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Our Complete Icefields Parkway Travel Guide

Our Complete Icefields Parkway Travel Guide 

Icefields Parkway is a breathtaking route you wouldn’t want to miss if you’re traversing the area. This 230-kilometer road connects Jasper to Lake Louise, and it’s a corridor of natural wonders!

From its majestic glaciers to serene turquoise lakes, this place will give you a journey that truly embodies the magic of exploration!

So, dive into our guide to discover the best of this scenic parkway, and we’ve include both renowned sights and hidden treasures so you’ll get the full experience!

Time Zone

Canada Standard Time (GMT-5)

Things to Know

Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: English 

Calling Code: +1

Address: Trans-Canada Hwy, Improvement District No. 9, AB, Canada

Cost: Free

How to Get Around

Train: While the Icefields Parkway itself is not accessible by train, the nearby towns of Jasper and Banff are connected by Canada’s national rail service, VIA Rail, and the luxury tourist train, the Rocky Mountaineer

Bus: Bus services, including tour and shuttle buses, are a popular way to explore the Icefields Parkway. 

The Banff Jasper Collection offers the Columbia Icefield Adventure, a remarkable experience in the Canadian Rockies. This adventure includes the Ice Explorer Tour on the Athabasca Glacier and admission to the Skywalk, with return transportation from the Glacier Discovery Centre. 

Taxi: Taxis are available in the towns of Jasper and Banff, and while they can be used for shorter trips within these areas, they are not practical for traveling the entire length of the Icefields Parkway due to the long distances involved.

Car Service: Car rentals are available in Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, and other nearby towns. This option gives you the flexibility to stop at various points of interest along the route.

For a safe experience in Icefields Parkway, keep to the speed limit, which is generally 90 km/h. This is reduced in areas like Saskatchewan River Crossing and Columbia Icefield. 

In winter (Where can I camp in the winter in Alberta?), snow tires or chains are mandatory, and travelers should be prepared for potential road closures and lack of cell phone coverage.

Also, opt for bigger trucks for safer travels since these can withstand harsh environments during the winter season. 

Stops and Sites to See 

Address: Alberta, 93 Icefields Pkwy, Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L, Canada


Contact Details: N/A

Opening Hours: 24/7 

Ever heard of a mountain that seems to weep? Nestled in Banff National Park, Alberta, the Weeping Wall on Cirrus Mountain is a sight to behold. The most prominent among these falls is aptly named Teardrop, a natural wonder that truly captures the heart.

When you’re there, the sheer size and sound of the water flowing down the mountain face is something you won’t forget. It’s a perfect spot for photographers or anyone who appreciates the power of nature. 

And the best part? It’s easily accessible from the Icefields Parkway, making it a must-see stop on your road trip.

From @mrcnzajac

Address: Icefields Pkwy, Jasper, AB T0L 1E0, Canada

Website: N/A

Contact Details: +14035223833

Opening Hours: 24/7

Peyto Lake is a true gem in the Canadian Rockies and a favorite among visitors. Why? Well, it’s not just any lake; it’s the most photographed and visited glacier-fed lake in the area. 

This brilliant color comes from the glacial rock flour that flows into the lake during the summer months, creating a breathtaking scene that’s hard to forget.

The best spot to take in Peyto Lake’s beauty? Head up to Bow Summit. Standing at 2,088 meters (6,800 feet) above sea level, it’s not only the highest point on the Icefields Parkway but also the loftiest elevation crossed by a public road in Canada. 

From @thelustlistt

Address: Improvement District No. 9, AB, Canada

Website: N/A

Contact Details: N/A 

Opening Hours: 24/7

Bow Lake is a must-see spot along the Icefields Parkway, not just for its stunning beauty but also for its significance. 

This lake is the starting point of the Bow River, which winds its way south through Calgary and merges into the Oldman River, eventually reaching Hudson Bay. It’s a journey that begins in the tranquility of the Rockies and stretches across the vast Canadian landscape.

As you pull over at Bow Lake, you’re treated to more than just a serene lakeside view. Look around, and you’ll see the Crowfoot Glacier, resembling a crow’s foot, the expansive Wapta Icefield, the impressive Bow Glacier, Crowfoot Mountain, and Mount Thompson. 

Address: Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 1E0, Canada

Website: N/A

Contact Details: N/A

Opening Hours: 24/7

Sunwapta Falls, a spectacular class 6 waterfall (Best Waterfalls in Canada), is a sight you won’t want to miss when you’re near Jasper. Just a short drive south of the town, these falls boast an impressive 18-meter (60-foot) drop. 

The falls are fed by the Athabasca Glacier, adding to their allure. As you stand there, listening to the thunderous sound of the water and feeling the mist on your face, it’s a reminder of the raw power of nature. 

From @columbiaicefieldadventure

Address: Highway 93, Icefields Pkwy, Improvement District No. 12, AB T1L 1J3, Canada


Contact Details: +18666066700

Opening Hours: 24/7

The Columbia Icefield, a staggering 128 km (80 miles) from Lake Louise, is a frozen treasure straddling Banff and Jasper National Parks. 

The best time to go is undoubtedly during the summer, you can get up close and personal with these ancient glaciers. 

