Waterfowl Lakes, along the Icefields Parkway


As I continued the drive north on the Icefields Parkway, Waterfowl Lakes came as a surprise.  The small lakes appear quite large, because they’re right next to the road.  They are also unmarked by any signs, leaving visitors wondering exactly what they’re looking at.  Even the official park map doesn’t clearly name them (on the map, the lakes are labeled on the opposite side of the road).

As underappreciated as they are, the Waterfowl Lakes didn’t disappoint.  Conditions were just right during my visit, providing a mirror-like surface, reflecting the icy peaks which awaited further north.

Most noticeable here is Mount Chephren, which tops out at 3,307 meters (10,850 feet).  I thought the peak looked a lot like a bottle cap, but the whole thing also resembles a pyramid — which accounts for its original name (but there was already another Pyramid Mountain near the Town of Jasper, so the name was changed to honor an Egyptian Pharaoh who, no doubt, liked pyramids very much).

There’s another nice spot to view Waterfowl Lakes, near their northern end.  I stopped here on my trip south along the Icefields Parkway, on Day 9.  From this spot, later in the day, you have a better view of the often ignored mountains on the east side of the road, as the beams of sunlight stream from behind Mount Chephren.

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