Friday, 9 September 2016

Driving the Icefields Parkway - Alberta

To better enjoy the photos, please click on them to increase their size.

Still playing catch up on our Canadian holiday.

Tuesday 31st May, our lovely Daughter-in-law Kim, had another day off work. Perfect timing to make the most of the views along a sunny Icefields Parkway, to view the Athabasca Glacier.
With blue skies and soaring snow capped peaks on either side of the road, my head became dizzy from turning back and forth.

Photos through the windscreen.

Photos through the open sun roof.

Photos via the rear vision mirror.

 It was a simply glorious day. I was mesmerised by how close the ridges were to us and how crisp and clear the definition of where they met the sky. Some jagged. Some towering. Some a snow line.

I was fascinated when I spotted the upright 'rock' on the top left. Further on all was revealed.

Our destination was the Columbia Icefields and the Athabasca Glacier.

Our view of the Athabasca Glacier on our arrival.

The Athabasca Glacier, dominating the Columbia Icefield, has receded more than 1.5 km (0.93 mi) and lost over half of its volume in the past 125 years. At present it gains 15m a year and looses 
30 - 35m. It was originally, just past the road edge.

We booked a ride on the giant Icefield Overlander to take us onto the glacier. Standing midway on the icefield, one felt quite insignificant.

The foot of the glacier, Ice Overlander and our view when we stepped onto the glacier.

The glacier close up.

Yes, we were insignificant standing on the ice. This is the view back from the Parks Centre.

Side glaciers to our left.

And to our right.

One very confused and frightened mountain sheep.

The bus that had transported us to the Ice Overlander vehicle, now drove us down the valley to the Glacier Skywalk.

Below and above us scenes.

The depth of this snow cap is, I believe, over 70 metres. I find it staggering to comprehend.

And so it was time to reverse our journey homewoods and find a spot to have a picnic lunch. In reverse, the mountains took on a different perspective, but were equally spectacular.

One of many beautiful lakes passed on this journey.

One of the more stunning lakes, was Peyto Lake, famous for its intense blue. The large amounts of glacial rock flour flowing into it, gives it this colour. Unfortuneately, because of its popularity, I was unable to get a full length view. The cloud cover was a hindrance to its deepest blues.

Bow Lake was our last stop for the day. One of the largest lakes, with great hiking trails and I'm told that on a still afternoon, there are spectacular, sunset reflections. Today a little ruffled by the breeze, but still glorious.

Wild strawberry blossoms.

Our thanks to our son Stuart, for all the kilometres of driving, to allow us to experience the sheer, incredible beauty of this area of the Rocky Mountains.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Thanks. They most definitely were.

  2. In 2008, I took that exact same drive. The mountains, glaciers and lakes are truly amazing! Wonderful photos!

  3. Amazing mountain scenery in springtime. I love the glacier shots. The mountain lakes look mighty chilly. I think those are Globeflowers in the last pic. They're one of the first wildflowers to bloom at high altitude.

  4. Incredible scenery. Not sure I'm so keen about the glass bottom skywalk...

  5. Stunning, that bridge looks amazing!