(One caption correction: Herbert Lake is in Banff NP, not Jasper.)
Kerry, thanks for the correction. I'm not sure where one park begins and the other ends.
Herbert Lake is at the very, very southern end of the Icefields Parkway. Other than the fee-collection station, I literally don't think there's anything between Herbert Lake and its junction with the Trans Canada Highway. The border between Banff and Jasper NPs is about 80 miles north of that point, at Sunwapta Pass. I believe you had a photo in your gallery from Parker Ridge--that's just about the northern end of Banff NP. The Columbia Icefields (including Athabasca Glacier) are in Jasper NP. Icefields Center is about three miles north of the southern edge of the Banff/Jasper border.
Did you get a chance to visit Mistaya Canyon on the Icefields Parkway?
Unfortunately, we had only four days there and one was a complete washout. It rained pretty much all day. The good part of that was that the storm left a lot of snow on the mountain peaks and that really improved the potential for great photos. I was traveling with my wife and two friends, none of whom are photographers so I couldn't be out nearly as early as I wanted. We went to Lake Louise one day and couldn't get close to the place. The road to Moraine Lake was closed. The positive from that was that I was able to convince everyone that if we wanted to see those two lakes, we needed to be up and out early.[/quote]
What time of day did you try to go to Moraine Lake? And was it a weekend day? I ask because the Moraine Lake parking lot has a tendency to fill up, particularly on weekends, by mid- to late-morning. In addition to the attraction of the lake itself, there are two very popular trails that emanate from Moraine Lake (Consolation Lakes and Larch Valley, both of which are well worth the trek, IMO), so between the cars and the incessant tourist buses, things get very crowded there. The Parks Canada staff routinely closes the road to inbound private vehicle traffic (excepting people staying at the Moraine Lake Lodge) at around 9 or 10 AM until late in the afternoon; during that time, they shuttle people in and out via buses, which depart and return to a number of places, including Lake Louise Village, perhaps the LL chalet, and a huge remote overflow lot that sits astride the east bound side of the Trans Canada, a couple of miles east of the LL Village exit. This is yet another reason (the first being that it's the best time to photograph there) to visit Moraine Lake at sunrise: the road will definitely be open to inbound private vehicle traffic.
Our friends wanted to do the gondola ride a Lake Louise, so I dropped them off and had three hours to put into photography. I shot Herbert Lake, Bow Lake and Peyto Lake during that time. I wanted to stop at Mistaya Canyon but I didn't have the time.
Too bad, but totally understandable. Mistaya Canyon works best on an overcast day anyway.
The biggest photographic problem (besides not having nearly enough time) for me was seeing all those great snow covered peaks but there really aren't any good places to stop to photograph them. I didn't want to park along the highway and often there were tall trees blocking the view. I would love to go there again on a photo tour (I love my wife and our friends but....)
There are a number of good pullouts, but not all of them are necessarily great for photographing the various peaks. But there are more good spots not far off the road--lakes, ponds, creeks, meadows--that provide endless foreground opportunities with mountain backdrops than you'd ever have time to explore in a lifetime.
If you ever plan to head up there again, feel free to drop me a line. I'd be happy to point you in the direction of some resources that are of great value to photographers in the Canadian Rockies.