Great start of the day
The day that Jasper National Park was on the agenda, started beautifully… To begin with, we had a tasty breakfast with an incredible view @ the Stone Peak Restaurant of the Overlander Mountain Lodge.
Then, when hitting the road, we were greeted by a few herds of elk along the way. It’s the first time we came across them and were over our heads excited – they are pretty impressive.
After having taken a bunch of photos, we continued our way to Columbia Icefield – the largest icefield in the interior of all of North America. The Athabasca Glacier is one of the six major outlet glaciers of the icefield, although it only makes up about 2% of the total mass of the Columbia icefield.
It’s one of the most easily viewed and touched, after having ascended a short but steady steep trail. It starts along the Icefields Parkway, directly across the Icefield Centre. The views you get, once up there, are rewarding: crevasses, glacial pools, streams and moraines.
Parker Ridge Trail
A 10 minute drive from the Athabasca Glacier starts the Parker Ridge Trail, which is a 5km return. It’s a must do for all hikers visiting the Columbia Icefield area. Giant peaks dominate the area. The trail itself is fairly easy, there’s an elevation climb of 250m. We were hoping to see some bighorn sheep, but in vain. After about 2,5 km you get an amazing view of the Saskatchewan Glacier, which is the longest glacier in the Icefield, even though it lost already 20% of its mass compared to 1927.