You can hop on one of the large snowcoaches for a comfortable and awe-inspiring journey into the glacier itself. Or, if you prefer, simply take in the view from the roadside parking lot. 

But that’s not all—in winter, the Columbia Icefield transforms into a prime spot for ski mountaineering.

Where to Eat

Address: 93 Icefields Pkwy, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada


Contact Details: N/A

Opening Hours: Daily 11 AM to 6 PM

Nestled amidst the breathtaking scenery of the Icefields Parkway, the Chalet is a haven for those seeking a warm, rustic dining experience. 

With its charming wooden interiors and a menu rich in local flavors, it’s the perfect place to relax and refuel. Whether you’re craving a hearty meal or a light snack, the Chalet’s welcoming atmosphere makes every meal memorable.

Address: Highway 93 icefields Parkway, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada


Contact Details: +17808523535

Opening Hours: Daily 8 AM to 9 PM

Becker’s Gourmet Restaurant is a culinary gem along the Parkway, offering a sophisticated dining experience with stunning mountain views. 

The menu, a delightful fusion of local and international cuisine, caters to a range of tastes and dietary preferences. It’s an ideal spot for a romantic dinner or a special celebration, where the food and the views compete for your attention.

Address: Icefields Pkwy, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0, Canada


Contact Details: +14035220148

Opening Hours: Daily 8 AM to 9 PM

Experience the rustic charm of the Rockies at Num Ti Jah Lodge. This lodge offers a unique dining experience that combines traditional Canadian fare with a cozy, homely atmosphere. 

It’s a place where each meal feels like a part of the mountain adventure, perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Icefields Parkway.

Address: Highway 93 and Highway 11, Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L 1E0, Canada


Contact Details: +14037617000

Opening Hours: Daily 7:30 AM to 11:00 PM 

Crossing Resort stands out for its casual yet inviting dining atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy a variety of dishes that cater to all tastes, from classic comfort foods to innovative culinary creations. 

The resort’s relaxed setting makes it a great spot for families and groups, offering a taste of the Rockies in every bite.

Address: Highway 93 N, Icefields Pkwy, Improvement District No. 12, AB T1L 1J3, Canada


Contact Details: +18887706914

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM; Saturday and Sunday 9:30 AM to 11:30 PM 

For those who love dining with a view, Glacier View Inn is a must-visit. The restaurant offers a panoramic view of the stunning glaciers, enhancing your dining experience. 

The menu features a range of options, from light snacks to full-course meals, all served in an ambiance that’s as spectacular as the scenery outside.

Where to Stay 


The Post Hotel & Spa is more than just a place to stay; it’s an experience in itself. This luxurious hotel combines elegant comfort with the natural beauty of its surroundings. 

Whether you’re indulging in the spa, dining in their acclaimed restaurant, or simply relaxing in your room, the Post Hotel & Spa promises a stay that’s as memorable as the landscapes around it.


Lake Louise Inn offers a perfect blend of comfort and convenience, set against the backdrop of the stunning Canadian Rockies. 

With a range of accommodations to suit every need, it’s an ideal base for exploring the Icefields Parkway. The inn’s warm hospitality and cozy atmosphere make it a welcoming retreat after a day of adventure.


Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is synonymous with luxury in the heart of the Rockies. This iconic hotel not only offers breathtaking views of Lake Louise and the surrounding mountains but also provides world-class amenities and service. 

Staying here is an experience in itself, with each room offering a window to the majestic beauty of the Canadian wilderness.


Mountaineer Lodge is a cozy and affordable option for travelers exploring the Icefields Parkway. Known for its friendly service and comfortable accommodations, it’s a great choice for families and budget-conscious travelers. 

The lodge’s convenient location makes it easy to access the many attractions along the Parkway.


Truffle’s Pigs Lodge is a unique and charming accommodation option, offering a personal touch to your stay. 

Known for its quirky decor and friendly staff, this lodge provides a comfortable and memorable stay. It’s an ideal choice for travelers looking for something a little different, with a homey feel that makes you part of the family.

What to Expect Weather

Spring: When driving the Parkway in spring, prepare for cooler, variable weather. Temperatures hover just above freezing, reaching up to 10°C (50°F). 

This means you might encounter melting snow and icy patches on the road, so drive cautiously and keep an eye out for sudden changes in road conditions.

Summer: Summer drives along the Parkway are a delight with warmer weather, averaging 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F). 

The roads are generally clear, making for smooth driving. However, be mindful of afternoon thunderstorms, especially in mountainous areas, which can lead to sudden changes in driving conditions.

Fall: As fall sets in, temperatures range from 0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F), signaling a transition to cooler weather. The onset of overcast skies and increased chances of rain or early snowfall means drivers should be prepared for slippery roads and reduced visibility at times.

Winter: Winter presents the most challenging driving conditions on the Parkway, with temperatures often plunging well below freezing, between -10°C to -5°C (14°F to 23°F). Expect snowy and overcast conditions, requiring winter tires or chains. 

While the road is maintained, be prepared for icy patches and limited visibility, and always check road closures before setting out. The occasional clear, sunny days offer beautiful winter landscapes, but always prioritize safety when driving in these cold conditions.

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