Columbia Icefield

Columbia Icefield: Our most recommended tours and activities

Banff: Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour

1. Banff: Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour

Discover the Athabasca Glacier on a guided tour from Banff. Journey along the scenic Icefields Parkway and climb into an Ice Explorer vehicle to explore the awesome glacier. Experience breathtaking views of the Sunwapta Valley as you step across the Glacier Skywalk. Get picked up from your Banff hotel in a modern mini bus by your friendly guide. Departing from Banff, your guide will welcome you on the tour with an overview of where you'll be headed as you sit back and enjoy the ride along the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most stunning scenic drives. Benefit from a tour where you don’t have to navigate or watch the road. Sit back, relax, and focus on the amphitheater of mountains towering above as you keep your eyes peeled for wildlife at the edges of the forest. Stop at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre and board an Ice Explorer vehicle. Drive onto the Athabasca Glacier, learn about its history, and take some free time to soak up the views. Touch this ancient sheet of ice and even drink pure, cold water straight from the glacier. Head to the nearby glass floor Glacier Skywalk and follow the 1-kilometer walkway that leads to a platform where glass is all that separates you from a 918-foot drop. Witness the giant glaciers perched above you and admire the views of the spectacular Sunwapta Valley spread out below. Enjoy a scenic stop for a hearty packed lunch of a sandwich, juice, fruit, chips, and brownies. Visit iconic landmarks along the Icefields Parkway such as Bow Lake, the headwaters of the mighty Bow River before heading back to Banff.

Canadian Rockies: Scenic Helicopter Tour

2. Canadian Rockies: Scenic Helicopter Tour

Choose between a 20-minute, 30-minute, or 55-minute tour over the Canadian Rockies with a professional pilot. The day starts at the helicopter base surrounded by mountain views. Go through a thorough safety briefing with the flight crew before learning about the controls and getting kitted out with a professional headset. Feel the excitement build as the crew readies for takeoff. Once in the air, the itinerary will vary depending on the option selected. Either way, breathtaking sights are guaranteed. 20-Minute Tour Deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, take in an incredible view of Abraham Lake - its incredible blue color and unique bubble patterns are truly a sight to see. After a glimpse of the lake, continue the flight around the Canadian Rockies. 30-Minute Tour The most popular of the 3 flights, this adventure covers crevasses, glaciers, and waterfalls over the beautiful Wilson Icefield. Soar at a cool 100mph, 9000ft (2900m) over Cline Pass. Admire the impressive fierceness of the mountains while flying alongside them. 55-Minute Tour The “Complete Columbia Icefields Tour” is just that – a complete, full, 55 minutes of gorgeous scenery and ancient ice. See the iconic Columbia Icefield the way it was intended, an awe-mazing trip highlight to remember for years to come. Marvel at incredible panoramas of waterfalls, emerald-green lakes, and mountain ridges. Pass over 6 different glaciers surrounded by frozen lakes and waterfalls. Many mountains reveal themselves along the trip, including Purple Mountain, Mount Cline, Resolute Mountain, Mount Harlan, Minster Mountain, and more. This trip is sure to leave anyone speechless. All the trips end with one last 360-degree view of the Canadian Rockies and Abraham Lake before landing softly back at the heliport.

Jasper: Transfer to Banff/Lake Louise w/ Columbia Icefields

3. Jasper: Transfer to Banff/Lake Louise w/ Columbia Icefields

Your journey through two of Canada's most renowned national parks: Jasper National Park and Banff National Park, commences the moment your friendly driver/guide meets you at your hotel or approved accommodation. Departing the picturesque mountain town of Jasper, you will travel the Columbia Icefields Parkway, truly one of the most scenic roadways in the world. Take in the magnificent scenery and make several stops along the route to appreciate the region's breathtaking beauty. Along the way, highlights include Athabasca Falls, the Columbia Icefields, the Weeping wall, Petyo Lake, Bow Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, Saskatchewan Crossing and Lake Louise. You will also partake in a delicious picnic lunch at a scenic viewpoint during this journey. At the Columbia Icefields you will take part in a Glacier adventure to Athabasca Glacier as well as experience the Glacier Skywalk for vistas over the Sunwapta Valley. This interpretive tour is designed to provide the optimum in guide and passenger interaction. Small vehicles and group sizes are guaranteed in order to make your journey in this stunning environment memorable. Have your camera ready, as this remote region of the world provides you with excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.

