Parker Ridge Trail

MODERATE 228 reviews
#18 of 174 trails in

Parker Ridge Trail is a 5.1 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Improvement District No. 9, Alberta, Canada that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is best used from June until October.

Distance: 5.1 km Elevation Gain: 269 m Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

snow

no dogs

This trail along the Icefield Parkway is a great short and strenuous hike near Jasper. After a series of switchbacks, you'll be rewarded with dramatic views of the Saskatchewan Glacier headwaters of the Saskatchewan River. Help maintain this fragile alpine ecosystem by staying on the trail. Begin the trail just south of the Athabasca Glacier Visitors Center. Most of the climbing is at the start of the trail. It quickly gets above the sparse tree cover around the trailhead and then bends southeast. Once you reach the bend and level out, you will start to get views of the glacial valley with the Saskatchewan Glacier on the northern end. Continue to walk to the end of the trial as the views only get better. Look across the valley to the opposite ridge to view multiple waterfalls. While nearly all hikers stop right where the trail reaches the ridge top, this hike can be very substantially extended, at least doubling the hike, by continuing west along the very ridge top toward nearby Mt. Athabasca. Though no trail exists here, the ridge, which is mostly rocky so a minimal effort can easily avoid trampling any fragile vegetation, can be readily followed for quite a distance over several smaller peaks till the ridge becomes obviously not navigable. This extension transforms this hike from a pleasant, scenic, but often crowded hike into a wonderfully solitary experience.

hiking
17 hours ago

Beautiful path, ideal for short legs when traveling on the Icefields Parkway. Not too demanding, overwhelming views of the glacier. It took us about two and a half hours to get there and back. No break because it was just too cold and very windy ...

hiking
6 days ago

Very enjoyable couple of hours whilst on the parkway and tremendous views of the glacier. Did this with my two sons and we spotted a rather large roving animal that we’ve deduced might of been wolverine and on rocks above the tree line. It made this hike even more interesting and distance didn’t permit any photos but the binoculars gave us a good view.

hiking
7 days ago

Incredible views for little work. Nice hike if you want time for other stuff in the day. Ends somewhat abruptly. Heavily trafficked. The Parker Ridge West Peak route is worth heading up to see a fossilized seabed scattered all along the top... very interesting.

hiking
9 days ago

Great view over the valley and glacier. A good trail for all levels.

hiking
10 days ago

The steep part at the beginning lead to an amazing view on Saskatchewan glacier after just a short hike. A must if in the Icefield Parkway area.

hiking
11 days ago

Short and steep hike with gradual incline. View of the glacier is stunning. Highly recommended.

hiking
14 days ago

Stunning. Great place to stretch your legs on Icefields. Highly recommend.

hiking
16 days ago

This is fairly easy out and back. We went in early August so there were a lot of other people on the trail, but the view from the top was absolutely worth it. If you don't have a ton of time for hiking while you're in the area, this is a great choice.

hiking
18 days ago

Short but steep uphill to amazing glacier.

hiking
19 days ago

Epic - great bang for your time - gorgeous view of Sask Glacier - no brainer way to spend an hour and a half

hiking
20 days ago

One of our favorites in the Canadian Rockies. Easy (long & steady) switchbacks to the top and the trail was clear. Once to the top you can turn right, or we kept straight and ended up with the picturesque views of the glacier below. Great spot for a sandwich and chips.

hiking
22 days ago

I was thinking for quite a while whether I should do this trail - it had rained all afternoon and the weather still wasn't really nice at around 5.30pm. In the end, I decided to do it - and thank goodness. It cleared up a bit, the trail was great (and not too hard), and the views of the glacier and the surroundings are absolutely amazing. Because of the weather from before, there were also only a handful of people around. One of my favorite hikes in the Rockies so far!

fabulous and beautiful

hiking
23 days ago

Even with the wind and rain this hike was worthwhile. Good, steady climb going up with an incredible view at the top! Took my husband and I a little over an hour up and back, so it’s a good one to combine with another hike or two in a day. Come prepared with good shoes as traction will help make the climb up and descent more manageable. The drive out to this point was stunning as well!

hiking
23 days ago

Fantastic hike with beautiful views. Check out the fossils on the rocks up on the top.

hiking
24 days ago

Well-groomed trail, many wildflowers, LOTS of wind (and,today,rain). Awe-striking view of the Saskatchewan glacier giving rise to the river! The last few hundred yards would be tricky with young children due to narrow path along a steep hillside. Otherwise no cautions; it’s a gorgeous hike.

hiking
no shade
25 days ago

Nice set of switchbacks that gain elevation quickly. I walked up with ease and ran down similarly. No issues.

hiking
30 days ago

Extremely beautiful hike for a fairly easy ascent! Very straight forward trail. We were up in about 45 min and spent some time at the top taking pictures. Probably about 30 minutes to get down. Consistent incline over a series of switchbacks.

hiking
30 days ago

great view of the Saskatchewan Glacier and the valley.

hiking
1 month ago

This was the first trail I hiked in Banff/Jasper and man, it is tough going up, but the views from the top were spectacular!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Main problem with this trail is how busy it is, and how many people don't understand simple trail etiquette, such as walk on the right side of the path. Views are wonderful.

hiking
1 month ago

You have to put in work on the switchbacks but the trail is short and the payoff is incredible! So worth it to do this short trek! We walk both to the right and to the left when we got to the top and the views are great. Can’t really go wrong on this trail.

hiking
bugs
closed
rocky
1 month ago

Great short trail with very rewarding views! Bugs were out at the tree line but disappeared once you got higher. The end has a very steep rocky section that isn’t great if you get vertigo like me, but it was enjoyable up until that segment.

hiking
1 month ago

Love this hike, particularly because you are rewarded with a view many others don't see. It's definitely not easy as the amount of switchback get tiring, but the view of the glacier is totally worth it. We kept going to the end of the trail which is only an extra 300m or so. We completed it in about 1hr 45min

hiking
1 month ago

Very good reward for effort!

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

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