Saskatchewan River Crossing to Sunwapta Pass
On the north side of the North Saskatchewan River, the Icefields Parkway follows the base of Mount Wilson. A pullout just past Rampart Creek Campground has good views of Mount Amery to the west and Mounts Sarbach, Cheph-ren, and Murchison to the south.
Beyond here is the Weeping Wall, a long cliff of gray limestone where a series of waterfalls tumbles more than 100 meters (330 feet) down the steep slopes of Cirrus Mountain. In winter, this wall of water freezes, becoming a popular spot for ice climbers to test their skills.
Before ascending to Sunwapta Pass, the road makes a sweeping curve over an alluvial plain of the North Saskatchewan River. Halfway up to the pass is a viewpoint well worth stopping for. From here, views extend down the valley to the slopes of Mount Saskatchewan and, on the other side of the parkway, Cirrus Mountain. Another viewpoint, farther up the road, has the added attraction of Panther Falls across the valley.
A cairn at Sunwapta Pass (2,023 m/6,640 ft) marks the boundary between Banff and Jasper National Parks. It also marks the divide between the North Saskatchewan and Sunwapta Rivers, whose waters drain into the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, respectively.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition