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“Panoramic Views”
Review of Parker Ridge Trail

Parker Ridge Trail
Ranked #2 of 75 things to do in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Manchester
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Panoramic Views”
Reviewed 17 August 2011

This is a great, manageable hike with really rewarding views at the top - there are high peaks in every direction once you get to the top; it's really worth the climb. One tip - we did this hike on the way back to Lake Louise after doing the Icefields Glacier tour, so it was fairly late afternoon when we got to the top, and at this point the sun was behind the most spectacular mountains that we wanted to photograph. If you can't work the manual adjustments on your camera like me, and the photos are a big deal, you may want to do the hike in the morning instead. Having said that, it was really worth it for the experience itself, whatever the photos you see afterwards, and if you do any hike off the Parkway this should be it!

Visited August 2011
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2 Thank jaynie111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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austin, tx
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Breathtaking, exhilerating, and not too difficult”
Reviewed 14 July 2011

Without a doubt, Parker Ridge is one of three must-do excursions for anyone in the Jasper area. Like the Maligne Canyon and Whistler's Mountain hikes, Parker Ridge is a very doable hike for anyone who is in fair to good shape. It took my family (with boys aged 14 and 12) about 1 hour up and 20 min down, plus 30 min just looking around and saying wow. The best parts of the Parker Ridge hike is that the trail is well marked, wide enough to walk shoulder-to-should (share a chat on the way up and down), you get to experience both a short shaded tree area and an alpine meadow, and the payoff at the end is nothing short of WOW! Be sure you go to the end on the left when you reach the ridge. Right to the end. Not half way to the end. There's a temptation to see the mountains and the glacier and think, wow, this is good. But if you go to the very end, you get a spectacular view of the river bed below. We went on a sunny day and it was amazing. I will definitely be back! (For anyone who loves boogie boarding in Hawaii and hiking in the mountains, I'll just say that Parker Ridge is the Bellows Beach of the mountains.)

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
6 Thank pickytravelerAustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wetzlar, Germany
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Outstanding trail!”
Reviewed 2 December 2010

I have been the 2nd time in Canada end of November to hike in the Jasper National Park. This year i have made the Parker Ridge Trail my first but definitely not the last time.
It is also my most liked trail.
The wind from the glacier was very strong and the trail nearly unvisible - except the wooden blades.
Standing on top was hard due to the temperature of -18°C (without windchill) but the amazing view on the glacier and the snow covered Rockies on a nearly cloudless sunny day was worth all the effort!!!
I was in summer on a 3600m summit in the Alpes crossing a glacier, but i found this view more spectacular.
It is really a must do!

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4 Thank Bilderkobold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
134 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
“On top of the world”
Reviewed 12 October 2010

Parker Ridge is a real hike. It gets you well past the treeline and on top of a mountain with only a short hike and just 250 m elevation gain. And even better, once on top, you're looking down at a glacier from high above!

The trailhead is south of the Icefields Centre on Hwy 93. It's well-marked and there' no chance of getting lost. A short walk through the woods takes you right into the ascent. The trail is moderate, wide and well-travelled, and has plenty of switchbacks to temper the climb. Take your time and almost anybody can do it. Don't take shortcuts straight up the slope, though. Stay on the trail. The erosion is already pretty dramatic, without more damage being done. When you reach the plateau above, a stroll across an alpine meadow takes you to a lookout above the Saskatchewan Glaciers, source of the North and South Saskatchewan rivers. Above you to the north looms Mt. Hilda, and a bit more of a hike gives you a good look at its slopes and its summit.

Allow a good hour to get to the top and look around, and probably about the same to return.

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6 Thank petey1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
36 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“My favorite hike”
Reviewed 18 July 2009

I have hiked in many places through out the US and Canada and I have not found a hike offering so much for a moderate effort. What more could you ask for than views of the valley and back to your car, Big Horn sheep, wildflowers, Saskatchewan Glacier, Saskatchewan River Valley with the greenest lake I have ever seen, and snow capped peaks all around including Mt. Athabasca. Hike up the ridge for full views of the surrounding mountains, but please stay on the trail as the wildflowers are quite delicate. Also hike the other direction to see the best views of the glacier.

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4 Thank 2blue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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