The Icefields: Kingdom of Glaciers

Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Lake Louise is one of most beautiful drives in this world.  Glaciers, lakes and some of the highest peaks of Canadian Rockies are here. The focal point is Columbia Icefields on the very border between Banff and Jasper National Parks.  The lip of Columbia glacier has here descended to valley bottom allowing even the casual tourists to experience glacial ice and mountain grandeur that surrounds it.   For outdoor explorer it is merely launching pad to more adventurous trips that include hiking, scrambling, climbing and winter mountaineering.  Equally breathtaking is 80km stretch between Saskatchewan River Crossing and Lake Louise. Bow Summit area offers some of finest hiking opportunities on this planet.

Glaciers create their own weather and snow can be expected any time of year.  Remoteness is also the factor - over 3 hours drive (1-way) from Calgary makes day trips quite challenging.  Several regulated campgrounds fill fast in summer.  An alternative are Mosquito Creek and Rampart Creek wilderness hostels.

Note: Trips in this section lie between Columbia Icefields and Lake Louise; remainder of the Icefields corridor is in Jasper section.

Area Trip Type Rating
Bow Alice Lake Long Day D3/4
Bow Caldron Lake Scramble D5
Bow "Crowfoot Tarn" Day Hike D4
Bow Iceberg Lake Scramble D5
Bow Jimmy Simpson, Mt. Scramble D5
Bow Onion, The Scramble D5
Columbia Big Bend Peak Scramble D5
Columbia Saskatchewan Glacier Day Hike D3
Crossing Alexandra River Backpack D5
Crossing Glacier Lake To SE Lyell Glacier Long Day D4(6)
Crossing Howse River Flats To Glacier Lake Day Hike D4
Crossing Sunset Pass  / Pinto Lake Viewpoint Day Hike D3
Mosquito Mt. Andromache Scramble D6
Mosquito Molar Pass To Noseeum Lake Scramble D5
Mosquito Noseum Peak Scramble D6