On our last full day in Jasper, we decided to take a drive south on the Icefield Parkway to witness the beauty of Athabasca Falls. a breathtaking natural wonder that draws thousands of visitors every year. With its powerful flow of water, the falls are truly a sight to behold.
The falls were named after the Athabasca River, which they are located on. The river, in turn, was named after the indigenous people who lived in the area. The Athabasca River was an important source of water for the indigenous people, who used it for fishing, hunting, and transportation.
The Athabasca Falls are approximately 23 meters (75 feet) tall and 10 meters (33 feet) wide. The flow of water is tremendous, with an average of 663 cubic meters (23,400 cubic feet) of water per second passing through the falls during the summer months.
As we approached the falls, the sound of rushing water grew louder and more intense. When we finally reached the falls, we were awestruck by the sheer power of the water as it tumbled over the cliff. After hiking around the falls we headed further south to explore the Athabasca Glacier Click on thumbnail to view image
Columbia Icefields and the Athabasca Glacier
The Columbia Icefield and the Athabasca Glacier are two of the most stunning natural wonders in the Canadian Rockies. With their towering peaks, deep blue ice, and breathtaking scenery, they are a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the area.
The Columbia Icefield is a massive ice field located in the Canadian Rockies that covers an area of approximately 325 square km (125 square miles). It is the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains and is home to several glaciers, including the Athabasca Glacier.
The Athabasca Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in North America and is a popular destination for visitors to the Columbia Icefield. The retreat of the Athabasca Glacier has been significant, with the glacier shrinking by several kilometers over the last few decades. This retreat has caused the glacier to thin and lose mass, resulting in a smaller and less stable glacier.
We left the parking lot and started our hike over the morraine to get access to the glacier. The hike was challenging, with steep inclines and rocky terrain, but the breathtaking views made it worth it. As we hiked higher, we got our first glimpse of the glacier in the distance.
Continuing our hike up, we finally reached the glacier and started our way towards where the large sightseeing buses park on the glacier. The buses provide less adventurous visitors with easy access to the glacier and offer stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. Click on thumbnail to view image
Driving the Icefield Parkway from Jasper to Banff
We finally had to say goodbye to Jasper as we headed for our next stop in Cochrane Alberta via the famed Icefield Parkway.
The Icefield Parkway is a stunning stretch of road that winds its way through the heart of the Canadian Rockies. It is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world and is a must-do for anyone visiting Jasper or Banff.
Starting in Jasper, we hit the road and began our journey south to our next stop in Cochrane Alberta. The scenery was breathtaking, with towering peaks and pristine valleys stretching out in every direction. We made several stops along the way, including Sunwapta Falls and Tangle Creek Falls admiring the stunning vistas and taking in the fresh mountain air.
As we drove further south, the landscape changed, with glaciers and ice fields becoming more prominent. The sight of the massive Columbia Icefield was especially awe-inspiring, and we stopped to take in the views one more time.Click on thumbnail to view image
After passing the Columbia Icefield we began our descent following the Saskatchewan River passing a number of beautiful lakes along the way. Finally we reached Bow Lake headwater of the Bow River which we followed past Lake Louise and Banff all the way to Cochrane Alberta where we checked into the Bow Rivers Edge RV Resort.
In conclusion, driving the Icefield Parkway is an unforgettable experience. With its stunning scenery and breathtaking vistas, it is a journey that is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who undertake it.