Remember the saying the journey is the destination? That phrase aptly captures the experience of driving through the Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada. No wonder it was hailed as the best drives in the world by Conde Nast Traveller magazine. And it’s a long drive too. Stretching at 232 kilometers, the Iceland Parkway provides travelers ample time to take in all the beauty that surrounds them. The double-lane highway that goes from Jasper to Lake Louise winds along the Continental Divide and passes through mountains, icefields, and valleys. It is a journey of a lifetime and a rich experience, an unforgettable road trip that you’ll find hard to top.
Don’t be overwhelmed
The views that you can see at the Icefields Parkway can be quite overwhelming. Because of an abundance of exciting highlights, it will be difficult for you to try to take it all in. You’ll find your eyes shifting from one point of interest to another. Ancient glaciers, rock spires, emerald lakes, lush forests, and waterfalls are just some of the attractions you can expect to see from the trip. On top of all that, the place is also abundant in wildlife so you need to keep your eyes peeled during the whole duration of the journey to make sure that you won’t miss anything.
Stop for a while
When you feel like the view is too much, remember to breathe. Just take it slow and let your eyes and your attention fall naturally to whatever instinctively catches their attention. Keep in mind that you’re not really in a hurry to go somewhere. You’ve already arrived. Stop if you can and if you have to. Go out of your car and take a short hike so you’ll be able to appreciate the views better. Go ahead and take out your camera or phone so you can capture the sights and share them with your friends. If you’re up for it, you can even have a roadside picnic. A few things in life can match the experience of eating while being surrounded by pristine wilderness.
Things to do
If you’re up for some adventure, you can go on a guided ice walking tour. The trained guides will take you to the Athabasca Glacier where you can discover more secrets of the Icefields Parkway. Among the 100 glaciers present along the highway, the Athabasca Glacier is the most accessible, hence the most convenient to go to. The tour is also a trip through time because these glaciers have been around since ancient times. As you walk on the glacier, you’ll get a glimpse of what the place was like hundreds of years ago, before the invention of roads.
If you’d rather ride a bike on the road than walk through the ice, then you can join a Mountain Madness cycling tour. The tour includes many stops at different points of interest, spots that you’ll have a hard time going to if you are on foot. The bicycle tour is also the best way to experience the Banff and Jasper National Parks at a pace that is just right.