The best ways to see Alberta’s glaciers


Among the most popular reasons to book flights to Canada is to visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rocky Mountains, stretching for 180,000 square kilometres through the beautiful provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Visit this part of the country and prepare to be amazed as you encounter emerald-hued lakes, tumbling waterfalls and some of the world’s most famous national parks.

What you may not realise is that more than 100 glaciers sit along the scenic stretch of road between Jasper and Lake Louise—the Columbia Icefield being the largest. Whether travelling by all-terrain transporter, on foot, or via Glacier Skywalk, there are many ways you can experience these natural wonders in all their glory.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that some tours are seasonal, operating from April or May until October and can get booked far in advance, so be sure to reserve your place early! Get in touch with our Canada Experts for more information on how to book excursions.

Witness impressive views from the Columbia Icefield Skywalk

One of the best ways to experience these spectacular landscapes from above is the Columbia Icefield Skywalk—a 1-kilometre cliff-edge walkway towering 1,000 feet above ground. Featuring six interpretive stations, the Skywalk is a new way to connect with nature, leading to a glass-floored observation platform 918 feet above the Sunwapta Valley. In addition to the breath-taking views you’ll experience, the architecture of the Skywalk is also particularly impressive with a contemporary design and boasting virtually no carbon footprint.

Take a Guided Ice Walk

You can also explore the Columbia Icefield on foot, thanks to various interpretive, guided hikes. As well as taking you to hard to reach areas, the ice walks are an opportunity to learn about different glacier formations and view some spectacular ice-carved landscapes in the company of an experienced guide. All guided ice walk tours also come with steel ice cleats to minimise slipping hazards. And if you’d rather have the experience at night, you can take a tour under the stars (headlamp supplied).

Ice Explorer Ride on the Athabasca Glacier

If you’re booking a flight to Canada, the Athabasca Glacier (one of the six principal glaciers fed by the Columbia Icefields) is a must-visit—and an Ice Explorer Ride takes you right into the heart of it. Huge vehicles designed specifically to take on the icefield terrain are driven by experienced guides who share information about glaciers and their impact on our environment. Tours typically last between about 75 and 90 minutes, with some also giving you the chance to hop off the bus and walk on the ice.

Columbia Icefield Helitours

For views that stretch as far as the eye can see, a helicopter tour is a great way to experience the Canadian Rockies. Soar high above miles of icy glaciers and some of Canada’s most stunning mountain landscapes. This is the perfect choice for those who like to venture off the beaten track and fully immerse themselves in Canada’s adventurous side. Some tours also offer the chance to stop for a hike or snowshoeing excursion.

Dine at the Altitude Restaurant

Fancy glacier views while dining? The Altitude Restaurant offers something truly unique. Featuring locally-sourced Canadian cuisine, choose to enjoy breakfast (between 7:30 am and 9:30 am), lunch (between 10:45 am and 2:45 pm) or dinner (between 6 pm and 9 pm) with the perfect Canadian backdrop. The menu is developed by Executive Chef Martin Brenner with options for both buffet-style and à la carte dining.

Call our Canada Experts today for more information or to book your flights to Canada

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