Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
“Oh my gawd, did you see that?”
“Look, look…look at that mountain!”
“Sigh… everything is so PRETTY!”
We uttered one gushing exclamation over another. I imagine this is what typically goes on inside every car driving on the Icefield Parkway, .
Icefield Parkway is a scenic road between Banff and Jasper that passes through gush-worthy view to another: ridiculously turquoise lakes, snow-covered peaks that were slam-bammed right by the roads, and if you’re lucky, the occasional moose and bears.
Here you can also find the trailhead of Parker Ridge. Many consider Parker Ridge to be one of the best day hikes in the Canadian Rockies. It also happens to be a favorite of ours. A favorite because it’s a hike that offers a great reward for small amount of effort.
The trail is only about 1 mile long
It goes up… surprise, surprise… to the ridge. There isn’t an end to the trail per-se, it just ends up at a wide area where you’re free to go as far or as little as you like.
The view that awaits from the ridge can’t be seen from the road. It’s kind of cool that way because you didn’t really know what to expect until you get up there. It’s never easy to describe a view. There are only so many times you can use the word ‘majestic’ or ‘awesome’ before they become meaningless.
Believe me when I say the view is worth the hike.
A few years back we went hiked up Parker Ridge for the first time. It was a cold, drizzly day and there wasn’t any other hikers. There only living things we spotted were hundreds of mountain goats running, no, stampeding, across the ridge. It was an incredible sight.
The second time we hiked up the ridge was during the roadtrip we took last month. We were in a hurry. We didn’t realise how far north Jasper was from Banff and we needed to start making our way back to Montana. The plan was to quickly run up the trail, take pictures, and run back.
But when I got up there, I got sucked in by the view. There were no mountain goats this time.
Just soaring walls in front me
snow covered peaks…
and the accompanying feeling of gratitude that I’m so luck to be able to see all of this.
You get all of that for a 30 minute effort. The hike is so easy that everybody and their uncles can do it. Can you see how this might become your favorite hike as well?
Parker Ridge Hike
The trailhead to Parker Ridge is on the Icefield Parkway between Banff and Jasper. Just right before the Athabasca Glacier Parking Area.
I haven't done this hike either but have heard about it. I'm going to do a 3 day backpack across the street past Nigel Pass over Labour Day WE and am heading to the Skoki area this AM.
My recent post A Trip to Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick – On Foot & By Kayak
Amazing scenery! I am one province over in BC and am guilty to admit that I am not much of a hiker although these photos make me want to get out there and climb those mountains!
My recent post British Columbian RoadTrip & Murrin Provincial Park, BC, Canada
What breathtaking scenery. Looks like a really wonderful area.
Wow all these pictures are amazing! The first one really took my breath away. It just almost doesn't look real!
Wow, what the fantastic views! the snow looking wonderful on the rocks. such an amazing place to the hiking….
My recent post Matchless Mauritius: wants to visit again
This looks stunning AND doesn't take too much effort! It looks like the perfect little hike! I'd love to visit the Rockies!
My recent post Piloting a Stunt Plane in Abel Tasman
Your last photo is stunning. Love it that you have lush green mountains against glaciers.
My recent post The ups and downs of work field trips to rural Cambodia
So gorgeous! I especially love that photo of the glacier from above. Definitely worth the 30 minute hike up.
My recent post Best Reads: July 2013
Very Amazing pictures.. Canada is very beautiful destination. Thank you..
Wow – that is one part of Canada I have yet to visit! Kicking myself right now.
My recent post Summer In Montreal Bucket List
that is stunning and I love how you included people so there is scale to the images to show how grand it really is….wow!
This looks like Parker Ridge, looking over the Saskatchewan Glacier.
Did that one last year. Ditto on your impressions.
Oh my gawd!! Those are indeed majestic views. I'd love to see it for myself. Such a great reward for a short hike. It's normally a kind of view you'll have to go long distance to see. Thanks for the jaw-dropping photos.
My recent post Jordan: Along the Highway of Great History
Wow, those are some stunning views for just 30 minutes of effort! Sounds like a great hike!
Wow. What gorgeous scenery, and I like that it didn't take you all day to hike there…kinda more my style 🙂 I definitely need to check out Canada more.
My recent post Photo Friday: In the Delta
Is the trailhead close to the Wilcox Pass parking area. I've done that hike and the scenery is equally superb. LOVE your photos. There are so many great hikes to choose from aren't there. I still hope to do a few backpacking trips in the Rockies this summer.
These pictures are so gorgeous that they almost look unreal! I especially like the first one with the car on the road – it looks so small in comparison to the mountains. Canada is such a beautiful country!
My recent post Beach Bummin’ in Tybee Island Georgia