Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

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The Icefields Parkway stretches 230 km (142 miles) between Lake Louise and the town of Jasper and travels through the heart of the Canadian Rockies.  The highway parallels the Main Ranges of the Canadian Rockies within Banff and Jasper National Parks.  The peaks of the mountains visible from the highway can reach an altitude of 3300 meters (11,000 feet).  Many glacially fed streams and lakes can be seen and visited along the way.  Pictured here is Athabasca Glacier. The Athabasca Glacier is one of the six principal 'toes' of the Columbia Icefield, located in the Canadian Rockies. The glacier currently recedes at a rate of 2-3 meters per year and has receded more than 1.5 km in the past 125 years and lost over half of its volume. The glacier moves down from the icefield at a rate of several centimeteres per day. Due to its close proximity to the Icefields Parkway, between the Alberta towns of Banff and Jasper, and rather easy accessibility, it is the most visited glacier in North America. The leading edge of the glacier is within easy walking distance.