Parker Ridge Hi Pt
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Parker Ridge High Point - Columbia Icefield

Parking lot for Parker Ridge is right on Highway 93 just 121 km north of Lake Louise (1 hour 34 min) and about 9km before the Columbia Icefield Adventure Center

Depending where you wander up on Parker Ridge is could be slightly longer one way. Elevation gain to the first intersection at 1.9km is about 240m or 800ft

Trail and views quickly open up

To the northwest Mt Athabasca center and Hilda Peak on the right

Last part of trail to the ridge

Looking back down to the parking lot

Main Intersection, keeping left takes you another maybe .5 km for a good view of the Saskatchewan glacier. Our route goes right, up a gradual hill to a couple of wind breaks but then it gets more interesting. To this intersection we have come 1.9km and 240m or 800ft in elevation

Trail from the intersection is about .8km to the wind breaks

Our objective comes into view as we drop down approx 60m or 200 ft from the wind breaks to start up the outlier ridge which is connected to Mt Athabasca. From the parking lot to the wind breaks we have gained 315m or 1,030 ft approximate.


Terrain on the ridge

Undulating terrain

Trail on the left side of the first big rocky hump

Getting closer!

Last rocky section as we approach the High Point objective

The last few feet are not too bad when dry, caution would be needed if this High Point is still covered in snow and ice

AA at the High Point enjoying a very pristine view all around! Elevation of this point is 2,640m or 8,660ft approx. elevation gain total is 685m or 2,250 ft approx.

Adeem on the High Point

Looking back down the Outlier ridge from the High Point

Mt Saskatchewan in the distant middle and Big Bend Peak in the foreground just to the left

Have to look this one up, thinking Mt Columbia but not sure

Dropping back down 200 feet to climb back up to the Parker Ridge wind breaks.

Parker Ridge High Point - Columbia Icefield

Scramble: Class 1 mostly Steep Hiking, the High Point has a bit of exposure, best when dry, caution if snow covered

Altitude: 2,640m (8,660 ft) approx

Elevation Gain: 685m (2,250 ft) approx

Ascent Time: 2 hours + or -, maybe bit more if you take lot of breaks for the scenery

Elevation gain details: all a close approx as many GPS tracks differ slightly

Parking lot is at 2,020m (6,625ft), trail dips immediately to 2,015m (6,610ft) by the sign that says 2.4km. From the 2,015m spot you hike up 1.9km to the first intersection at 2,255m (7,400ft) for a gain of 240m (800ft), then head right or NW for about .8km, up to the wind breaks at 2,330m (7,640ft) for another 75m and a total of 315m (1,030). From there to the High Point you dip down approx 60m (200ft) and the High Point is at 2,640m (8,660ft) so another elevation gain of 310m (1,020ft). so total elevation gain of 315m plus 60m plus 310m equals 685m (2,250ft) approx. Hope you can figure all that out Lol!

Best Season to Scramble: July to October but more important is a blue sky day


This hike offers big mountain views of Mt. Athabasca, Hilda Peak, Mt Saskatchewan, Big Bend Peak, Mt. Columbia

On a nice day you just want to take many breaks and enjoy the scenery!

Getting There

Head west out of Calgary on the TransCanada highway # 1 to Banff 129km (81 miles). Continue west on the TransCanada for another 57km (36 miles) to Lake Louise. Laggan's Bakery or the Trailhead Cafe are good stops at Lake Louise. From there another 2.5km west on the Transcanada and take the Icefield Parkways / Jasper exit (highway 93) going north. Head north approx 118.5km (74 miles) to the Parker Ridge parking lot on the left side of the highway. It's just a few km up Sunwapta Pass after you do the big bend in the highway. Wilcox Campground is another 6 km past the parking lot and the Columbia Icefield Adventure Center is 9km past the parking lot.