Icefields Parkway: Smartphone Audio Driving Tour

4. Icefields Parkway: Smartphone Audio Driving Tour

Discover the incredible Icefields Parkway with this smartphone audio tour between Lake Louise and Jasper. Let your audio guide transform this beautiful scenic drive into a sight-seeing, fact-finding, trivia-answering, family-friendly adventure. With your phone or tablet at your guide (download instructions found on your confirmation voucher), start from either Jasper or Lake Louise, and end at the other. Enjoy the same tour experience in either direction. Watch as your audio guide point out must-see sights, attractions, breathtaking mountains, and glaciers that you pass along the journey. Learn about the area's early pioneers, animals, geography, and the historical events that led to the highway’s creation. Take in the panoramic views of Lake Hector and Bow Lake, and stop for easy trails in Banff National Park. Explore the Columbia Icefields and the Columbia Icefields Discovery Center. See the majestic Dolomite and Bow Peaks, Mount Amery, Mount Murchison, and Mount Wilson. Take in the gorgeous Sunwapta Falls where the water flows from the melting Athabasca Glacier. Hear about the people and events that made the area famous like Mary Shaffer Warren, Bill Peyto, George Simpson, and the Palliser Expedition. Easily navigate your tour and enjoy entertainment suitable for all ages. Stay laughing and engaged with your friends or family along the way with trivia fun. Hear fun audio clips that play automatically as you drive using a live GPS map. Try out multiple-choice trivia questions about the sights at each point of interest you pass. With no time constraints, enjoy the freedom to stop anywhere and take your time exploring.

Canadian Rockies 7–Day National Parks Group Tour

5. Canadian Rockies 7–Day National Parks Group Tour

Day 1: Seattle to Kamloops Kamloops British Columbia is abundant with stunning scenery and great wildlife . Cougars, bears, elk, and more inhabit the Thomson River Valley. Stop for a short walk and picnic at Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park.  Day 2: Yoho National Park Explore trails around the magnificent Emerald Lake or simply relax in the lakeshore cafe and enjoy the views. Drive along the Kicking Horse Pass across the Continental Divide into Alberta. Enjoy panoramic vistas of peaks exceeding 10,000 feet on Rogers Pass at the summit in Canada's Glacier National Park en route to Banff, your night stop. Day 3:  Banff National Park - Lake Louise Lake Louise is an alpine lake known for its stunning turquoise glacier-fed waters, surrounded by high peaks and overlooked by a stately chateau. Multiple hiking trails lead to the Lake Agnes Tea House for bird's-eye views of the lake. Take a hike to the Plain-of-Six-Glaciers, take it easy exploring the lakeshore or choose to canoe on these pristine waters. Visit Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately 6,183 feet, for some epic photos. Day 4: Icefields Parkway Spend the day driving and exploring the Icefields Parkway. This drive offers endless vistas, jagged mountains, glaciers and wildlife viewing opportunities. Enjoy short walks, views of Bow Glacier and Peyto lake, take an optional helicopter flight over the Columbia Icefield, or strap on some crampons and step out onto the Athabasca glacier. Day 5: Jasper National Park Enjoy Canada's largest National Park, Jasper. Marvel at the snowcapped summits and beautiful lakes in this true wild mountain wilderness. Jasper offers an abundance of wildlife sightings, jagged mountain peaks, alpine lakes and numerous hiking and biking opportunities. Choose to visit Miette hot springs, or hike/bike the famous trails around stunning lakeshores. After a full day of activities, follow the Yellowhead Highway, hugging the mighty North Thompson River to your night stop of Cleawater BC. See the base of 12,972-foot Mount Robson (the highest point in the Canadian Rockies) and maybe catch a glimpse of the infamous peak en route. Day 6: Whistler and Vancouver On to the alpine resort of Whistler, nestled at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Today is yours to explore all that Whistler has to offer. Enjoy spectacular scenery and incredible photo opportunities as you explore this ski town, home of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Drive the spectacular Sea to Sky highway for your evening in Vancouver. Day 7: Vancouver and Seattle This morning, tour Vancouver, including the waterfront, Gas lamp district, Chinatown, and Stanley Park. Head to Seattle for a your evening downtown or drop off at the departure hotel.

