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North America has several breathtaking mountain highways running through the Rocky Mountains. Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park and the Beartooth Highway in Montana and Wyoming are two. A third is the Icefields Parkway in Alberta Canada. Between Its beginning at the Trans-Canada Highway near Lake Louise and its northern end in Jasper are roughly 225 km of stunning mountains, glaciers and lakes. While it can be driven in 3 hours, it really merits at least a day or two.
Only a few kilometers north of its intersection with the Trans-Canada Highway is Herbert Lake. It’s about a 45 minute drive from Banff, and we arrived just as sunrise was occurring. I prefer to scout a sunrise location the day before, but it was my first visit and we had been in Banff for our first few days in Alberta. Luckily the lake is next to the highway, and I set up in a prime location in only a few minutes. The lake itself is rather small, but the mountain range behind it decidedly is not. These mountains are aligned roughly along the border between Alberta and British Columbia. Even in late July, they still had snow on their flanks. I could not have been happier with how the sunrise developed. I was facing south, and the sky in this direction often has softer peach and pink tones, which I prefer.
The prime season here is summer, July-August. The highway is well maintained in winter, though temperatures in January can be brutal. If one has the time, two weeks here is not too much. I would split the time evenly between Banff/Canmore, Lake Louise, Icefields Parkway and Jasper. I hope I can return one day to hike and photograph in nearby Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor