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Parker Ridge Trail is a 3.2 mile 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 running and is best used from June until October.

Length 3.2 mi Elevation gain 882 ft Route type Out & Back
Kid friendly Hiking Walking Running Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Bugs Snow No dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

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.

It is a nice sized lot with restrooms.

The parking area is on the west side of the Icefields Parkway at KM 117, 4 km south of the Banff-Jasper boundary. Parker Ridge Parking: 52.1916625 N -117.11582799999998 W

Weather
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Reviews (575)
Photos (354)
Recordings (406)
Completed (1273)
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Lidia Couture-Perron
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Erica Petays
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Hiking

Loved the hike and view, but I'll have to do it again when the smoke is gone. the trail splits at the top, left for the viewpoint and right for a "summit". If you in a time crunch skip the summit and you don't have to go all the way to the end of the viewpoint path to get great views.

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Martin Lafontaine
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Kev N
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Hiking

Quick hike - only about 30-35 mins of switchbacks and it's relatively flat after that. Great views of the glacier on top if smog isn't an issue. You do not need to go to the very end of the trail, the first notable tiny cliff you can get good pics about 80% of the way is all you really need. There's nothing at the end that you haven't seen. When you get to the rocky section about 90% through, I highly suggest you just turn back.

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Therese Jakobsson Gebraeil
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Jean-Philippe Demers
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Duncan Anderson
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HikingGreat!

Hiked on September 12 2020 Fabulous views for pretty minimal effort. Great choice for inexperienced hikers - the trail has a steady incline, but it's not too long and never prohibitively steep, and the trail is very well-worn. Keep your eyes out for fossils, there are a ton along the path.

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Izzy Marlinda
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Hiking

Easy trail and we believed it has great views but it was extremely hazy and smokey when we did it on 09/13 - most likely wildfire in BC. Wanted to go up to the right off the trail as it follows to the ridge with Mount Hilda and Mount Athabasca views but we weren't prepared for it food and water wise and maybe if the view was clear was clear / there was no smoke, we could have pushed, but with that haziness we did not bother. Next time we are around we will complete it and redo Parker Ridge for better Saskatchewan Glacier outlook.

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refat sayegh
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Mike Short
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Catherine Leverne
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HikingGreat!

La montée est un plus difficile mais le coup d’eau à la fin en vaut la peine. Nous avons même eu la chance de rencontrer un groupe de chèvres des Montagnes sur la trail! À faire absolument !

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Nicole Huellbusch
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Hiking

Very little work for spectacular views.

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Kelsey Cox
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Hasini Basnayake
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HikingGreat!

One of my very first hikes in Banff, and absolutely loved it as a beginner! The views were amazing and came across fascinating coral and gastropod fossils from the Devonian Era (370-380 million years ago) on limestone rocks right on the trail. The hike up and down with photo stops and fossil examination took about 2 hours. Definitely recommend!

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Gui Igd
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Csaba Schopper & Gabriella Kotsis
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Amy Solby
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HikingGreat!

A must-do trail for highway 93 travellers! Not too demanding, but consistent incline for first 2 km. Well marked trail and pretty easy to walk on. The open meadow above the trees with views of the glacier river valley on one side and Rocky Mountains all around is incredible. You could do it at a moderate pace in 2 hr round trip, or take your time exploring and stretch it out longer.

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mike n
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HikingGreat!

High reward for moderate effort. An excellent option for stopping to stretch your legs for 1.5 to 2 hours if you're driving the Ice-fields Parkway. Stunning views and amazing flora.

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Bhuvanesh Selvakumar
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Guillaume Roy
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Carlos Enríquez Victorero
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Hiking

Beautiful views of Saskatchewan Glacier.

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Tom Hyde
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HikingGreat!

Nice short hike that can easily be combined with an icefields visit. Once on the ridge it is pretty flat so recommend that you go both to the lookout to the south (main trail) and then to the ridge to the north. Was pretty windy on the ridge but was pleasantly surprised to find some very well made rock shelters which cut the wind. On a less windy day the hike up the nearby hill would from the ridge be a good add on with a good looking trail.

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Lingyun Li
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Jenny Jia
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HikingGreat!
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Jillary Swadas
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Hiking

Amazing hike! super easy and doable for all ages if you follow the path and not my recording lol! it was worth the whole view finished it in 2 hours and 15 minutes with stops snd picture taking for almost an hour!

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CHUNYU LIAO
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Wyatt Sutherland
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Hiking

Great relatively easy hike with amazing views of the Saskatchewan glacier

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Ryan Orshinsky
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Hiking

Almost missed this one, stopped at the parking lot to check out which trail it was. We were quickly convinced by a hiker that just came back down to do it! Glad we did! Wasn’t a super long hike but was a bit strenuous. Beautiful views at the top!

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Jenn Oswald
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HikingGreat!

This trail was great! We didn’t plan to hike it, we actually spotted people on the trail from the highway and curiously stopped to explore. The sign said under 2 hours so we were in! Steady incline with switchbacks take you up, really easy to pace yourself and wide trail. We reached the top and decided to hike to the right side up the ridge, there are some really cool wind shelters built out of rock piles. We came back down and followed the main trail to the left all the way to the “end of trail” sign. Views were spectacular. It took us exactly 2 hours including stops and our round about exploring.

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Ian Jones
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