Chilling on the Glacier

Columbia Icefields, Icefields Parkway, Alberta

The Columbia Icefield is located along the Continental Divide in the Canadian Rockies. Part of the Icefield runs from northwestern Banff National Park to the southern end of Jasper National Park. It is made up of eight glaciers and is surrounded some of the highest mountains in the Canadian Rockies.

Parts of the Icefield is visible from the Icefields Parkway, particularly the Athabasca Glacier. There is an Icefield Interpretive Centre along the Parkway where visitors can get tickets to be taken on the glacier in specially designed snow coaches. These vehicles are actually snowcats that have been fitted with bus seats. Visitors are driven onto the Athabasca Glacier (at a top speed of 16 mph) and are able to get out and explore. The melting water is pure and is refreshing to drink.