Stunning. Spectacular. Gobsmacking. Every turn in the road reveals jaw dropping splendor. Are waterfalls, glaciers, turquoise lakes and sweeping valleys on your scenic tour list? If you are considering a Canada road trip, Alberta’s Icefields Parkway is calling your name.
Stretching between the mountain paradise towns of Jasper and Banff in the Canadian Rockies the road trip is one of the most beautiful in the world. Meandering through two national parks the journey is filled with Canada’s mind-blowing nature.
We would like to share some of our images captured during our recent cycling tour of this western Canadian paradise.
As a result be warned. You may be booking a trip to Canada.
21 Photos to Inspire Your Canada Road Trip
While the Mistaya River may be short, its turquoise blue waters are sweet indeed. Flowing from the glacial Peyto Lake, the typical blue color dances it’s way though a portion of the Icefields Parkway.
The mountain that cries. More than 100metres high (330 feet) water streams down Cirrus Mountain in rivers of tears.
Lake Louise may be the most photographed lake in the world. While the canoes sleep for the night, light rain dances on the turquoise waters.
Bow Lake is a perfect picnic area to stop for lunch. The headwaters of the Bow River that runs through the city of Calgary and eventually to Hudson Bay.
Straddling Banff and Jasper National Parks, these fields of glaciers are the largest south of the Arctic Circle. In summer months, visitors can either board snow coaches to travel to the glacier or enjoy the view from below.
Endless Chain mountain ridge near Sunwapta Falls stretches some 32 kilometers (20 miles).
Less falling down a cliff than cascading on steps, Tangle Falls tumbles near the roadway.
In the Mistaya River Valley Mt. Chepran stands majestically. Considered a technical climb requiring crampons and an ice axe, therefore not a hike to be tackled without training and preparation.
The mist rises into the mossy forest above Sunwapta Falls. Due to the river forcing it’s way through a tight canyon the roar of the water is deafening.
Morraine Lake nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks in Banff National Park. While only half the size of it’s glacial neighbor Lake Louise, it delivers on scenic beauty in a big way.
A short walk from the cozy Sunwapta Mountain Lodge the river carves through walls of rock in the heart of Jasper National Park.
We wanted to take our time and take in all of the wonders of the Canada road trip. Hence we spent four days cycling with Mountain Madness Tours 288km (179 mi) through the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.
Outside of Banff, paralleling the highway, Mt Rundle often boasts its iconic reflection in Vermillion Lakes. This pristine gem is off of the main road.
Braided waterways occur in rivers with high slope or large sediment. As a result small channels are separated by temporary islands.
The Mistaya River plunges into the narrow canyon. Due to the water grinding and dissolving the limestone rock, intricate swirling designs are left in the rock walls.
At Saskatchewan River Crossing three mighty rivers intersect; the North Saskatchewan, the Howse and the Mistaya. Especially relevant on this Canada road trip it is the only place for basic services including public bathrooms, gas station and a restaurant.
While Athabasca Falls is not the highest or widest in Jasper National Park it is the most powerful.
With snow capped peaks hovering above, this Canada road trip one feels as though they may be in Switzerland!
In summer when the flow of glacial flour into Peyto Lake is substantial, the tiny rock particles give the lake a bright turquoise colour. At the highest point on the Icefields Parkway Peyto is the crowning glory of beauty.
Would you prefer to cycle or drive this great Canadian road trip?
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I cycled as a guest of Mountain Madness Tours during our Canada road trip. All photos and opinions are my own.