After arriving at Lake Louise, visited the iconic Fairmont Château hotel and the lake surrounding it. Too expensive to stay there, but we had a morning coffee while walking around the lake for more photos.
Before doing the Highway 93 detour, we did Moraine Lake which was a short drive south from Lake Louise. The lake had that familiar turquoise colour, but was quieter.
From Lake Louise we took left Highway 1, as we took Highway 93 north towards Jasper National Park. This is a beautiful stretch that had quite a few stop-offs along the way. This section of Highway 93 is known as the Icefields Parkway, and goes 230 km (140 mi) up to Jasper.
Usually a journey requires a lot of stops off of the main highway to get to the sights, but in this case many of the best mountain vistas were found on the main roads. There was an endless supply of them as we drove along Highway 93.
Eventually we reached the Athabasca Glacier. It is one of the six principal ‘toes’ of the main Columbia Icefield. The glacier is approximately 6 km (3.7 mi) long, covers an area of 6 km2 (2.3 sq mi), and is measured to be between 90–300 metres (300–980 ft) thick. It it the largest icefield in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
The icefields tour was worth the cost, as it was an opportunity to be right on top of the glacier. From the parking lot we took huge snow vehicles that slowly made their way up the ice road.
We were able to wander around a section of the glacier. There were areas marked off where it was too wet or there were dangerous crevices.
Eventually it was time to head back to Highway 1 and continue north towards Jasper. Once again the open roads of the Rockies gave us plenty to see along the way; we felt tiny in the midst of this massive mountain range.
There was no shortage to sights to see and we weren’t able to catch all of them within the time we had. Avid hikers or campers could easily add days or even weeks to the trip. The final post from this trip will have us continuing a bit further north along Highway 93 before heading back south through Banff towards Calgary.