Canada 7–Day National Parks Camping Tour from Seattle

6. Canada 7–Day National Parks Camping Tour from Seattle

Day 1: Seattle to Kamloops Kamloops British Columbia is abundant with stunning scenery and great wildlife . Cougars, bears, elk, and more inhabit the Thomson River Valley. Stop for a short walk and picnic at Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park. Spend your evening under the stars with your provided camping equipment. Day 2: Yoho National Park Explore trails around the magnificent Emerald Lake or simply relax in the lakeshore cafe and enjoy the views. Drive along the Kicking Horse Pass across the Continental Divide into Alberta. Enjoy panoramic vistas of peaks exceeding 10,000 feet on Rogers Pass at the summit in Canada's Glacier National Park en route to Banff, where you will spend your night camping. Day 3:  Banff National Park - Lake Louise Lake Louise is an alpine lake known for its stunning turquoise glacier-fed waters, surrounded by high peaks and overlooked by a stately chateau. Multiple hiking trails lead to the Lake Agnes Tea House for bird's-eye views of the lake. Take a hike to the Plain-of-Six-Glaciers, take it easy exploring the lakeshore or choose to canoe on these pristine waters. Visit Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately 6,183 feet, for some epic photos, before setting up camp. Day 4: Icefields Parkway Spend the day driving and exploring the Icefields Parkway. This drive offers endless vistas, jagged mountains, glaciers and wildlife viewing opportunities. Enjoy short walks, views of Bow Glacier and Peyto lake, take an optional helicopter flight over the Columbia Icefield, or strap on some crampons and step out onto the Athabasca glacier. Spend you evening camping under the night sky. Day 5: Jasper National Park Enjoy Canada's largest National Park, Jasper. Marvel at the snowcapped summits and beautiful lakes in this true wild mountain wilderness. Jasper offers an abundance of wildlife sightings, jagged mountain peaks, alpine lakes and numerous hiking and biking opportunities. Choose to visit Miette hot springs, or hike/bike the famous trails around stunning lakeshores. After a full day of activities, follow the Yellowhead Highway, hugging the mighty North Thompson River to your night stop of Cleawater BC. See the base of 12,972-foot Mount Robson (the highest point in the Canadian Rockies) and maybe catch a glimpse of the infamous peak en route to your camping location. Day 6: Whistler and Vancouver On to the alpine resort of Whistler, nestled at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Today is yours to explore all that Whistler has to offer. Enjoy spectacular scenery and incredible photo opportunities as you explore this ski town, home of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Drive the spectacular Sea to Sky highway for your evening at a hostel in Vancouver. Day 7: Vancouver and Seattle This morning, tour Vancouver, including the waterfront, Gas lamp district, Chinatown, and Stanley Park. Head to Seattle for a your evening downtown or drop off at the departure hotel. Please note: there is a mandatory food kitty payment of $100 USD to cover camp meals as follows — 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 evening camp meals. Please advise the local supplier of any dietary requirements.

Other Sightseeing Options in Columbia Icefield

Want to discover all there is to do in Columbia Icefield? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Columbia Icefield

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,005 reviews

We thoroughly enjoyed the icefield parkways audio tour. We were a little worried that with no phone or internet on the route that we might be disappointed but this was not the case. We learnt such a lot and stopped off in many more places than we intended because we were told that it was a “must see” and it was truly worth it. Also loved the little quiz as we travelled along - great competition in the car. Would throughly recommend this audio tour to anyone driving the route.

We had an awesome time on our trip. Surprisingly, this 11 hour trip seemed to fly by... never once feeling bored or tired (well maybe a little tired on the last leg of the trip driving back). Our guide was very knowledgeable on most everything the guest threw at him. The short trip to and from the actual glacier was fun as our guide Simon was quite entertaining himself (he was from New Zealand... wife loves accents LOL). Highly recommend this trip.

From take off to landing Ralph, our pilot, was informative and interactive so we could enjoy the views perfectly. If you are in the area this is a must! Thank you to all the crew at the Heliport for making the visit memorable!

Eli was an excellent tour guide! We had the most wonderful day and learned so many new things about the area. Great experience!

Great experience. Our guide Tim was very knowledgable and had loads of anecdotes to pass on. Would thoroughly recommend.