Parker’s Ridge is probably the best short hike I’ve ever been on, with snow-capped peaks and views of the massive Saskatchewan glacier! I’m guessing it was a little extra awesome because we were there in the late fall when the combination of fall colors, and fresh snowfall is particularly stunning. It also helps to do this hike off-season if possible, as it’s one of the most touristed hikes in the Icefields area.
The trail starts off through the trees with small views of the mountains. From the parking lot, you can see where the trail disappears over the top of the hill – that’s all the elevation you have to gain, making this an easy hike, (if you’re used to higher elevations that is). If you do go in the fall, be prepared for fresh snow – the trail was a combination of mud and slush.
As you climb in elevation, the views get grander!
Looking back, you can see the highway curving away north towards Athabasca glacier, (another adventure coming soon).
As you crest the top of the hill, a whole new panorama greets you.
In the west, the gigantic Saskatchewan glacier snakes out of the mountains, and spills down to the valley floor. We did this hike the same day as our Athabasca glacier trek, so the pictures of the glacier are pointing into the sun. As I’ve mention in other posts about the Icefields area, almost all the the sights you want to photograph are in the west, so morning is your best shot.
Even though we were told that this trail would be packed, it was relatively quite due to the muddy slush. It sure pays to go in the off-season! This trail may be considered a tourist trail, but being a tourist in the area, I can say I totally loved it!