Visit this Canadian resort town to hike in the national park, go white-water rafting, and ride in the back of a horse-drawn sleigh. Read on for a few ways to spend 48 hours in Banff.
Icefield Parkway, Banff, Canada
A lookout point along the Icefields Parkway provides the perfect opportunity to stop and admire the majestic Crowfoot Glacier, perched amongst the rugged mountains across the valley. The overlook is a popular stop on tours that travel the Icefields Parkway, and traveling the road on a tour—rather than driving yourself—enables you to enjoy the views instead of keeping your eyes on the road. To spend more time admiring the glacier, hike the Helen Lake Trail. The popular trail offers ample glacier viewing opportunities.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Crowfoot Glacier viewpoint along the Icefields Parkway has an informational plaque to help you identify the glacier and surrounding mountains.
- The glacier is located high on Crowfoot Mountain and is not accessible on foot—it can only be viewed from a distance.
- The viewpoint is paved and wheelchair accessible.
- A national parks pass is required for driving the Icefields Parkway.
How to Get There
The viewpoint for Crowfoot Glacier is located along the Icefields Parkway about 21 miles (34 kilometers) north of Lake Louise. The Helen Lake trailhead is located across the highway from the Crowfoot Glacier viewpoint.
When to Get There
The mountain highway is best traveled from June through September, when you have the best chance of clear weather and no snow. A clear day ensures the best views of the glacier, which is across the valley from the roadside viewpoint.
Hiking the Helen Lake Trail The Helen Lake Trail begins across the road from the Crowfoot Glacier viewpoint. The well-marked trail leads you through a forest before rewarding you with views of the valley and Crowfoot Glacier. Ambitious hikers can continue past Helen Lake to the ridge above for even better views. Summertime hikers enjoy the added perk of meadows filled with wildflowers.