Hmm, this section needs more reports.
This trip was mostly planned while doing a similar ride a couple weeks prior. The time spent on this trip offered ideas of where I’ll be headed next.
The monday prior I spoke with a friend and we started planning. We would leave after work and get as far as possible, then sleep somewhere along the icefields before visiting friends in Calgary. Toad Rock is a mandatory stop for motorcyclists in the area leaving us with a long ride home.
Day 1: Thursday 6-10PM 325KM
Not much can be said about leaving during rush hour to slab it past Kamloops. Rain started in Chilliwack and finished at the Coquihalla summit.
Following a dark ride from Kamloops we were greeted at Paul Lake Campground by the park rangers. We noted our surprise the site was filled on a week-day but the rangers noted it’s beautiful and they’ve had 57 days without rain but they had a spot for us.
Within the hour the rain began as we setup camp in the a silent grassy lower lot beside the lake. A late-night swim offered a chance to cool down before going to sleep.
Day 2: Friday 7AM-6PM
mapWe started before 6am packing damp gear after touring the campground. As we rode towards the highway a small black bear ran across the road.
The highway from Blue River towards Prince George or Edmonton is enjoyable with open road and endless forested mountains surrounding the roadway. Winding along the highway one will notice the waters color changing to a mineral rich blue/teal.
As one enters Alberta the first snowy peak can be seen alongside the highway before Jasper.
To travel Icefield Parkway a $9.80 toll is paid, or $19.60 for 2-7 people. The price is justified as the roads are fantastic and the sights stunning.
Our early start paid off. Traffic was non-existent and weather was fantastic giving unlimited visibility to wondrous sights.
The first glimpse of ice flowing over the mountains is amazing.
The Columbia Icefield campground that’s tent-only viewing the Athebasca Glacier was full so we stayed 1km away at Wilcox. As we set out our gear to dry we realized the hour had changed on account of the time zone and we did not have time to hike Parker Ridge.
Our backup plan was to take an ice bus to hear interesting facts about the icefield such as the size being larger than Vancouver and the million dollar bus climbs the steepest commercial road in North America.