Athabasca Glacier Hike: Four Thumbs Up

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If a drive along the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper isn’t on your bucket list, add it now!

For 144 miles, the parkway straddles the Continental Divide on a journey through the heart of the Columbia Icefield—the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains.

The highlight of the drive is the massive Athabasca Glacier. Many visitors choose to ride an ice bus on to the glacier, but we found a far more exciting option to explore it.

We hiked on to the glacier through a three-hour guided tour with IceWalks. Our experienced guide, Peter, first visited the Athabascan Glacier as a small boy in 1964. He was able to explain how the glacier had receded during his lifetime.

Honestly, I had a few (or maybe more than a few) fears prior to taking the hike.

  • Would I be warm enough? Even though we happened to catch an extra chilly summer day, IceWalks provided wind pants and jackets, hats, and gloves to keep us warm.
  • Would it be too slippery? IceWalks provided crampons that worked perfectly on the glacier.
  • Would I be fit enough to walk up the moraine to begin the glacier hike? Our tour group spanned the ages of 10 to 85 and Peter, our guide, made sure that everyone was comfortable and enjoyed the hike.

At the conclusion of our Canadian Rockies vacation, we each shared the highlight of our trip and the IceWalks hike was the top choice for all four members of our family! Definitely a memory that will last a lifetime!

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