You can drive the Icefields Parkway stopping at all the viewpoints in about three hours but we had decided that once we arrived in Banff we were going to slow things down. We took four days to drive the parkway, the campgrounds; Waterfowl Lakes, Wilcox and Kerkeslin were all nice but only Kerkeslin had good views. We stopped at all the viewpoints but in addition we did the short walks out to Bow Summit/Peyton Lake, Mistaya Canyon, Lower and Upper Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls. We think if you miss out on these then you are missing a lot.
Everybody stops at the Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Icefield and it is certainly worth the stop, I was truly blown away by the vastness of the icefield. We were a little disappointed that we could not get close to the toe of the glacier without paying for the bus excursion. We spent Canada Day hiking up the Wilcox Pass trail which provided great views of the glacier and icefield. All in all we would agree with the literature that this is a spectacular drive but for your own benefit take your time!
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