This 1,500-word article traces the Icefield Parkway between
Lake Louise and Jasper with various stops on the way, including
the Columbia Icefield and ends with "If You Go" Information.
By Pam Hobbs
Jasper,_Alta. In the light
of grim winters
experienced these past few
years, it is hard to believe I
was disappointed by lack
of ice and snow
encountered in September.
But then there's snow and
snow. That pretty white
fluff lodged on mountains
and reflected in translucent green lakes is no relation to the soggy
mess we were shoveling at home in late March.
Heaven knows it was stunningly beautiful last Autumn. My
disappointment was prompted by memories of another time,
when snow was prettily wedged in the mountains' lower crevices
and spindly fingers of glaciers reached down almost to touch us.
But what's in a little ice recession? International travel authorities
continue to recognize this as one of the world's most beautiful
drives. For here in the shadow of the Great Divide, motorists are
embraced on either side by an unbroken chain of mountains. At
times the road climbs to 7,000 feet ( 2135m); it winds around
mountains and forges through passes, opening up fantastic vistas
for motorists where only hikers and pack trains travelled before.
You can drive the 178 miles (286km) between Banff and
Jasper in three to four hours, but nobody does. Even in
unfriendly weather you will want to stop often,...etc, etc
IF YOU GO:- Officially the Icefield Parkway (highway 93) starts
at Lake Louise, 35 miles (56km) north of Banff. It is open all
year. Athabasca Glacier tours are operated from mid-May to
mid-September. The Jasper Tramway is open from late March to
mid-October. The Miette Hot Springs pool is open mid-May to