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 Labor Day.......