One of the highlights along Icefields Parkway is Athabasca Glacier, across the highway from Icefield Centre. With an extremely large moraine (deposits of earth and stone left behind as glaciers advance and recede), it’s quite educational, especially with the provided year markers. I was disappointed with the information provided at the Icefield Centre. Their free silent movie focused on the beauty of the area in lieu of education.
- Due to lingering wildfire smoke and recent bear activity, I was unable to explore extended trails, however, access to Athabasca Glacier and Waterfall are via short, well-traveled paths.
- In the Canadian Rockies, grizzly activity closes trails or requires groups of four to travel together. Therefore, it’s always good to go prepared with a Plan B; better yet, also with Plan C and D. Bear and Trail status links.
- If you’re like me and prefer photos minus strangers, and quiet trails with more opportunity to see wildlife, especially during peak tourist season, GO EARLY.
- Helpful links:
- Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) Huts
- Wilderness Hostels (HiHostel) (There is one at Athabasca Falls)
- Approved private home accommodations (This is a good last-minute more affordable option vs hotels)
- Jasper Park Information Center (This is a hub in the center of the town of Jasper, offering free WiFi, a phone for local calls, a list of availability and pricing for the approved private homes, plus lots of information on trails, camping, sightseeing, etc.)
- A Parks Canada Pass is required.
- Link to my other Canada blog posts.
- Gem Trek Publishing, Best of the Icefields Parkway (Trail Map & Guide)
- Gem Trek Publishing, Columbia Icefield (Trail Map & Guide)
- Canadian Rockies Trail Guide by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson
- Don’t Waste Your Time In The Canadian Rockies: The Opinionated Hiking Guide by Kathy and Craig Copeland
- Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies by Graeme Pole
- Handbook of the Canadian Rockies by Ben Gadd