There really is no other road on earth like the Icefields Parkway through Banff and Jasper National Parks. Over the next few pages, I’ll be heading northbound, after coming from Golden and Yoho National Park in British Columbia. This amazing drive starts with the kind of scene everyone dreams about, when they’re planning a visit to the Canadian Rockies.
I had only driven a few minutes up the Icefields Parkway from the interchange with Trans Canada 1, when I came upon dozens of cars parked on the side of the road. That’s always a clear sign that I should stop, even if I don’t know why. But I soon knew what all the fuss was about: remarkably clear, impossibly glassy Herbert Lake. Somehow, the water manages to provide a perfect reflection of the Bow Range, directly behind it (the same mountains that surround Lake Louise — the tallest of which is Mt. Temple at 3,544 meters or 11,626 feet, although I don’t think that’s the mountain you see here).
You’ll find plenty of ways to frame up a perfect photo, from right along the side of the road.
There is a parking/picnic area at Herbert Lake — it’s on that shoreline that’s right in the middle of this picture. Unfortunately, that means someone might wander into your photo, so be prepared to wait for them to move (or sharpen your Photoshop skills and brush them out). I didn’t stop at the picnic area, but I doubt you’d find a better view there.
Here’s the time-lapse dash-cam video of the drive from the Highway 1/93 interchange northbound, to the Saskatchewan River (all of which is covered on the next few pages):