Drive your RV along the Icefields Parkway for some of the Rockies most spectacular and beautiful scenery. You’ll be tempted to hurry along in order to get to the Athabasca Glacier as quickly as possible, though it seems such a shame not to have the time to take in everything around you.
Though there are eight major glaciers within the Columbia Icefield the most famous is Athabasca. Not only can this be seen from the highway, it’s accessible too, either by hiking or by taking one of the huge ‘snocoaches’! Tickets for the snocoach are, understandably, very popular so unless you arrive quite early in the morning you’ll need to be prepared to wait for a while before your boarding time comes up. While you’re waiting though, make the most of the Icefield Center where you’ll find exhibits and information on the glaciers.
The snocoach tours last 90 minutes and drive you right onto the glacier itself where you can get out and walk around. For your own safety stay within the markers as only this area has been designated as safe. A hike onto the glacier is another option that’s great for families who are relatively fit. Let us arrange a guided hike onto this 400 year old glacier in which you’ll get to see more than you usually would in a snocoach.
The ultimate way to see the Icefields is from the air though. A 25 minute breathtaking helicopter ride will take you over six of the area’s glaciers and is a tour you certainly won’t forget in a hurry!
- The Athabasca Glacier is still huge, but it’s receding at a rate of 2 to 3 meters per year and over the last 125 years has reduced in size by nearly a mile and lost over half its volume.
- The snocoaches that take visitors onto the glacier form the largest fleet of these vehicles in the world and are propelled by six huge tires that are as tall as many adults!