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Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway

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The amazing Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway, Highway 93, Alberta

The Icefields Parkway, also known as Highway 93, is a scenic road in Alberta, Canada. It parallels the Continental Divide, traversing the rugged landscape of the Canadian Rockies. It travels through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, linking Lake Louise and Jasper.

The parkway, 230 km (143 mi) long, was completed in 1940; it is named for features such as the Columbia Icefield, visible from the parkway.

The parkway is busy in July and August with up to 100,000 vehicles a month. The parkway is mainly two lanes with occasional passing lanes. It minimizes grades and hairpin turns but travelers must look out for wildlife, and vehicles stopped on the shoulder.

The one single road that everyone needs to take once in their life is the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) in Alberta, Canada. Some of the most amazing scenery can be found along it’s 230km stretch from Jasper to Banff so make sure you take your camera with extra batteries. There are lots of areas of interest with many pull outs for photo opportunities, bathroom breaks and rest stops along the way. It is also very common to see and photograph wildlife up close (remember, it’s called “wild” life, not “tame” life, so always exercise caution when dealing with animals in the wild).

Icefields Parkway, Highway 93
Milky white rivers, blue mountains and trees everywhere.

There is only one place to gas up (if you need it) in the middle of the Icefields Parkway. They know this so they charge accordingly. But while getting gas you can enjoy a meal at the restaurant, get a bathroom break or buy some local souvenirs. Remember, it does get darker sooner in the mountains so plan accordingly.

My Harley-Davidson Fat Bob CVO handled the roads well and the sound of it’s Tommy Gun exhaust pipes echoed off the walls of the many short tunnels and mountain rocks. What a glorious ride. And even though there was a spot of rain in the morning, the sun came out in the afternoon as we made our way into Lake Louise.



The emerald coloured waters of Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Lake Louise is named after the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848–1939), the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and the wife of the Marquess of Lorne, who was the Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883.

The emerald colour of the water comes from rock flour carried into the lake by melt-water from the glaciers that overlook the lake. The lake has a surface of 0.8 km2 (0.3 sq MI) and is drained through the 3 km long Louise Creek into the Bow River.

The eastern shore of the lake is dominated by Chateau Lake Louise, one of Canada’s grand railway hotels, a luxury resort hotel built in the early decades of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway.

We stopped for a quick rest stop at Lake Louise. This place is a favourite destination for scenery, wildlife and romance seekers from around the world. Even though the lake is very cold (it’s glacier fed) it’s relaxing scenery helps rest the body and the mind on a long road trip.

Lake Louise
Pictures say a thousand words.

Many tourists were discovering the protected wilderness surrounding Lake Louise. This is the only place in the world that can genuinely offer spectacular natural mountain scenery, abundant wildlife, four-season recreation and world-class accommodation in a protected National Park setting. I’m glad that we took the time to stop here, stretch our legs, take a few photos and enjoy the scenery. I may have been here many times before, but each time it is still amazing to see and it was wonderful to be able to share this part of Canada with the other reviewers.

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