Best time to visit Banff & Jasper National Parks

Parker Ridge Trail

A scenic route at Columbia Icefield area, the largest icefield south of the Arctic Circle

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Parker Ridge Trail is located near Saskatchewan River Crossing, in the northern end of Banff National Park, in the province of Alberta. It's a popular route for hiking in the Columbia Icefield area featuring scenic views of the Saskatchewan Glacier and a few beautiful waterfalls. A 5-km (3.1-mi) trail is quite short and easy, so it's no wonder why it gets crowded during the summer. The best time to hike Parker Ridge Trail is from June through October.

The closest town to the trail is Jasper. From there you can continue driving on Hwy 93 for 114 km (70 mi) until you reach the parking lot for the trail. Parker Ridge Trail has an elevation gain of 280 m (918 ft), and most of it is in the first part of the route. Once it levels out, you will see giant peaks of the mountain ranges towering over stunning glaciers. You'll find plenty of signs along the trail, and it's important to follow them in order not to damage fragile alpine tundra landscape. Hikers may see bighorn sheep and mountain goats on the ridge and even a grizzly bear.

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