Review: Glacier Ice Walk
One of the must-do activities at Columbia Icefields is to ride on SnowCoach and head to Athabasca Glacier for ice walk adventure. I mean if you’ve already come this far to such a remote area, you might as well spend $50 for the glacier tour. Glacier may not last forever; it’s been receding bit by bit each year. Enjoy the hike while you still can!!
There could be a promo code, coupon, combo package avaiable online for further discounts to glacier ice walk adventure. ;-)
History of Columbia Icefield Glacier Tour
Jack Brewster opened the original icefield chalet in 1939, the year before the highway between Jasper and Banff was completed. A Parks Canada visitor centre opened in 1964 and expanded in 1973. None of the early visitors such as Harmom or Schaffer could have imagined the growth in visitation experienced here during the 1980s and ’90s!
Alec Watt first adapted a model “A” Ford truck with tracks and skis in 1948 to take visitors onto the Athabasca Glacier. Later commercial tours used tracked vehicles developed by Bombardier of Montreal to carry 10 passengers. As the popularity of glacier tours increased, newer designs carrying more passengers were deployed. Modern snowcoaches now carry 56 passengers safely and in comfort, while minimizing environmental impacts to the glacier.
During the summer of 1949, 846 passengers enjoyed snow-mobile tours on the Athabasca Glacier. At season’s end operator Watt commented, “Soon more than a thousand visitors would ride in one season.” Today, more than five thousand visitors ride the snowcoaches on a busy day.
Exact location is indicated by Green Arrow on the following map (click EXTERNAL LINK below to view map) or check Icefields Parkway Travel Guide.