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Columbia Icefield Parkway - october 2008

Highway 93, the "Icefield Parkway", runs between Jasper and Banff through both the Jasper National Park and Banff National Park.

Home to many of the most beautiful lakes and waterfalls in the world, the jewel in the crown is the prehistoric Columbia Icefields, the last surviving piece of the thick ice mass that once covered most of Western Canada's mountains - a living relic of the last ice-age.

Driving the Icefield Parkway is to get a sense of the awe and majesty of Alberta's Rocky Mountains, and allows you to appreciate the character of the mountains, and how they differ in shape and size from European mountains like the French Alps.

An elk, similar to a large deer - native to the Jasper National Park

Male elk
The famous Athebasca Falls

Athebasca Falls
The gorge downstream, cut by the waterfalls through the years

Gorge cut by the falls
Inukshuks (people-shaped stone cairns) on the river bank downstream

Inukshuks on the river bank

River running through the gorge - how blue is the water?!

Deep blue river water
otem poles in Sunwapta Falls car park

Sunwapta Falls totem poles
Snow in the Sunwapta Falls gorge

Snow in the Sunwapta Falls gorge
Sunwapta Falls

Sunwapta Falls

Sunwapta Falls panorama composite

Sunwapta Falls panorama

Highway 93 through Jasper National Park

Highway 93 through Jasper National Park

Following the Sunwapta River...

Following the Sunwapta River...

The weather got colder as we neared the Columbia Icefield

Cold weather near the Columbia Icefield

The beautiful plain at the bottom of Mt.Sunwapta

Floodplain at the bottom of Mt.Sunwapta

Mt.Snowdome, Mt.Kitchener, Mt.Stutfield, with The Twins in the background

Mt.Snowdome, Mt.Kitchener, Mt.Stutfield, and The Twins behind

A ghostly-looking Mt.Athebasca - home to the Columbia Icefields centre

Mt.Athebasca - home of the Columbia Icefields centre

Panorama entering Banff National Park

Banff National Park panorama

Stunning backdrop to this cafe in Banff National Park

Stop-off in this cafe, with a stunning backdrop

180-degree panorama in Banff National Park

Banff National Park - 180-degree panorama