Walking to Parker Ridge along the Icefields Parkway - Canada

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During our drive from Jasper and Banff on the Icefields Parkway, we have time for a short walk. We ask the owner of the B & B in Jasper which is the best to walk. We doubt about Wilcox Pass and Parker Ridge. The owner of the B & B says that the Athabasca Glacier is clearly visible from the road and that it is a waste of time to go to the viewpoint on Wilcox Pass. He suggests walking to the Parker Ridge and having a beautiful view over the Saskatchewan Glacier.

So we park our car on the crowded parking lot at Parker Ridge. There is only one path to the top so we do not have to search for the walking trail. On the information panel it is written that it takes about one and a half hour walk up. Only 300 meter uphill and 2.5 km in length suggest it will go much faster. The path at the beginning was muddy and slippery, but the higher up the ridge we get the better the trail is. The path to the Parker Ridge is well laid out and a nice to walk to the top. After 45 minutes we reach Parker Ridge and capture our first glances at the Saskatchewan Glacier. We walk on Parker Ridge a little to the left until the path actually ends. Here we have a beautiful view over the outwash fields of the glacier and the Saskatchewan Glacier. We also have a fantastic view of Mount Saskatchewan and the Columbia Icefield.

After we have enjoyed the views enough it is time to descend again into the parking lot along the Icefields Parkway. We leave Parker Ridge and in half an hour we are back at the parking lot. The one and a half hour on the information panel to reach Parker Ridge is overestimated of the actual time that you need to get to the end. The walk to Parker Ridge not only gives a nice view of the Saskatchewan Glacier, but also about the surroundings of the Icefields Parkway. Look around during the hike to Parker Ridge. The nature around the Icefields Parkway is truly stunning!

Length: 5.2 km
Height difference : 300 meters

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