Mountains, Glaciers, and Lakes – Driving the Icefields Parkway

Banff, Alberta

The road from Jasper to Banff is designated AB-93 and is called the Icefields Parkway.  It is 140 miles of some of the prettiest scenery we’ve seen.  The two lane road meanders along a valley between two mountain ranges covered with snow and glaciers.  Along the way you pass beautiful mountain rivers and small lakes with blue water.  These brilliantly blue lakes get their color from “rock flour,” sediment that has been transported through the rivers to the lakes. This sediment comes from rocks grinding together underneath a glacier. The fine powder is then suspended in the water and absorbs and scatters varying colors of sunlight,  giving a milky turquoise appearance.

Our tour photographer was busy during the ride along the parkway.  The scenes need no narrative, so we’ll just post the pictures and let them tell the story.


The parkway ends just north of Lake Louise where it joins Route 1, the Trans-Canada Highway.  As the highway goes through Banff National Park special care is taken to protect wildlife from getting on the highway.  A tall fence runs along both sides of the roadway.  The bottom of the fence is buried underground to insure animals can’t dig under it.   There are numerous underpasses and overpasses that allow animals to safely cross the highway.

Animal Overpass along the Trans-Canada Highway

We’ve now taken up residency in one of the park campgrounds to do some exploring in the Banff and Lake Louise area.

More on that later . . .

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12 Responses to Mountains, Glaciers, and Lakes – Driving the Icefields Parkway

  1. pmbweaver says:

    Gorgeous, fabulous, fantastic and downright pretty!

  2. Linda Wolfe says:

    Fabulous pics!

  3. colibabas says:

    Awesome pics! Glad you’re getting some better looking weather too before heading south.
    Safe travels.

  4. Kathy says:

    Beautiful photos. Thank you.

  5. Jodee Gravel says:

    Just got back from Laughlin, NV – hot and humid. Getting caught up with your wonderful snowy hikes and drives is so refreshing!! Love your shoes-taking-a-break pics and can’t wait to take some of our own 🙂

  6. Your pictures are fantastic. I was there about 20 years ago. Can’t wait to go back!

  7. Erin says:

    The Icefields Highway has some wonderful hikes … you will have to go back on another trip to do some of those hikes … if you didn’t do them from Banff. But then again … lots of hikes close to Banff, too … looking forward to remembering our time in Banff (we did it separate from Jasper and went there a few years earlier to spend time there).

  8. Janna says:

    Yep, I remember those mountains! Gorgeous photos and don’t you love the animal overpasses!

  9. Sherry says:

    What a beautiful drive. Your pictures are gorgeous. Those reflections in the beautiful blue lakes are just stunning. So happy to hear the animals are being so well protected. Thank goodness for national parks whose ever they may be. One of the best ideas in the whole wide world for sure. Can’t believe you are in Bamff in late September. I would never have dared and am so envious of the beauty all around you. Makes it hard to imagine the glaciers are melting. So sad.

  10. LuAnn says:

    What amazing scenery! Between you two and Brenda and Hector, I think our Canadian trip has been planned for next year. 🙂

  11. Laurel says:

    Those glaciers are gorgeous! I’m always taken with the unique color of glacial lakes—your explanation of the “rock flour” is great.

  12. Wow, I know we have to go there. Your tour photographer took great pictures enticing us to drive up there!

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