The Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure in Alberta

Canadian Flag Columbia Icefield

Experience Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure with Brewster Travel

If your travel plans are taking you to either Jasper or Banff Alberta in the Canadian Rockies, then you simply must experience the Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure.  Brewster Travel offers a variety of select tours in this region that are definitely worth checking out.

Brewster Travel Tour Packages

Icefield Centre Welcome Sign

It’s been since the late 1970’s the last time I visited the Columbia Icefield with Brewster in Alberta,  and once again, this definitely was a major highlight while on our recent BC / Alberta camping tour.  My wife had never been and it was exciting for her to get the opportunity to experience this Glacier Adventure.

My have things changed over the years since my last visit in the 1970’s!  The Glacier Discovery Centre was certainly new, complete with an Inn with 32 guest rooms for visitors, a restaurant and so much more for visitors.  I could also see that the Icefield had diminished in size over the years but still remains the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains.

This massive icefield is located in the Canadian Rockies straddling the Continental Divide along the borders of Alberta and British Columbia.

Glacier Adventure with Brewster Travel

Columbia Icefield Glacier

I certainly would recommend taking the Glacier Adventure tour as we did. This tour combines the Icefield experience along with the new Glacier Skywalk and definitely the two are worth seeing!  Brewster offer a great combination deal for the two attractions, getting the best bang for your buck! Let’s have a look at what you can expect on these two great tours.

“This once-in-a lifetime experience will leave you feeling exhilarated and inspired, with an amazing ride on a massive Ice Explorer to trek onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier and a jaw-dropping walk along the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk at the cliff’s edge.”

Columbia Icefield Monster Shuttle Buses

Columbia Icefields Glacier Adventure

Your tours are well organized with specific times given for boarding their massive Ice Explorer buses that take you up mountain to the Glacier viewing area.  So do check in upon arrival, get your tickets and wait for your assigned time to start your tour.  Brewster’s drivers and guides are very professional, informative and eager to answer any of your questions along the way.

They will enlighten you on the Icefield itself and the  history of those explorers first discovering this area and of course, the impact our environment is now having on this precious glacier in the mountains.

Brewster Ice Explorers

Glacier Explorer Bus Ride

Well again, things definitely have changed over the years. I remember years ago heading riding in a much smaller bus with tracks not wheels. Definitely not these new Ice Explorers now used to get you up  and down the mountain.  They are absolutely amazing in size and what they are capable of doing, carrying passengers safely and comfortably up and down some very steep grades.  The kids will love it!

The Ice Explorers remind me of those huge Monster Trucks but only a Bus! They weigh in a 55,000 pounds or 25,000 kilograms!

The Athabasca Glacier

Columbia Icefield

Your ride takes just a few minutes from the base parking lot, taking you as close to and safely as possible to the end of the massive Glacier.  It runs six kilometres in length and one kilometre wide.  Here, you can step out and walk on snow packed ice formed over 200 years ago and enjoy the spectacular Glacier and mountain scenery!

This is the largest body of ice in the Canadian Rockies and why the United Nations declared this a World Heritage Site.

“The Icefield covers 215 square kilometres with solid ice estimated up to 365 metres (1200 feet) deep. Meltwater from the Icefield flows to three oceans: the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic via Hudson Bay.”

It truly is like observing one of the Wonders of the World and simply must be seen in person to appreciate its size and beauty.  It’s sad though, to think that future generations will not be able to experience this marvel of nature due to our rapid growth of global warming.

The Glacier Skywalk

Glacier Skywalk Entrance

Glacier Skywalk Entrance

After viewing the Icefield, your Explorer will take you back down to the base where you will board a comfortable coach for a ride to the new Glacier Skywalk just a few minutes away.

Here, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the cliffs edge along the walkway leading to the Glacier Skywalk. You can choose an audio tour while viewing the huge glaciers and surrounding mountain views as well.  This Skywalk is truly a major engineering accomplishment!

Glacier Skywalk Walkway

Glacier Skywalk Walkway

There are informative displays and exhibits along the way outlining how construction was completed and exactly what was involved during the process.

Glacier Skywalk Platform

The walkway runs for one kilometer where you then arrive at the viewing glass platform Skywalk. Quite a feeling to stand on the glass platform looking down a 918-foot drop!  Very exciting!

Glacier Skywalk Vistas

Here you can enjoy more breathtaking views of the valley below, waterfalls, and of course the spectacular mountains above!

Reasons to Choose Brewster Travel Canada

Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure

Brewster has been around since 1892, started by the Brewster brothers who offered guided excursions in the Canadian Rockies.  They have since become a major tour and travel business in Alberta offering vacations throughout Canada. The company now owns and operates 5 major attractions in the Rocky Mountains and their reputation is second to none.  They have received the tripadvisor certificate of Excellence Awards and many more accolades over the years.

tripadvisor certificate of excellence

Whether you choose an organized Brewster Bus tour or head to the Discovery Center on your own, you simply must experience this adventure once in your lifetime.

Driving Distances to Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre

  • Banff, AB                  180 km   2.5 hrs
  • Jasper, AB                108 km   1 hr
  • Lake Louise, AB    120 km   1.5 hrs

For those of you in Recreational Vehicles, there is overnight parking allowed for a small fee for self contained units in a designated parking area at the Discovery Center.  Below, I have included the official link to Brewster’s website and to their Glacier Adventure Tour page, where you can access much more detailed information for your convenience.

As well, below is the Parks Canada website page on the Athabasca Glacier offering a more detailed in-depth look at the Glacier.

Safe travels!

A Big Thanks to Brewster Travel Canada for hosting our Glacier Adventure Tour on our recent visit to Jasper, Alberta. All content and opinions are that of the author and reflect my personal experience only.

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