Thursday, February 04, 2010
Columbia Icefield in the Canadian Rockies - Alberta
The Columbia Icefield Glacier Experience is located on Canada’s most scenic mountain roadway; The Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff. This is the route to over one hundred visible glaciers, turquoise lakes, rushing waterfalls and numerous hiking trails, picnic spots and campgrounds. Getting to the Columbia Icefield is a remarkable attraction in itself!
The Columbia Icefield Glacier Experience™ reveals the most unique attraction in the Canadian Rockies. Massive Brewster Ice Explorers, specially designed for glacial travel, take passengers on a remarkable excursion onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier. Each 90 minute journey is lead by an experienced driver-guide, who shares a wealth of fascinating information about glaciers, icefields and their impact on our environment. Mid-point in the tour, passengers can safely step out onto the glacier and stand on this powerful ancient ice. Tours depart every 15-30 minutes from the Icefield Centre on the Icefields Parkway.
Facing the Columbia Icefield Visitors' Centre lies the Athabasca Glacier - a tongue of ice 6 kilometres long and one kilometre wide. Take time for Brewster's "Ice Age Adventure", a tour onto the icy slopes of the Athabasca Glacier. You will travel in a specially designed Ice Explorer to the middle of the glacier, on a 5 kilometre round trip journey. Your driver/guide will explain how glaciers are formed and point out interesting geological features as you travel in safety and comfort. At the mid-point, you will have the option of stepping out onto ice formed from snow falling as long as 400 years ago.
The Columbia Icefield is located on the boundary of Banff and Jasper National Parks. One of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle, it covers an area of nearly 325 square kilometres, sometimes reaching a depth of 300-360 metres. The continuous accumulation of snow feeds eight major glaciers including the Athabasca, Dome, and Stutfield Glaciers, all visible from the Icefields Parkway. The Columbia Icefield is a true "hydrological apex," for its meltwater feeds streams and rivers that pour into the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans.