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Chasing Mountains on the Icefields Parkway

Who doesn't love a scenic drive? Windows cracked with fresh air circulating in the car, perfect playlist that matches the mood, two hot cups of coffee and mountains as far as thee eye can see. The number one recommendation that I was given before traveling to Banff was "you gotta drive the icefields parkway!"and it certainly did not disappoint. Something unexpectedly exciting was driving without cell service on the parkway, it emphasizes the self-reliance needed to explore the untamed wilderness, adding a sense of adventure to the road trip.

Canada's Icefields Parkway is more than just a scenic highway; it's a captivating journey through nature's frozen wonders. Stretching 144 miles through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, this iconic route promises a visual feast of glaciers, mountains, and untamed wilderness. Around every bend you will see a new view that somehow looks more amazing than the last. You will pull over every 30 seconds because you cannot help yourself, so go get those cameras ready.

peyto lake lookout viewpoint
Peyto Lake

canadian rockie mountains bow lake

Here are some of the best pull offs that are a must see:

Peyto Lake Viewpoint: A short hike leads to the iconic Peyto Lake Viewpoint (which resembles a coyote). The panoramic view of the glacier-fed lake with its distinct turquoise hue against the backdrop of the mountains.

Bow Summit Lookout: This is the highest point on the Icefields Parkway, offering sweeping views of Peyto Lake and the surrounding mountain ranges. The viewpoint is easily accessible from the parking area.

Bow Lake Viewpoint: Take a moment to appreciate the tranquility of Bow Lake. The view of the lake with Crowfoot Mountain in the background is a classic Canadian Rockies scene.

Columbia Icefield Viewpoint: Pull over at designated viewpoints near the Columbia Icefield to marvel at the expansive glacier.

bow lake Crowfoot mountain
Crowfoot Mountain at Bow Lake

These are just some of the many places you can pull over and see so take your time on this drive! Along the way you may encounter some of the animals that call this beautiful landscape their home. Elk, bison, mountain goats, black and grizzly bears all reside here. It is important to remember that we are in their home and must respect these animals. Adhering to the guidelines for wildlife observation is expected. We can enjoy these wonderful animals from a safe distance that will not cause any harm to either us or them.

peyto lake at sunrise
Peyto Lake

When traveling along a road like this, you can't help but feel free. It felt as though nothing else mattered besides these mountains. This untouched land, with extraordinary beauty, made me feel calm and centered. So whether you're driving through its dramatic landscapes, standing on a glacier, or simply soaking in the silence of the mountains, this is an adventure that etches itself into your soul. So, buckle up, hit the road, and let the Icefields Parkway weave its magic on your senses.

icefields parkway

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