Icefield Parkway

Frank and Bear Bear at siteFirst, after a nice breakfast we went 3km back the parkway to the Columbia Icefield Center this morning. We only had "big" banknotes. To pay for the campsite these had to be exchanged. To everyone's positive surprise, we stood directly in a Starbucks after opening the front door. We definitely liked to change money here.

After a visit to the souvenir shop, we drove back to the campground and paid the remaining fee (I had already made a "deposit" the day before, unfortunately the information in my travel guide was not correct either, otherwise I would have changed the 20 dollar bills before).

Black BearWe continued the parkway in a southerly direction.  Before long, we became aware of a bus parked on the side of the road with all the occupants looking up the hill. Suspicious!  So, I let the driver stop and made my way back with a camera. I had not seen anything so far and suspected the animal up on the slope. .
Black BearWhen I saw the animal, however, the little guy had already arrived directly at the ditch. Well, I couldn't get back into the car quickly, because Holger was now on the road looking for a place to turn. So, I kept my distance and watched the still very young bear crossing the road – unimpressed by the traffic chaos that had arisen in the meantime.
Of course, I got a dressing-down from the ranger, who had arrived in the meantime.

UnterwegsThe Valley unfolds its full beauty from here. Because now the North Saskatchewan River meandered next to the road in its milky blue color and was also less hidden by the resident conifers. Again and again, we come across great photo motifs: river, small trees in the foreground and mountains in the background. Simply fantastic.

By the way, the milky turquoise blue color is caused by fine rock particles (rock flour, glacier milk), which gets through the meltwater of the glaciers into streams, rivers and lakes.



We were so fascinated that we unfortunately missed the next waterfall. Until we realized this, we did not want to drive back the 30km.

Just before the Icefield Parkway crosses the North Saskatchewan River, there is the "Howse Pass Viewpoint". From here you have (theoretically) a great view of the very widening river and the mountain ridges behind. However, we had on the one hand backlighting, on the other hand a tour bus people who took their standard picnic here. So, no reason to stay.

Especially as I knew that you should also have a brilliant view of the landscape from the upcoming bridge. Of course, we didn't stop on the bridge directly, but behind and I walked back.

Peyto Lake Peyto LakeAt Peyto Lake we walked to the viewpoint. There was no desire for more. As if painted, he lay 200 meters below us. The color did not seem natural.

Much too early we were in Lake Louise. The title “Village” was greatly exaggerated. Actually, it was just a crossing with a few houses, which was also confirmed by the lady in the visitor center. A first visit to Lake Louise in the afternoon was negative. Although we got a parking lot, it was too crowded for my men.


Ground SquirrelGround SquirrelIn fact, it was like a fair. Many people sat, looked at and photographed the lake or drove on the lake with rented or self-brought boats. The boat rental here cost 95$ / hour. . For comparison: at Clearwater Lake we paid $90 a day.

Art at Lake Louise Hidden Ground SquirrelSo, we drove back to the "village" and went to eat at "Bill Peyto's Cafe" - a recommendation of the lady in the visitor center and tried our luck again in the early evening. 
It was much less crowded, and we hiked to the other end of the lake.







Unfortunately, a visit to Lake Moraine was not possible afterwards, because the parking lot was still occupied, and we were already denied entry at the access road.

We cancelled the visit also the following morning because the lady in the visitor center told us that the parking lot will be already occupied from 5am. Such madness! That was definitely too early for us.

We moved to our site at Lake Louise Soft-Sided Campground. I still don't know if we were locked up or others locked out. In any case, the entire campground was fenced with an electric fence. I didn’t like this. Either I camp in nature and know how to behave, or I leave it. If this kind of protection, whether for humans or animals, is necessary in areas that simply attract all kinds of tourists inkl. Insta-Models und Influencer because of their fame or myth, I cannot say.

But what I can say: The train route, which led between Trans-Canada Highway and Campground, did not interfere at night.

Unfortunately, we had now arrived again in a district with a ban on open fire.

  • Accommodation: Lake Louise Soft-Sided Trailer / Tent Campground
  • Time on the road: 10 h
  • Kilometer driven: 146 km
  • Kilometer hiked:  2,62 km + 5,2 km
  • Waterfalls: verpasst
  • Specialties: Most beautiful section of the entire trip