(Lonelyplanet) – Visit the Athabasca Glacier on a massive ice explorer on this 3-hour excursion. Walk along the frozen sheet of ice and fill your water bottle with pure snowmelt, then venture out along the glass bottomed Glacier Skywalk for incredible views along the cliff’s edge. See two amazing attractions outside of Banff in one fun-filled adventure.
No trip to Jasper is complete without a visit to the famed Columbia Icefield, the largest ice field in the Canadian Rockies. Jaw-dropping views of towering mountains surround a landscape of broken rocks and ice and pure white snow as far as the eye can see. The Athabasca Glacier, located in the northwest corner of Banff National Park, is one of the most imposing and dramatic parts of the massive ice sheet and is often only accessible through the help of specialized winter vehicles. Your glacier adventure departs from the Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre along the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 N), approximately 175 km (110 mi) from Banff. Widely recognized as one of the most scenic mountain drives in the Canadian Rockies, the route passes the iconic sights of Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, and the Weeping Wall. Tours depart every 15-30 minutes and your ticket is valid at any point for the day you have selected. From the Discovery Centre, you will board a specialized Ice Explorer, a massive vehicle with gigantic wheels designed to let you travel safely along the often frozen roadway. Along the way, your driver will provide commentary about glaciers, their impact upon the local ecosystem, and the environmental changes rapidly transforming these massive scenic wonders. Once you reach the Athabasca Glacier, you will have the opportunity to hop out and walk along the glacier. Experience the place for yourself and even fill up your water bottle with pure, pristine snowmelt.After you will return back to the Discovery Center before heading over to the Glacier Skywalk, where you will walk along the glass bottom walkway out over the cliff’s edge. After stopping to appreciate the incredible view and capture a few photographs, it’s back to the Discovery Center and a return to your vehicle.