Daily View A Day of Adventure Along Alberta's Icefields Parkway  Image of Daily View A Day of Adventure Along Alberta's Icefields Parkway
Athabasca Falls // Photo Credits @marcwebster & @lostcoordinate

Alberta’s Highway 93, more commonly known as the Icefields Parkway, is one of the most scenic drives in all of Canada. In fact, one could even argue that it is one of the most scenic drives in the whole world! Traversing the continental divide, the Icefields Parkway is 230 km long, linking the towns of Banff and Jasper, as well as Banff and Jasper National Parks.

On top of offering beautiful vistas from the car, the Icefields Parkway is also the main point of access for numerous points of interest in the Canadian Rockies. You will never find yourself more than a few kilometers from a lake, glacier, or picnic area where you can get out, stretch your legs, and enjoy the vast, unspoiled wilderness.

Here are just a few of the stops you should try to make along the way: 

1) Bow Glacier and Bow Lake

Bow Glacier is the source of the Bow River, an important Alberta river that runs through the towns of Banff and Canmore, as well as through the City of Calgary. The beautiful glacier sits on a mountain overlooking the equally beautiful Bow Lake, which has an intensely vibrant turquoise color that your eyes won’t be able to believe.

2) Mistaya Canyon 

Mistaya Canyon provides a perfect opportunity to get out of your car and take a short, scenic hike. The trail is only 0.5 km long and offers fantastic views of the Mistaya River, and the curvy walls that it has carved into the canyon over the years. The trail is fairly easy, but it does get steep at times, so keep an eye on pets and children.

3) Athabasca Glacier 

Though receding at an alarming rate, the Athabasca Glacier is still a breathtaking natural phenomena to behold. A short hike up from the parking lot, which is located right across from the Icefield Centre, the mouth of the glacier spills out into a rocky, moon-like landscape that was left behind as the layers of ice which once lay on top have slowly melted away.

4) Glacier Skywalk 

The Icefield Centre is your go-to place if you want to check out the Icefields Parkway’s newest and most popular attraction – the Glacier Skywalk. This cliff-edge walkway with a glass floor is located 918 feet above the valley floor below, looking down over the Sunwapta River as it winds its way through some of the tallest peaks in the Rockies.

5) Sunwapta Falls 

The Sunwapta River that you can see from the Glacier Skywalk eventually flows into Sunwapta Falls, a fairly short but picturesque set of waterfalls not far from the Icefield Centre. A bridge extends over the upper falls, while a quick hike can take you to the lower falls.

6) Athabasca Falls 

Athabasca Falls is the quintessential waterfall. Thousands of gallons of freezing, white glacier water thunder over the smooth rocks every minute. What Athabasca Falls lacks in height it makes up for in sheer power. There are numerous viewing platforms and great opportunities for picture-taking.