Icefield Parkway and Jasper National Park

Icefield Parkway and Jasper National Park

Our drive from Banff to Jasper led us on one of the most gorgeous drives of the world (according to many sources, not just my opinion), the Icefield Parkway.  It was BREATHTAKING, and we all rotated through the front seat to give everyone a chance to see the goodness firsthand in the best seat possible.

Along the way, we stopped many times.  There were several viewpoints along the way that were especially great - waterfalls, glacial views, and the most dramatic views of the Canadian Rockies.  We also had some bear sightings...

We also stopped at Peyto Lake, and hiked to an overlook…and I am so glad we did.  This lake was gorgeous, and the most amazing teal blue color.

Our most lengthy stop was along the Icefield Parkway at the Columbia Icefield, the location of 6 glaciers, the most stunning of which was the Athabasca Glacier.  We visited the Visitor Center and watched an artsy movie there, and then did a tour of the Skywalk, which was incredible.  Suspended in the air in a horseshoe shaped walk with glass floors, we had the most amazing views of the valley and glaciers.  Justin, Quinn, and Brady opted to do the walk on the quick side, as the heights were getting to them a bit  LOL.  Hayden and I spent some extended time on the walk, and we all really enjoyed the audio tour.  I think Quinn listened to the information on each stop twice…LOL.

After the Skywalk, we decided to hike to see the Athabasca Glacier up close.  We couldn’t touch the ice, as the trail didn’t lead us all the way to the edge, but we got some great up close views of an actual Glacier, which the boys thought was pretty cool.

We drove the rest of the way to Jasper that evening, and stopped at Athabasca Falls on our way.  The canyon was amazing, carved by the river.

We arrived at Wabasso Campground that evening, made dinner, and roasted some s’mores.

Our second day in Jasper, we headed into the town of Jasper first thing, and visited the Visitor Center for some recommendations, and so that the kids could be sworn in as Junior Rangers.  We then headed out to Maligne Canyon, where we planned to spend a big chunk of the day.

Our hike led us through the most amazing canyon carved in the most beautiful layers, over five different bridges.  There was tons of moss and lush vegetation from the spray of the river and waterfalls along the way.  

Our hike back was INTENSE (we later found out it was in the BLACK category, the hardest level of hike, even though it had been recommended by a ranger that morning), but the boys stuck it out.  I am SO PROUD of the hikers they have become, and I know they are, too.  We made it back to our RV, and headed into town for a bit, and the boys had fun exploring a kids exhibit about the park.

That evening, we relaxed at our campsite, which we really loved.

 We also made some Jiffy Pop over the fire, which was a huge hit with the kids (including Justin!)...

Goodbye, Jasper!!!


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