The road itself isn’t actually spectacular. In fact it is for the most park a dead easy drive. Well engineered, mostly fairly straight and flat. Only gets a bit steep and twisty once I think. But oh, the views. On my way back from Jasper I got to enjoy the views again, this time under even better weather. I really can’t say anything more to convey how beautiful the drive is, so I’ll just let the photos do the talking.
Starting the trip north
The Weeping Wall. A foreign TV crew was here filming some ice climbers when I pulled up to make lunch.
At the Weeping Wall turnout.
Facing south in the same spot as above.
The incredible views don't end yet. Only halfway to Jasper.
Starting the Sunwapta pass, the only particularly mountainous stretch of the road.
The road is briefly clear just north of the Columbia Icefield (Icefields Centre) as the wind is so strong nothing can sit and collect.
Heading back south two days later
A bit north of the Weeping Wall, where the valley opens up. Click to view full size and then drag the image to rotate.
Lunch with a view. I kinda wanted to just stay there. Such an incredible spot with the valley opened right up to the right.
Someone discovered why traveling the road in winter is not recommended
The lookout at the north end of the Sunwapta Pass. Click to view full size and then drag the image to rotate.
The Columbia Icefield sitting atop a huge horseshoe cliff face
The viewpoint pullout where the above photo was taken. I was surprised to see a Raven come visit given hardly anyone comes here this time of year.
After feeding the little beggar (and a friend who showed up as soon as crumbs were produced), the raven took in the view with me.
Taken from the same spot again, looking south along the highway
Icefields Centre, the major tourist stop along the parkway, other than the tourism mecca endpoints of Lake Louise and Jasper. Eerily empty (the Inn is outright closed) this time of year. Click to view full size and then drag the image to rotate.
The foot of the Athabasca Glacier at Icefields Centre. Definitely an iconic image of Canada
Same guy followed me all the way here or another local beggar?
South end of the Sunwapta pass
As usual my attempts to leave early enough to arrive in daylight fail, as the sun sets a bit north of Lake Louise
I wish my camera did a better job of capturing the colours here. Not that any of the photos here really convey the majesty of the scenes.