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“One of the best drives ever!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway
Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
0422112852
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Book ahead on Viator
Recommended
$28*
and up
Glacier Skywalk Admission
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Scenic highway cutting through breathtakingly beautiful mountain passes.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“One of the best drives ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Just do it, we couldn't get enough and it was amazing. Try to go on a clear day so you can see everything. Plenty of hikes and views from this route.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank kjtravelslight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Eye opening Icefield Parkway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

Crowfoot glacier and Bow lake mirror, Peyto Lake, mountain goats, Parker Ridge, Athabasca Falls, Icefield Parkway has them all. With good planning, you can enjoy some of the most breathtaking scenes of Canadian Rockies in one day.

If you are coming from a different country without snow, then it worth to visit the Columbia Icefields but otherwise save your snow-coach flares for a good dinner. It is just a big sheet of ice field, I am actually sick of it.

Hint: Make sure you fill up the car before you leave Lake Louis or Jasper.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank AndyHWC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch
Level Contributor
41 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but don't underestimate the road conditions”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

We travelled the parkway in Mid-March, after some snowstorms and when there was still a fair amount of ice/snow on the road near the Lake Louise end - the conditions at this time were considered "fair". Don't expect to be able to drive at or above the speed limit as the road conditions WILL affect your travel time - because it is a secondary road there is less maintenance and there can be prolonged snowy/icy patches - fine if you have snow tires but if you only have a 4WD rental car like us it makes it a bit slower and more exciting. You can tell the locals with snow tires as they will speed past you in a flash!
In winter when lots of services are closed it pays to take plenty of food/water and some warm clothes. We found only one or two restrooms open along the whole way (most facilities are closed and the access roads to them not even plowed) & there are no gas stations open between Lake Louise & Jasper in the winter period.
Having said that, in winter the tour buses and campervans stay away and it is so quiet that we virtually had the road to ourselves. The mountains are picture perfect beautiful, the frozen lakes and glaciers spectacular and despite not seeing much wildlife alongside the road (it must have been too cold!) it was well worth it.
We stopped at the Athabasca Falls near Jasper which I would high recommend - the frozen waterfalls are incredible.
We also stopped at the Icefields Parkway - even though the information centre is closed you can still park near the information board and walk out to an overlook admire the glacier. But be warned, it is COLD, so wrap up warm even if you think you are only stepping out of the car for a few minutes.
Signage isn't great - we completely missed the Weeping Wall the first time around (there was only one small wooden sign) and only picked it up on the return trip a few days later after doing some Googling to alert us to where it was. Several of the lookouts are closed in winter (or you can't see anything over the high banks of snow anyway) but it's still worthwhile to see the impressive mountain ranges.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank MincePye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Stunning drive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

What a drive. The views on this stretch of highway are stunning. We were there in June so the weather was still a bit cool so wrap up warm.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
Level Contributor
87 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Lovely in Winter”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

Made the cross through here in November a few years ago - and it was bitter cold. Again now in April. Roads were clear and trees were sprinkled with snow (but not completely covered like in early Winter, but, it's a great ride for sight seeing. Weather from Banff to the icefields dropped by about 10 degrees C. So, bundle up if it's cold out.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Ann F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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