Thursday, 20 January 2011
Parker Ridge - Hiking Trails
[1-At parking lot just off the Icefield Parkway]
The hike to Parker Ridge is located in Banff National Park, Alberta and is one of the easier trails in the area.
Distance: 2.7 km one way
Elevation gain: 250 m
Maximum elevation: 2250m (7,380 ft)
Time: 3 hours round trip
Trailhead: Parking area on the west side of the Icefields Parkway,
4 km south of the Banff-Jasper boundary.
Check for snow conditions with ParksCanada before ascending as the trail may be snowbound in places making the destination inaccessible until early July.
This trail ends in a spectacular view of the Saskatchewan Glacier and surrounding mountains. It is a good idea to take a coat with you as the wind over the top of the ridge can be quite brisk.
It is a relatively easy trail through a forested area with swtichbacks that open up into alpine meadows with a variety of wildflowers during their brief flowering season in July.
Care should be taken to refrain from shortcuts on the switchbacks as this damages the fragile plantlife.
[5 - Trail and Icefield Parkway can be seen below]
Take your time on the switchbacks before becoming winded from the ascent.
[6 - Ribbon of Icefield Parkway seen below]
[10 - Cresting the top of the ridge]
[12 - Rocky Mountain Gaot]
These goats are often seen in the higher rocky terrain above the treeline. They tend to be shy of most humans.
The trail rises quickly above the treeline and crosses a high open ridge to an awesome view of the 9km long Saskatchewan Glacier. This glacier is an eastern branch off the Columbia Icefield.
This is another view of the Saskatchewan Glacier.
Photo Credits: -mala_x1 CC=nc-nd-flickr, -Dallas1200am CC=nc-nd-flickr, -KB CC=nc-flickr.