The Icefields Parkway | 08.03.17

Sometimes on these trips I feel like the universe gets together and decides to give me something really amazing when I’ve had a few disappointments. I was admittedly feeling pretty sad about Kananaskis and Moraine Lake, but it didn’t take more than a few kilometers into the Icefields Parkway before I didn’t feel bad anymore. It is stunning beyond words.

We stopped at almost every single stop along the way from Banff to Jasper. It was easily the most beautiful day of my entire life! There were, as per usual, lots of “it’s so beautiful!”s and “oh my goodness!”s. Basically your standard “road trip through the mountains with Jen” fare.

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The Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefield is essentially the gateway to Jasper National Park. It is astonishingly large, and seeing glaciers on top of mountains that were easily over 100 feet thick was jaw-dropping. However, the Athabasca Glacier is retreating very quickly, and it’s sad to see the acceleration of that retreat in more recent years. They mark the hike up to the viewpoint with location of the toe by year, and it was crazy to see where it was even just when I was born 26 earlier.

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All of the flat area you see used to be under thick ice, as recently as 100 years ago.

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This water was excruciatingly cold. I don’t even know how Teddy could stand sticking his face in it, and DRINKING it! Stops to splash in the water were frequent occurrences with this pup.

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Apparently this is a good place to see Dall sheep… we were unsuccessful.
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This place (Athabasca Falls) was an absolute madhouse. I’m not kidding you, it was more crowded than Disneyland, and with almost as many strollers (that people were super inconsiderate about). I have to say, strollers make me kind of crazy. I know they’re easy and awesome and I’m sure I’ll use them when I’m a mom, but when you’re going to a crowded place with limited walking areas, just babywear for crying out loud. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be judgey, but it’s really frustrating to get run over by a stroller when someone is ogling at the mountains and then get glared at. Sorry homeslice, there is literally nowhere else for my feet or the rest of my body to be in this limited space. /endrant
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This spot is all over Instagram, and now that I’ve been there I find it even more head-shake worthy that people crawl out to sit on that rock ledge for photos. Is your life or someone else’s life really worth a couple hundred likes?

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I waited over 15 minutes for this spot to clear. I’m not completely sure if it was worth it… but it’s a cool spot, at least!

After a full day of staring out the windshield and the sunroof with my jaw in my lap, we got to camp (which was awesome) and decided to have dinner at Tim Horton’s. (Because, did you really go to Canada if you didn’t eat at Tim Horton’s? Hahaha.) We met some cool people from Sweden who thought Teddy was the most beautiful dog they’d ever seen, and after getting back to camp we took a little stroll along the river- which was RIGHT BEHIND OUR CAMPSITE. Mega dreamy.

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