75 Reasons for 75 Years of the Canadian Rockies' Icefields Parkway

June 05, 2015
by Banff Lake Louise Tourism 

This summer, the 232 km stretch of highway that passes through the very heart of the Canadian Rockies, linking the National Parks of Jasper and Banff, is marking a milestone - the world-famous Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) turns the grand age of 75. In celebration, everyone from Alberta residents to visitors from around the world are being invited to share their own personal memories and moments of time spent in and around the spectacular Icefields Parkway.
 
Sharing these memories and ‘reasons to return’ is simple. By using #IP75, retro family photographs, mountain-peak selfies, captions of memories spent along the Icefields Parkway, ideas for little-known hikes and retreats along the route and maybe even favourite ways of exploring the road can all be captured as part of the 75th year campaign. The reasons will be collected and shared to make a commemorative ‘75 Reasons for 75 Years’ best-of list, which will be hosted on the Facebook pages of Banff Lake Louise Tourism and Tourism Jasper - who are jointly-leading this celebratory digital storybook.
 
As well as sharing memories, people can follow the #IP75 conversation throughout the summer to see a series of dedicated Icefields Parkway posts and content. Expect to see vintage black and white photographs from the past through to modern-day snaps, catch interesting blog posts on what to see and do along the route from Lake Louise to Jasper, get tips and insights into rustic lodges and cabins to stay along the way, find unique ideas to revisit the route and delve into the people of the Parkway with interesting accounts of the pioneers and mountaineers behind the Parkway’s 75 years.
 
Opening in 1940 after being built by 600 men over a period of ten years, the Icefields Parkway now attracts more than 1.2 million visitors every year and has been recognized as one of the world’s top drives of a lifetime by National Geographic. Located along the North American Continental Divide, the Icefields Parkway reveals turquoise-coloured lakes, glaciers, dramatic mountain peaks and Rocky Mountain wildlife. Throughout its past, early explorers, Swiss mountain guides, fur traders and aboriginal peoples have made their tracks within this unspoilt Rocky Mountain region.
 
“Whether you’re an Albertan that has enjoyed many drives along the Parkway or visiting for the first time from overseas, the Icefields Parkway is no doubt a very special place of monumental natural beauty that astounds people every time; it continues to be on the bucket-lists of many visitors to Canada”, says Nancy DaDalt, Director, In-Resort Services at Banff Lake Louise Tourism.
 
“This year, the 75th anniversary presents the perfect excuse to remember the significance of the Parkway to our Rockies’ heritage and appreciate its beauty by revisiting this spectacular stretch - maybe to visit something new along the route or delve into a different side of this iconic region of the Canadian Rockies. We welcome our visitors as well as our Alberta locals to remember their all-time favourite parts of the Highway and celebrate this extraordinary area with us.”
 
Mary Darling, CEO of Tourism Jasper adds: “Beyond the awe-inspiring scenery, abundant wildlife and unique attractions, what makes the Parkway so special is the way each journey is as different and authentic as the person experiencing it. Visitors and locals can explore Highway 93 all year long by taking part in adventures at every level. The Icefields Parkway has long-been synonymous with exploration and adventure, and we invite all to experience it for themselves.”
 
In honour of the Icefields Parkway’s 75 years, Banff Ave Brewing Co. and Jasper Brewing Co. have together created a limited-edition signature IPA brew, the ‘IPPA’ - the Icefields Parkway Pale Ale! The brew will be available to enjoy at both the Banff and Jasper Brewing Co. locations throughout the summer.
 
Parks Canada is also celebrating the 75th anniversary with a number of events and programs taking place along the Icefields Parkway, including a special edition Icefields Parkway ‘Xplorers’ booklet, packed with outdoor activity suggestions for all the family to discover along the route as well as regular group guided walks to Toe Glacier and to the Red Chairs at Wilcox Pass. A brand new 116-person theatre showing award-winning short film ‘Through Ice and Time’, created by internationally acclaimed Director and Cinematographer Alar Kivilo will be featured this summer. To complement this, a temporary 75th anniversary inspired photography exhibit will be displayed in the lower level of the Icefield Centre for visitors to enjoy. To mark the celebration, on August 13, Parks Canada will be hosting a ‘75th Anniversary Celebration’ at the Columbia Icefield Centre. A more detailed release surrounding this commemorative event will be available in the coming months.
 
#IP75 #MyBanff #MyJasper
 
For insider know-how and tips on making the most out of a trip to the Canadian Rockies, follow Banff Lake Louise Tourism’s ‘The Real Banff’ blog and the Tourism Jasper blog.
 
*Visitor Notice: Parks Canada would like to inform visitors to the Icefields Parkway this summer that there is scheduled paving underway on the south side of the Icefields Parkway, from the joining Trans-Canada Highway junction progressing 74km north to the Saskatchewan Crossing. Motorists can anticipate paving will be underway 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., with single lane alternating traffic through to mid-October. Expect 20 minute travel delays, hauling truck traffic and traffic control personnel. There will be no construction activities during long weekends (Sat-Mon). To make the most out of your visit, plan your travel and check www.511.alberta.ca for current road conditions and delays.

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