By Drake Smith
The Athabasca Glacier is one of the most popular sightseeing destinations at the Columbia Icefields in the Canadian Rockies and at Jasper National Park. Alberta’s glacier is the most visited one in North America, and a definite must for those looking for big, bold and beautiful natural scenery.
Easy to spot and jaw-droping in size, Athabasca’s impressive length of six kilometers is measured between 90 to 300 meters thick. What’s surprising to most is that the glacier actually moves several centimeters per day over the three bedrock steps and down towards the valley.
Both standard buses and snow coaches tote travelers up for a closer look, and the Icefield Interpretive Center is a lodge and ticket sales area for the glacier. However remember to follow designated path signs, as deep crevasses are hidden in the glacier.
Visitors shouldn’t miss a stop at Athabasca Glacier because it won’t be around forever. It’s estimated this glacier recedes at 20 to 30 meters per year, and has lost over half of its volume in the past 125 years due to a warmer climate.
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