Glacier Skywalk - Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Earlier this week, I posted a photo of the Icefields Parkway, and I mentioned my visits to the Glacier Columbia Icefield and walks onto the Athabasca Glacier. I didn't mention the newest attraction there, which is the Glacier Skywalk. The reason that I didn't is that I am not sure how I feel about it. 

The skywalk is almost a twin to the one that was built over the Grand Canyon by the Hualapai Indian tribe. While they are similar, they have a very different feel from one another. Previous to being built, the area of the Grand Canyon where it now located was seldom visited by tourists. It is quite a way from Grand Canyon National Park (about 4 hours) and, before it was built, there was no reason to go there. The Glacier Skywalk is a different story to me. Located right on the Icefields Parkway, the area the skywalk now takes up was once available to all who wanted to stop and take in the views. Now, you can't even stop there to enjoy the views. For that privilege, you need to park at the Glacier parking lot, pay $32 and be driven to the skywalk by a "free" shuttle (hard to believe they advertise this as free).  

In my opinion, taking something that was free with access to all and turning it into a money grabbing initiative is a shame. Granted, the skywalk does give you some different views but it is the principle to me. 

When we visited the spot a couple of years ago, the skywalk wasn't open and I took this photo from the northern end of the skywalk.