Herbert Lake – Icefields Parkway – Hiking Alberta

 

Idyllic Herbert Lake on the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park, Alberta.

 

Herbert Lake, Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta,  Canada

 
Today's plan will hike the Bow Summit region along the Icefields Parkway and perform a free form hiking and sightseeing mission between Lake Louise and the Town of Banff in Alberta, Canada.
 
Driving west from Calgary on the TransCanada Highway the sunrise is painting the tips of familiar mountains orange and pink on the drive through Canmore and past the Town of Banff.
 
 
Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
 
 
 
A few kilometers past Lake Louiseclear signage points north on Hwy. 93, for the Icefields Parkway, which is undeniably one of the most spectacular rides on the planet.
 
 
Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
 
 
 
The first stop will be at the days most northerly point of the drive before heading back south towards Lake Louise and home to Calgary.
 
At the Peyto Lake trail-head, there is a six-foot snow-pack which is more than expected.  After layering up on this cool, crisp, calm and clear day the chosen trail to Bow Summit is buried under several feet of crusty snow which is predominantly load-bearing.
 
The day is warming up and as elevation is gained the route approaches avalanche terrain.  Hiking solo, this risk will be avoided and the consolation prize is settling for outstanding vistas over frozen Peyto Lake.   The stunning lake, shaped like a fox, and surrounded by majestic mountains is named after Ebenezer William (Bill) Peyto, famous guide, outfitter and early Park Warden.  
 
Back at the trail-head parking lot a conversation with a young couple from Austria, who are skiing in Banff National Park, explains their ski season at home in Austria has been a disaster due to lack of snow.  Apparently, all the snow is here this year.
 
 
 
Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
View across Bow Lake along the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
 
 
 
Further south, views are stunning across the mirror surface of Herbert Lake, on the west side of the Icefields Parkway just south of Hector Lake and north of the TransCanada Highway (Hwy 1).
 
 
 
Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Herbert Lake along the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
 
 
 
Lunch in  Lake Louise is followed by the short drive up to the Chateau Lake Louise for the outstanding and iconic view of the Plain of Six Glaciers at the far end of mountain-surrounded Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
 
 
 
Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
 
 
Castle Mountain is grand as sun from the south illuminates it's profile.
 
 
Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
 
 
At Cave and Basin near the Town of Banff, there is an opportunity to hike into Sundance Canyon.  The hike is an easy 8 KMs (5 miles) and the canyon will be free of ice encountered on an earlier visit.  Water flow is high.  Sundance Canyon is a very beautiful and easy hike with wooden bridge crossings over the creek.
 
 
Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada Icefield Parkway - Herbert Lake, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
 
 
The reluctant drive home to Calgary provides relaxing reflection of a long, varied and grand day of adventure in the wilderness of Banff National Park.  The car’s air-conditioning system is required for the first time this year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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