the icefields loop

Just past the Bow Glacier on the Columbia Icefields Parkway.

The ‘Deets’

Ride Distance: 636 kilometres
Max. Temp: 26 celcius
Min. Temp: 10 celcius
Time: begin 10am – return 5:30pm (stop for lunch, pee and gas – otherwise, ride like a demon!)

wow! what a gorgeous day today. i had the day off, so i decided to take a spin through the mountains. as a ‘warm-up’ i did my columbia icefields loop ride.

left calgary around 10am this morning. it was 23 degrees and stayed warm and sunny throughout the day. it was even remarkably warm in the mountains for this time of the year.


  • a troop of children walking on the highway by caroline, alberta. they were walking two-abreast and the leader was carrying a 10ft tall cross of some kind. picking up the rear was a priest-like feller. not sure why they would be walking down the side of highway 22. i should have stopped for a photo – something just didn’t look right.
  • discovered that there is a place called ‘westward ho’ in alberta. how can you ride/drive past that sign and not want to yell like a pirate or seafaring bloke – …westward ho. next time i’ll get a picture.

the temperature around the icefields dropped from 24 celcius to 10 in a matter of minutes. it is unbelievable the immensity of the glaciers – they actually cool the air and create unique weather patterns at their base. now that’s power!

saw a whole group (about 50) bighorn sheep, at, you guessed it, the bighorn dam. this is where the north saskatchewan river culminates and begins its journey.

i’m no global warming expert but every year i go through this area the dam is lower and lower. it looks about 1/2 full right now even with the recent dumps of snow. pretty scarry shit, considering this is the place where most of the immediate eastern and south-eastern cities receive their water from.

really nice first ride of the season. i’d like to venture up to jasper for a ride this summer, maybe that will be one of the next full day trips.

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