As I continued down the Icefields Parkway I was astonished at the continuous beauty that unfolded before me. These next few are of the Columbia Icefield. These are the largest glacier fields south of the arctic circle. As you can see when I arrived in late July the glaciers were down to the smallest they have been ever. While it was July and these were the smallest they would be all year, this was also the first time I could physically see the effects of global warming. What used to stretch all the way down to the road, and across the mountains had shrunk to a fraction of its original size.
All the water in this area really is that beautiful bright teal color. This comes from being glacier water, the glacier will pull rock salt down with it and creates this sediment in the water. It may be my favorite natural effect on water.
It was hard to drive along this parkway, every second there was a new breathtaking a natural feature. Along the road are several lakes and vantage spots that one should take advantage of. The first being Peyto Lake. This viewpoint is easy to access and only a short walk from a parking lot. While overlooking the lake you can easily see how the valley was formed by glaciers, reminiscent of a very ancient time.
Peyto Lake feeds into Bow lake, pictured below.
Out of all of the roads traveled this summer, the Icefields Parkway was by far the most beautiful. I hope to come back someday and see it in the different seasons. While the Canadian Rockies actually reach much smaller altitudes than the Colorado Rockies, their steep verticality makes them seem much more massive.
Heres to one day going back!