Canada offers uniquely difficult features for the development of a national transportation system. Topography provides difficult conditions for long-haul transport, therefore, in order to provide the services shippers want and the national economy demands, transport facilities of varied sort must reach some four thousand miles from St. John's, Newfoundland, to the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia. Since World War II, Canada has seen a transformation in transportation services. Trade between Canadian provinces and the United States is a dominant factor contributing towards economic developments in transportation. Water, rail, road, air or pipe travel has enabled individuals easy access throughout the universe. The importance of the Columbia Icefields Parkway, Alberta, is that it overcomes the province's physical geography, influences historical settlement patterns and impacts both social and economic development in the region. .
Alberta boasts some of the most dramatic landscapes on earth. Nothing in this province was made in moderation. It is a world of towering cliffs, giant rivers, and infinite prairie. Alberta also embodies the Columbia Ice fields Parkway, a major highway establishment on the western border. Some sources quote the Ice fields Parkway as running between Banff and Jasper. However, strictly speaking the name Ice fields Parkway refers only to Highway 93 between the town of Lake Louise and Jasper, Alberta (picture 1). The Ice fields Parkway is virtually unparalleled for beauty as it runs alongside a chain of massive ice fields straddling the Continental Divide. At every turn of the road there are breath taking views of towering snow- covered mountains, alpine lakes, and of course the spectacular ice fields and glaciers. The largest of the chain of ice fields along the Great Divide is the Columbia Ice field. People traveling the Icefields Parkway usually allow themselves one of two days to experience everything it has to offer.