Hiking is the best activities to do along the Icefield Parkway as there are no shortage of views. These easy Icefield Parkway hikes boast expansive mountain views, ice cold glacier lakes, massive glaciers, and stunning waterfalls.

Icefield Parkway Hikes

Easy Icefield Parkway Hikes

The Icefield Parkway and all the hikes located in this post are located along HWY 93 which is the road that connects Jasper National Park to Banff National Park.

All of these incredible hikes mentioned here are even manageable for families with little kids.

Which means that these hikes will have to be added to the “Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies” when future editions are printed.

Easy Icefield Parkway Hikes

If you have not yet ordered your copy, check out the book on paperback and in eBook form.

If you find yourself in Banff National Park then make sure to check out these 10 easy hikes near Banff.

Peyto Lake Platform

Peyto Lake

The 1.5 km (.93 mi) out and back hike up to the Peyto Lake viewpoint is short and easy but is worth a quick stop. The trail climbs 45 m (147 ft) to a wooden platform with views of Caldron Peak, Peyto Peak and Mount Jimmy Simpson and the shimmering turquoise Peyto Lake below.

Insider Tip for Families: This trail gets very busy. Going early in the morning or in the later afternoon/evening after tour buses have made their stop is recommended.

Family Hiking Rating: Easy

Bow Glacier Falls

Bow Glacier
Picnic with a view of Bow Glacier

Bow Glacier falls follow a trail 4.6 km (2.8 mi) one way to where the Bow River begins at the base of a waterfall extended from Bow Glacier. The Bow River is the largest watershed in Western Canada. The total trail covers a larger distance of 9.2 km round trip but the minimal 155 m (508) of elevation makes the trail manageable for some families.

Insider Tip for Families: If the trail is too long then even just covering some of the trail pas Bow Lake is worth the effort for the views.

Family Hiking Rating: Challenging

Chephren Lake

Chephren Lake

Chephren Lake starts at Waterfowl Lakes campground and begins by crossing a bridge to the trail head. There is a small parking lot for people that are not camping at the campground to access the trails. The trail climbs up the 80 m (262 ft) very gradually making the 7 km (4.3 km) out and back trail easier for families. There are minimal views along the way but the final destination is breathtaking as the trail leads to a turquoise lake surrounded by towering mountains.

Insider Tip for Families: Chephren Lake is slightly shorter with less elevation than Cirque Lake making it an easier option. The trail is muddy on wet days or after a day of rain.

Family Hiking Rating: Challenging

Cirque Lake

Cirque Lake

Cirque Lake also starts at Waterfowl Lakes campground and begins at the same trail head as Chephren Lake. After a 8.4 km (5.2 mi) round trip trail veers to the left opposite of Chephren lake and meanders 150 m (492 ft) up to another vibrant turquoise lake.

Insider Tip for Families: The trail is muddy on wet days or after a day of rain.

Family Hiking Rating: Challenging

Mistaya Canyon

Mistaya Canyon

Mistaya Canyon is an easy 1 km (0.62 mi) round trip hike that descends 35 m (114 ft) down a wide, trail scattered with tree roots and rocks. The trail ends at a wide bridge the crosses over powerful water thundering through Mistaya Canyon. Use caution and avoid sitting on the rocks as they can be slippery.

Insider Tip for Families: Combine Mistaya Canyon with Beauty Creek since they are both short hikes. If you have the extra energy as a family then also complete Stanley falls!

Family Hiking Rating: Easy

Parker Ridge

Parker Ridge Hike

Parker Ridge is a 5 km (3.2 mi) round trip hike up switch backs to a ridge that offers views of the Saskatchewan Glacier. The 250 metre (820 ft) climb may seem like a grind for a small family but there are views the whole way up. This means that any water break is a reward!

Insider Tip for Families: The majority of the hike does not have any shade. Make sure to pack a hat and some sunscreen even on colder days.

Family Hiking Rating: Challenging

Beauty Creek

Beauty Creek

Beauty Creek is a 1 km (mi) out and back hike with no elevation that follows Beauty Creek to the start of Stanley Falls trail. It is a great place to stretch your legs or take your dog for a quick walk (on a leash though of course)! Enjoy the surrounding mountain views the whole hike as you follow the bright blue flowing creek.

Insider Tip for Families: Beauty Creek is mostly stroller friendly but has a very short distance that may be a challenge to maneuver around.

Family Hiking Rating: Easy

Stanley Falls

Stanley Falls

Stanley Falls trail starts from the same parking lot as Beauty Creek trail. At the end of Beauty Creek hike, follow the trail that climbs up 130 metres (426 ft) into the trees. The 3.2 km (1.98 mi) trail follows the top of the canyon past multiple waterfalls and ends to a view point of Stanley Falls below.

Insider Tip for Families: The trail follows the canyon edge the whole way up the trail with no railing. Use caution and make sure to avoid going down on the rocks as they can be slippery.

Family Hiking Rating: Moderate

Tangle Falls

Tangle Falls

Drive by or pull over to view the stunning Tangle Falls. The falls “tangle” down the rock wall and can be viewed from the side of the road or you can hike directly to the base of them. The falls are a popular attraction because they are so easy to access so expect crowds.

Insider Tip for Families: Use caution if you have to cross the highway to access the falls. There is minimal parking.

Family Hiking Rating: Easy

Want more hikes like these ones?

Buy the paperback book Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies here.

Purchase (Ebook) Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies here.

Hikes for Families
annika mang
By Annika Mang
Icefield Parkway Hikes
Icefield Parkway Hikes
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