expect but it turned out to be great. Mountains, waterfalls, canyons and blue water. What more can you ask for?

Waterfall 1

It really was a great place to stretch your legs after driving and many different points of interest.

Jasper Athabasca Falls 2

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