The Glacier Adventure™ reveals the most unique attraction in the Canadian Rockies. Massive Brewster Ice Explorers, specially designed for glacial travel, take passengers on a remarkable excursion onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier. Click here to learn more about the Glacier Adventure.
Each 80 minute journey is lead by an experienced driver-guide, who shares a wealth of fascinating information about glaciers, icefields and their impact on our environment. Mid-point in the tour, passengers can safely step out onto the glacier and stand on this powerful ancient ice. Tours depart every 15-30 minutes from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre on the Icefields Parkway.
Facing the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre lies the Athabasca Glacier - a tongue of ice 6 kilometres long and one kilometre wide. Take time for Brewster's "Ice Age Adventure", a tour onto the icy slopes of the Athabasca Glacier. You will travel in a specially designed Ice Explorer to the middle of the glacier, on a 5 kilometre round trip journey. Your driver/guide will explain how glaciers are formed and point out interesting geological features as you travel in safety and comfort. At the mid-point, you will have the option of stepping out onto ice formed from snow falling as long as 200 years ago. Click here to learn more about sightseeing tours to the Columbia Icefield.
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The Glacier Adventure is located on Canada’s most scenic mountain roadway; The Icefields Parkway. This is the route to over one hundred visible glaciers, turquoise lakes, rushing waterfalls and numerous hiking trails, picnic spots and campgrounds. Getting to the Columbia Icefield is a remarkable attraction in itself!
Considered one of the most scenic highways in the world, the Icefields Parkway offers an ever-changing view of waterfalls, emerald lakes, alpine meadows and snow-capped peaks. For two hundred and thirty kilometres, from Lake Louise to the Jasper townsite, the Parkway winds along the shoulder of the Great Divide and passes by the spectacular mountains of the Eastern Main Ranges of the Canadian Rockies. It follows the headwaters of three major rivers and crosses two major passes en route.
The Columbia Icefield
The Columbia Icefield is located on the boundary of Banff and Jasper National Parks. One of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle, it covers an area of nearly 215 square kilometres, sometimes reaching a depth of 300-360 metres. The continuous accumulation of snow feeds eight major glaciers including the Athabasca, Dome, and Stutfield Glaciers, all visible from the Icefields Parkway. The Columbia Icefield is a true "hydrological apex," for its meltwater feeds streams and rivers that pour into the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans.
Guided Scenic Walks & Evening Interpretive Programs
Guided Scenic Walks – Departs every Friday at 12pm from June 1st to Sept 1st
Join us every Friday for a fun interpretive walk/hike in the area. Our professionally trained guides offer a fun and safe experience in this unique and remote landscape. Trail conditions change seasonally and our professional guides cater each tour depending on trail conditions and overall group ability. Tours range from 2-3 hours with a moderate elevation gain rated for all family members ages 8 and up. Please contact your nearest Explore Rockies desk for more information.
Evening Interpretive Programs – Every evening at 7pm from May 15th to Sept 1st
Join us every evening in the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre as we explore this amazing landscape during our 1.5 hour interpretive programs. Our storytellers highlight the evening with local legends and amazing facts about the Columbia Icefield and its fauna and flora. Bring your maps, pictures and questions! Our expert guides will be happy to share some local tips and tricks that will enhance your mountain experience with some of the less known “must-dos” found along the Icefields Parkway!
Parks Canada Glacier Exhibit & Info
Is currently closed for an extensive renovation and due to reopen in Fall 2014. The Glacier Gallery will feature a new theatre, interactive interpretive displays and activities as well as up to date geological, environment, and historical information on the Columbia Icefields
Take part in an interactive learning experience in the Glacier Gallery Exhibit at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre. This self guided tour takes you back in time to discover how a glacier moves, the importance of icefields in climate research, plus current information about the area and local wildlife. A Parks Canada representative is available to answer questions about the glacier and provide information on the area.
In a unique partnership, Parks Canada staffs an information desk in the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre. The staff provides information on the area, campgrounds, weather and can issue park passes, backcountry passes and is a checkpoint for climbers ascending Mount Athabasca. Parks Canada staff also takes care of all first aid incidents or emergencies. The Parks Canada desk is located on the main level of the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre across from the Curio Shop. On the lower level of the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre, there is the Glacier Gallery, an interactive learning experience created and maintained by Parks Canada.
Glacier View Inn
Take this unique experience to the next level by spending a night at the Columbia Icefield in the Glacier View Inn. The lighting in the evening and morning hours is spectacular and is the perfect complement to the magnificent glaciers. The modest property features 32 guest rooms (most with lofts) and each with a private bathroom, telephone and satellite television. Click here to view lodging & activity packages at the Columbia Icefield.
Dining & Shopping
Enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the magnificent Athabasca Glacier or take home the perfect glacier souvenir to remember this once in a lifetime experience! The Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre features two restaurants, a gift shop and an interactive photo shop with a photographer onsite to capture the perfect souvenir photo. Click here to learn more.