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Most Beautiful Road in the World

On our second day in Alberta, we traveled to Banff. We had seen beautiful pictures of the impossibly turquoise Lake Louise and of the surrounding area and so we had set our hopes pretty high for the day.

So, um, nobody told us that the lake freezes over in winter.

Our plans for a long hike around the lake shattered*, we stopped into the Chateau and perused the info pamphlets.

Oh, look, this one proclaims that The Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper is "The Most Beautiful Road in the World." Sure, why not, let's give it a spin...

Ho... ly...  Wow....

These Canadian Rockies just dwarf their US counterparts. And they go on for miles and miles. We traveled nearly two hours north from Banff and still hadn't reached their end.

I tried finding ways to visually capture the scale of these mountains. Take a look at the two-lane road going through the first panoramic shot or maybe try to find the skiers paths on the left side of the second one.

Maybe a video will help. 

Video Link

Nope. I took nearly a dozen of these windshield-cam shots, but none of them do the mountains justice.

After driving to the visitor center... sorry...  centre... near Columbia Ice Field, we learned a bit more about the mountains and glaciers in the area. Here comes the science. Just a little. It won't hurt.

The ice field towards the top of this picture is really, really deep. Three Calgary Towers (or Statues of Liberty) could fit underneath. It feeds six major glaciers around it, including Athabasca, pictured here.

If your travel budget allows (ours did not), you can take one of these bad boys out onto the glacier itself.

While at the Centre, we hugged a Mountie and asked a helpful ranger for a nearby hike suggestion.

The ranger recommended Stanley Falls. Perfect.

Video Link

We finally got our beautiful turquoise water.

Moral of the Story: Sometimes unexpected turns lead you to the most memorable places.

* The avalanche warnings didn't help either.


  1. Amazing scenery.

    I'm not sure if you two are fans of Tim Ferris but I thought of you while reading this post...

  2. Jay - thanks for the link! We do indeed like Tim Ferris and Rolf Potts as well, both of whom influenced our current situation. That post reminded me of a TED talk (that I am pretty sure I'm going to do a post about) that talks about happiness. Super interesting:

  3. Beautiful, but I'm disappointed that Jon did go brown bear on Stanley Falls and take a dip.

  4. I know, I know... I'm going to have to be more daring. My audience demands it!


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