Icefields Parkway

IceFields Parkway – Weekend Travel Flash

I won’t deny it. Our road trip in British Columbia, Canada is one for the books. I would even go as far to say that everyone should make a road trip in this fantastic corner of the world at least once in their life.

It’s not just the incredible nature that can’t be described in words that makes me say this. It’s also the people: honest, polite and incredibly nice people. They make you feel welcome, always sincerely curious as to what your reason is to visit their country from so far away.

And when you say that you’re Dutch, they come up with the most intriguing stories of Dutch relatives that made the brave cross so many years ago over the Atlantic Ocean, to settle in the ‘Promised Land’, Canada. After World War II, there was literally nothing left in Europe. Since Canada was so accepting and willing to take in the refugees that suffered emotionally and financially in the War, many Dutch people emigrated to this country. There are now even towns with Dutch names, that only have Dutch inhabitants or those who are descendants of the Dutch.

Vancouver even has its own Dutch pancake restaurant!

After having spent some days in Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, Kamloops, Clearwater and Jasper, we continued our trip to Banff. To get there, we had to drive the renowned Icefields Parkway. The name itself sounded promising, but I still wasn’t sure what to expect from it. I had only learned that Icefields Parkway is 232 km (144 mi.) long and runs right through the Canadian Rockies (thank you guide books).


Icefields Parkway

After having waved goodbye to Baloo, our backyard brown bear, (yes, we had a brown bear in the ‘backyard’ of our lodge in Jasper) we got into our rental, entered the 93 – aka Icefields Parkway – and soon enough we made our first stop at Maligne Lake.

Meet our back yard ‘pet’ Baloo

It was May, but it was cold. Very cold. It was also drizzling and the sky was grey when we arrived at Maligne Lake. We did wait until the sky cleared a bit, but as you can see from my photos, the weather wasn’t optimal for photography. However, I still think you can see the stunning beauty of this place, of which we had the honor to have to ourselves that morning.

Maligne Lake
Maligne Lake

maligne lake


We could have stayed longer, but we still had almost 200 km more to go that day. Like I said before, the nature of British Columbia, and especially the beauty of Icefields Parkway cannot be expressed in words. The only thing I can do is show it to you:

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway
Famous Lake Louise covered in ice

Icefields Parkway is definitely one of the highlights of our Canadian Rockies road trip.

Have you ever drove Icefields Parkway, and do you have a favorite road trip you’d like to share with us?


Note: all photos, views and opinions in this post are my own

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  • Those are some seriously stunning images of the icy mountains and the still water. Kudos!

  • You are right. Everybody should make a road trip around this area. Your photos (and most of the ones I have seen of these parks) are beyond belief. I have only been to Vancouver but enjoyed my time there so much. We can’t wait to go back.

    • Vancouver is great isn’t it? In total we spent a week there, but I’d love to go back! 🙂

  • My parents visited this part of the world when I was a teen and basically said the same things that I read here, although I don’t think my mum would have been as enthusiastic as you are about the bear. My mum always told me Jasper, Lake Louise and the surrounding areas are the most beautiful in the world. I hope to get there some day, but I think I will choose summer if I get the choice, although its really magical with the snow.

    • I was enthusiastic about the bear when I was safely inside the cabin (doors and windows closed) or inside the car 😉 Jasper and Lake Louise are incredible, your mum is right about that. Although I must say that the Swiss Alps live up to the same expectation too. There are pros and cons to traveling around British Columbia at different times of year. We had gorgeous weather in Vancouver and Victoria in May (25 degrees), but obviously it was colder up in the mountains. A plus side to do the road trip in May is that you’ll see a lot of bears on the side of the road. That’s the time they just wake up from hibernation and start searching for food on the side of the road. Our friends who did about the same route in Summer didn’t see any bears. We counted 18 in the three weeks we were there, including a (rare) grizzly bear. You don’t get to see that in the Swiss Alps 😉

  • This is utterly, utterly breathtaking – what a wonderful adventure! Canada has been on out ‘must-visit’ list for so long!

    • Hi Emma, it’s so great to see you here. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 It’s an incredible country for sure (and I’ve only seen a tiny bit of it)


    Thanks for sharing 🙂 Can’t wait to share my own photos too!

    • I hope you don’t have to wait that long anymore? You’re going to love it! Looking forward to your posts and photos 🙂

  • This is certainly an area of the world that we have been wanting to get to. I have not seen a bear but would love to in British Columbia, Canada

  • What a bear in the backyard?! So cool! I got to Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria last August but there is still so much more I want to go back and see, a beautiful part of the world!

    • Yep, a real bear! We saw about 18 in total that holiday. They come out in May looking for food. I hope you get to return soon! 🙂

  • Maaike this post is fantastic! I am so desperate to go to Canada. It’s one of those places where I’ve always envisaged I could end up living one day. The scenery is just staggering and you’ve captured it perfectly in your photographs – fab work. And the bear in your backyard is just amazing… I didn’t realise that actually happened! Fab post 🙂 – thanks for inspiring me this sunny Friday afternoon! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Gabby! Your comment really makes me smile! I hope you get to go there soon, it’s beautiful! Next time, I’d like to try out my DSLR and see if the photos will turn out a bit better (I’m sure they will!)

  • So glad you enjoyed our part of the world! We’re heading to Jasper again this summer for a little family holiday – from Vancouver (where we live), that’s fairly easy to do :-). We always like the drive through the mountains and love all the great hikes that are there…

    • Absolutely, and Vancouver is such a great city with the nicest people. I immediately felt at home there. That sounds lovely, have a wonderful trip!

  • Wow! The photos are stunning! I’d love to roadtrip Canada one day!

    C x | Lux Life

    • Hi Catherine, thanks for stopping by! I could definitely recommend it! 🙂