Come Visit Parker Ridge Trail in Banff, Alberta!
Parker Ridge in northern Banff National Park is a must do for all hikers in the Columbia Icefield area. Then again the same can be said for all the trails around the Columbia Icefields, the whole area is just, well… somewhat beyond belief. Giant peaks (by Canadian Rockies standards), dominate the area and the glaciers that flow from them are plentiful. It’s truly remarkable that you we can drive through such an area, let alone take such short yet rewarding hikes.
This trail is very busy at the peak of summer, to avoid crowds it is best to hike early or late in the day. Hiking at these times will also provides the best light for photography and more comfortable summer hiking temperatures. The trail itself is very straightforward and needs little in the way of explanation. There is 250m of elevation so most people will be a huffin’ and puffin’ as they follow the broad super trail to the top of the ridge. Over the years Parks Canada has been battling erosion from hikers taking ‘shortcuts’, with the installation of rails and steps. They have also installed signs in the hopes of deterring the practice of shortcutting but it continues to this day. Due to this abuse and the alpine tundra’s fragility, Parks Canada has been closing the trail from late spring to early summer, when the trail is dry and ready for hiking. Please respect this beautiful area and keep to the trail.