Icefields Parkway and Side-Trip Back to British Columbia

Setting out down Icefields Parkway was exciting for me. I experienced it once before, and after five years my memories of the incredible beauty (and wildlife) have not faded. And now I have John with me, so I get to share it!

Icefields Parkway is a 144 mile stretch of some of the most scenic vistas in the world… stunning mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and valleys… all the way. Banff National Park and Jasper National Park connect to each other midway. If traveling during the spring/early summer, you’d see a lot of wildlife as well.  (Both Black Bear and Grizzly, as well as Big Horn Sheep were out there when I traveled through in mid June.)

So, off we went… on the morning of September 11. The significance of the day did not elude us.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Mount Edith Cavell

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Sunrise on the mountain, Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca River and the mountains beyond

Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Mourning glow on the mountains beyond Athabasca River

 

There was no way I could drive past Sunwapta Falls without making the detour. It’s another spectacular waterfall in Jasper National Park, and worth the visit. Like Athabasca Falls, there are several observation points.

Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Sunwapta Falls

Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Ice melt from Athabasca Glacier flows through Sunwapta Falls

 

I would love to share the names of these mountain peaks, and trying to identify them drug me down the “rabbit hole” (aka- internet) for a bit. Sadly… I know my time is better spent getting the post done and live. Since that day we’ve traveled through so many gorgeous places, I don’t know how I’ll ever catch up!

Alberta, Canada

Mountains of Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

Mountains beyond Sunwapta River

Alberta, Canada

View from Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

Columbia Icefield

Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

Snowdome in black and white

Alberta, Canada

Cloud shrouded mountains of Icefields Parkway

Alberta, Canada

One of many waterfalls along Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Mount Amery and North Saskatchewan River

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

North Saskatchewan River, Icefields Parkway

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Mountains of Icefields Parkway

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Mountain and lake view along Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Mountain Peak, Banff National Park

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Hector Lake

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

And at the end of a long day of driving the Icefields Parkway we stopped for our last mountain vista before arriving at our campground. I was so surprised and excited to run into photographer friend, Kevin Kubota, that I forgot to photograph the mountain itself!

Fran Reisner, Journey In Focus

Small world! I ran into (almost literally) a photographer friend in Banff National Park! Meet Kevin Kubota! Mount Runnel in the background.

The following evening we went out for dinner with Kevin and his delightful wife, Clare. They share a wonderfully positive energy, and their obvious love of nature equals our own, so it was a fun filled night!

The following day John and I crossed back into British Columbia to see Takakkaw Falls, which I missed during my last trip to the area because the road was still closed. This one was worth going back for!

Takakkaw, a Cree word for “wonderful, is said to be the second highest waterfall in British Columbia at 1,224 feet! This was in September! Imagine what it looks like in late spring/early summer with all the snowmelt!  THAT is what I missed, probably by only a week or two, when I attempted to visit before.

Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Takakkaw Falls

Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Rare image of the two of us… at Takakkaw Falls

Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Takakkaw Falls heading to Yoho River

Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Takakkaw Falls and river

Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Cascading waters below Takakkaw Falls

Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Unidentified waterfall opposite Takakkaw Falls

Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Cathedral Mountain?

British Columbia, Canada

Mountain view Yoho National Park

 

Next up… a day hike at Lake Louise, and more of Banff National Park. This area is all so incredible, and it’s a shame we have to move at such a fast pace in order to experience the places we hope to, before locating ourselves south of the “freeze zone” of Canada and northern U.S. We’re fitting in as much as we can along the way, which is a bit exhausting. Right now we wouldn’t have it any other way. It keeps us young, right? 😜 OK, young at heart. 😂🤣

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