Columbia Icefields – Jasper, Alberta, Canada
By John Silva
JASPER, ALBERTA (CANADA) – Near Jasper, Alberta is the largest icefield south of Alaska called the Columbia Icefields – where brilliant shimmering glacial ice and snow cover 389 square kilometers. HWY 93 (the highway between Lake Louise and Jasper) offers breathtaking mountain and glacier views.
There is also an interesting 90-minute ice age adventure that will take you out onto the the Athabasca Glacier, a tongue of the Columbia Icefield, for a stunning glimpse of icy crevasses and ice-fed streamlets. The guided glacier ice-walk and a visit the Icefield Interpretive Center for informative exhibits and slide shows is a great way to learn about Canada’s treasure. There are also impressive hiking trails in the area.
Restaurant and shopping facilities are seasonal. To find the perfect place to stay during your visit, browse our Jasper accommodations and hotels section.
During the Canadian winter on a clear day, or in summer when the sun towers high overhead, there is no sight more breathtaking than the mountains and glaciers of the Icefields Parkway (#93 North). From Lake Louise, it is only a five minute drive west on the Trans-Canada Highway (#1) to the turnoff for jasper via this scenic route.
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.
Take part in an interactive learning experience in the Glacier Gallery Exhibit at the Icefield Centre. This self-guided tour goes back in time to discover how a glacier moves, the importanceof icefields in climate research, plus current information about the area and local wildlife.