Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Icefields Parkway- Banff & Jasper NP


  The Icefields Parkway, which connects Lake Louise to Jasper, travels though 142 miles of beautiful scenery with many places to stop and admire the view or take a hike. The signage is not very good so pick up a map or download this one before you start the trip.

   Of course the rugged terrain limits wheelchair accessibility but we stopped at as many places as possible to check them out. Herbert Lake was our first stop where we found a steep path and no wheelchair access. Next was the Crowfoot Glacier viewpoint. A large parking lot with room for RVs provides a good view of the three toes of the glacier without even leaving your vehicle.


  Continue along the road to the accessible overlook of Bow Lake and Bow Glacier.


  Drive a bit more to the turnoff to Bow Summit and park in the accessible lot.  A very steep, paved path leads to a great overlook.


  Howe Pass has an accessible, flat, gravel path that makes a loop along a cliff with wonderful views of the valley below. The parking lot is large enough for RVs.



The parking lot view of Bridal Veil Falls is blocked by a large berm of dirt.

  The main attraction of the Parkway is the Columbia Icefield which covers 125 square miles and is the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains.  We were expecting a nice national park visitor center with exhibits about the glaciers and were disappointed to find that the fancy Icefield Centre is owned by Brewster Tours and it’s sole purpose is to sell tickets for special buses that travel out on the glacier.  Park in the large accessible lot for great views of the glacier. Two smaller lots on the other side of the highway provide access to a short, non-accessible trail that leads to the foot of the glacier. The smaller lots fill so there may not always be room for RVs.


  Tangle Falls is right along the road. A small parking lot is located on the opposite side and is not large enough for long RVs.


   A short, very steep trail leads to the viewpoint of Sunwapta Falls. The parking lot has room for RVs.


The Athabasca Falls trail has many steps and is not accessible. We walked/rolled along Hwy 93A and viewed the falls from the bridge. A small pull off  where RVs will fit is located at the south end of the bridge. The main parking lot has RV spaces.


  Our first night on the parkway we stayed at Wilcox Creek Campground near the icefields. Some of the sites have nice views of the mountains. Most of the sites are small and the bends in the roads are tight. Larger RVs should stay at the Icefield Centre RV camping area which is just a large asphalt lot where day visitor also park.


The next night we stayed outside of Jasper at Wapiti Campground which has a lot of sites and room for any size RV. Most of the electric sites were filled so reservations might be necessary if you want electricity.  Parkway



No comments:

Post a Comment