When you're touring Canada and see the Red Chair sign, you know good things are on the way. The day we explored Jasper National Park (just north of Banff National Park), we saw two of these signs in two very different places.
The plan was to drive the Icefields Parkway as far north as the Columbia Icefields and then to turn back and head to Canmore. Our first stop was this overlook at Peyto Lake. Are you kidding me? This place is amazing.
Next, we took the highly commercialized but very cool tour of the Columbia Icefields. This pricy tour allows visitors a ride out onto a glacier. The ride isn't luxurious but it is interesting. Buses have been converted with specialized tires that reduce the impact of the vehicles on the glacier. We enjoyed walking around the accessible area of the glacier. And relaxing for a few moments in some of the famous Canadian red chairs.
After our tour around the glacier, we headed south for a hike up Wilcox Pass. This ~5 mile (8 kilometer hike meanders up and into the mountains and provides excellent views of Mount Athabasca and many others. Having just visited the icefields, it was fun to look back and realize how small an area we explored and how large the icefields actually were.
We pulled over for one final stop at Bow Lake to mull over the beautiful blue waters we had been seeing all day.