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) Difficulty: moderate 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.