Sunwapta Lake, at the toe of the Athabasca Glacier , is the source of the Sunwapta River, which the Icefields Parkway  follows for 48 kilometers (30 miles) to Sunwapta Falls. Eight kilometers (five miles) north from the Icefield Centre, the road descends to a viewpoint for Stutfield Glacier. Six kilometers (3.7 miles) farther down the road is Tangle Ridge, a grayish-brown wall of limestone over which Beauty Creek cascades.
At this point the Icefields Parkway runs alongside the Sunwapta River, following its braided course through the Endless Range, the eastern wall of a classic glacier-carved valley. Another 41 kilometers (25 miles) along the road a 500-meter (0.3-mile) spur at Sunwapta Falls Resort leads to Sunwapta Falls. Here the Sunwapta River changes direction sharply and drops into a deep canyon.
The best viewpoint is from the bridge across the river, but it’s also worth following the path on the parking lot–side of the river downstream along the rim of the canyon.
After following the Athabasca River for 17 kilometers (11 miles), the road ascends to Goat Lookout, with picnic tables offering panoramic river views. Below the lookout is a steep bank of exposed glacially ground material containing natural deposits of salt. The local mountain goats spend most of their time on the steep slopes of Mount Kerkeslin, to the northeast, but occasionally cross the road and can be seen searching for the salt licks along the riverbank, trying to replenish lost nutrients.
Nine kilometers (5.6 miles) beyond Goat Lookout and 32 kilometers (20 miles) south of Jasper , the Icefields Parkway  divides when an old stretch of highway (Hwy. 93A) crosses the Athabasca River and continues along its west side for 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) before rejoining the parkway seven kilometers (4.3 miles) south of the town. At the southern end of this loop the Athabasca River is forced through a narrow gorge and over a cliff into a cauldron of roaring water called Athabasca Falls.