The Icefields Parkway is one of Canada’s most scenic drives. It serves as a link between Lake Louise and the city of Jasper and takes roughly around three hours of drive time to complete the loop without stops. But I dare anyone to make the entire drive without stopping for a breath of fresh air or have a look around out of curiosity around the amazing landscapes throughout?
Every mile you cover, there is always something that will make you clamor for your camera. A week of exploring and taking fantastic photos through this highway is about how much time I spent on the Icefields Parkway. I wished I had more time because I wanted to Kayak to the Spirit Island and climb a peak but alas, I was not able to. I did come home with many photographs from the journey and hope to go back someday to continue where I left off.
What is it like driving like on the Icefields Parkway?
In the summer, lots of RVs, tour buses and tons of other vehicles frequent the road so traffic can be congested. The top speed is capped at 90 kilometers an hour with some places capped at 50 kilometers an hour. There is wildlife all over the place, and you can even see them crossing the street so proceed with caution.
How much time should you spend on the Icefields Parkway?
This varies from person to person. I spent almost a week there while sleeping in a car or tent camping. The reason is that I like to shoot photographs during the Golden Hour and I am always trying to catch as much sunrise and sunrises as I can.For an ordinary person/family, you can probably see the best highlights around 6-9 hours from start to finish. There are many pullouts with scenic attractions along the way, so you have to pick your poison. Overall though, I highly recommend at least a week, if not more, to truly enjoy what the Icefields Parkway has to offer.
What are the conditions of the road in the Icefields Parkway?
If you have driven through any decent U.S. highway that is what you can expect in the Icefields Parkway. There is not much of a difference save for some signs written in French. It has wild shoulders for making quick stops and rarely any potholes to be found to impede your journey.
When is the best time to check out the Icefields Parkway?
The peak time is from July through August. I visited around September, so I did not have to deal with a lot of tourists. The temperature was already cooling during my stay, which I prefer over the heat. Winter comes early and stays late in this section of the Rockies, snowfall inducing winter driving conditions can happen by mid-October and can last well into May.