Columbia Icefields Tour
Travel along the world-famous Icefields Parkway Highway and discover the awe-inspiring majesty of the Columbia Icefields. See, touch and even taste an ancient glacier on this thrilling full day guided adventure.
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Explore The Canadian Rockies on a Columbia Icefield Adventure
The Columbia Icefield is a truly breathtaking natural wonder and a must-see for anybody visiting the Canadian Rockies. Covering an area of 325 square kilometers, the Columbia Icefield is one of the largest icefields in North America, located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, straddling the border between Alberta and British Columbia. The icefield is made up of several glaciers, including the Athabasca Glacier, one of the most accessible glaciers in the world.
The tour travels along the Columbia Icefields Parkway, rated as one of the most scenic highways in the world. Marvel at the spectacular mountains towering above and keep watch for wildlife at the edges of the forest.
Enjoy a hearty mountain picnic lunch at Bow Lake, one of the largest glacier-fed lakes in Banff National Park, against the backdrop of the Crowfoot Glacier. You’ll also visit scenic lower Waterfowl Lake or Peyto Lake (when access permits), a stunning glacier lake set against Mt Chephren.
You’ll climb aboard the Ice Explorer, a six-wheeled behemoth of a vehicle, and ride across the surface of the ice. These massive vehicles are specially designed to travel across the ice, allowing you to get up close and personal with this natural wonder.
Step out onto the Glacier Skywalk, a glass-floored lookout hanging from the edge of the Sunwapta Valley at 918-foot (280 m). The views are simply breathtaking, from the towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies to the shimmering ice and glacial crevasses below. You’ll enjoy popular sights like Mount Athabasca, Mount Robson, and Mount Columbia. You’ll also see the Sunwapta River winding its way through the valley.
At every stop, you will have the opportunity to get off the bus and stretch your legs. All of the viewpoints are a short walk (100 m or less) from where the bus parks. If time allows you will have the opportunity to explore further.
- Columbia Icefields Glacier Adventure and Skywalk - Venture onto the Athabasca Glacier on the Ice Explorer, followed by a spectacular walk along the Glacier Skywalk.
- Icefields Parkway -Travel halfway along the world-famous Icefields Parkway, recognized as one of the top drives in the world passing Rocky Mountain peaks, glaciers, emerald lakes, and waterfalls.
- Mountain Picnic Lunch - Enjoy lunch at a scenic stop along the Icefields Parkway.
- Crowfoot Glacier - One of the day's many up close glacier views
- Glacier Lakes - See the headwaters of the mighty Bow River at Bow Lake, and lower Waterfowl Lake or scenic Peyto Lake (when access permits).
Duration: 11 hours
Season: May to October Tours daily 8:00am
- Ice Explorer Tour
- Glacier Skywalk admission
- Friendly, certified guide
- Small group sizes
- Hands on interpretive tools
- Hotel pick up and drop off in Banff / Samson Mall in Lake Louise
- Alpine picnic lunch
Need to know:
- The tour from the Columbia Icefield Centre is about an hour and 15 minutes, where there will be guided commentary all the way. You will have about 20 minutes on the glacier itself.
- What to wear: While, for a large portion of the tour you will be on the bus, it can snow, rain, hail or shine any month of the year at the Icefields. We suggest preparing for unpredictable weather and dress in layers with hats, warm shoes, and gloves. It is usually only a few degrees cooler at the Icefields than it is in Banff, although the glacier does experience some cold winds. For shoes, we would suggest closed toes shoes. It is also recommended to take sunglasses as it can be very bright on the glacier.
- Early and late season road/trail closures may limit access to some areas.
- Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.
This full day Columbia Icefield glacier adventure provides you with the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of this natural wonder.
The Columbia Icefields Parkway and Glacier Skywalk Tour takes place from Banff, Alberta. VIEW MAP
How To Book Your Experience