This itinerary allows for maximum time in Banff and Jasper to explore the many highlights both National Park have to offer. You will travel the Icefields Parkway both Northbound and Southbound to allow you to see all the highlights including Pow Lake, Peyto Lake, Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls!
Day 1: Airdrie to Banff (150 km)
Pick up your RV in Airdrie in the morning and head west on Highway 1 towards the mountains. Upon your arrival in Banff, you can park in the designated RV parking lot near the train station and explore the village on foot.
Day 2: Banff (50 km)
The entire day will be spent exploring the many highlights in and around Banff. Start the day with a visit to Bow Falls just outside of town, followed by a gondola ride up to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Here you will have a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the surrounding mountains and the valley below.
After lunch drive to Surprise Corner for a spectacular view of the Banff Springs Hotel, also known as Banff’s castle in the mountains. From here continue to the Hoodoos just up the road. End by driving the Minnewanka Loop, with stops at Two Jack Lake and Minnewanka lake.
- Bow Falls
- Sulphur Mountain boardwalk
- Minnewanka Lake
Day 3: Banff to Icefields Parkway (225 km)
Depart Banff in the morning via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) towards Lake Louise but leave the highway to merge onto the Bow Valley Parkway just west of Banff. The 48 km long Bow Valley Parkway runs parallel to Highway 1 but provides visitors a more scenic and leisurely route between Banff and Lake Louise. Along the way, you can stop for a hike at the Johnston Canyon and take a photo at the Castle Mountain viewpoint.
After this visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, two of the most spectacular lakes in the Canadian Rockies. Continue northbound on the Icefields Parkway with stops at Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, the Big Bend and the Athabasca Glacier. Spend the night at one of the campsites along the route.
- Hike at Johnston Canyon
- Lake Louise and Moraine Lake
- Peyto Lake
Day 4: Icefields Parkway to Jasper (125 km)
Travel further north on the Icefields Parkway, with countless scenic views along the way. Approximately 25 km further north you will find Athabasca Falls, which is one of Canada’s most powerful waterfalls, due to the sheer volume of water flowing into the gorge from the Athabasca River, fed by the massive Columbia Icefield. There are several platforms and walkways where you can safely view and photograph the falls.
- Athabasca Falls
- Widlife sightings
- Jasper's dark sky preserve
Day 5: Jasper (150 km)
Today will be spent exploring the Maligne Valley just south of the town of Jasper. The only road in and out of the valley is one of the best places in the Rockies to see a variety of wildlife. Start the day with a stop at Medicine Lake, this lake is famous for its disappearing water. During the summer months, it looks like a normal lake, but in fall and winter the water disappears, and it becomes not much more than a mudflat.
Continue further south to reach Maligne Lake at the end of the valley. Enjoy a 1-hour guided boat tour to Spirit Island for the best views of the lake. On your way back to Jasper stop at Maligne Canyon. This is the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park, with a depth of more than 50 metres in some areas. Hikers of all abilities can explore this incredible natural landmark by crossing six bridges built across various points of the canyon.
- Maligne Lake boat cruise
- Medicine Lake
- Maligne Canyon hike
Day 6: Jasper to Canmore (325 km)
Today you will travel the Icefields Parkway in the opposite direction back towards Banff, allowing for more spectacular stops along the way. Sunwapta Falls consists of upper and lower waterfalls that are fed by the Athabasca Glacier. The upper falls, which are easily accessed from the viewpoint parking lot, have an impressive drop-off of about 18 metres. Park at Waterfowl Lakes for a scenic hike along these two less-visited lakes.
About 100 km south of Jasper is the Stutfield Glacier Lookout, providing one of the most spectacular glacier views in the Rockies. A mere five minutes further south lies Tangle Creek Falls, a waterfall with a series of smaller drops. The Vermillion Lakes viewpoint provides one last view of Banff National Park before your arrival in Canmore.
- Sunwapta Falls
- Stutfield Glacier
- Waterfowl Lakes
Day 7: Canmore to Airdrie (125 km)
Depart Canmore in the morning and return your RV at Fraserway RV in Airdrie before 11:30 am.