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)
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.



This is another view of the Saskatchewan Glacier.


Source: ParksCanada

Photo Credits: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][13][14][15][16]-mala_x1 CC=nc-nd-flickr, [12]-Dallas1200am CC=nc-nd-flickr, [17]-KB CC=nc-flickr.


Teresa said...

I just love looking at pictures of snow-capped mountains! And that picture of the mountain goat is priceless!!

Barbara Martin said...

I really liked the look in the goat's eyes, though it seems to be a little too trusting. Those horns are quite the defensive weapons.

Viola said...

Oh, you are back again! :) Such gorgeous photos and landscape! I just loved to see those photos of yours, and the sweet goeat, I love goats! This one didn't seem to be much shy to you, am I right? :)

Reader Wil said...

What a hike! Thank you for the walk! Even if I can't do this anymore I have been out in the mountain on a virtual tour.
I also like the goat's photo!

Barbara Martin said...

Viola, I think this goat was looking for a handout. Some people do feed them despite the warnings from ParksCanada.

Wil, thank you for visiting. You can always come here to see the views as if you were there.

Anonymous said...

Spectacular! How exciting to see that active glacier. In my travels or watching travel series I am used to the phrase "was once the site of an ancient glacier" but to see this is wonderful!

Barbara Martin said...

Pam, above this glacier is the massive Columbia Icefield consisting of other glaciers. I'm glad it's still there as it provides freshwater to the prariries and down into Lake Winnipeg.

RuneE said...

It looks like a tempting walk with a marvellous view. It is the first time I have heard of shy goats, though.

Travis Erwin said...

My oldest recently got into geocaching so we have been doing more hiking.

Barbara Martin said...

RuneE, these Rocky Mountain Goats are often illusive creatures who stick to the higher elevations. The only time I've seen them close by was while driving through the Roger's Pass in winter and a small herd of them were lying on the shoulder of the highway in a snowshed.

Barbara Martin said...

Travis, hiking will help with that diet you're working on, and keep your mind sharp for potential story ideas.

My Life Outdoors said...