Day trip

Banff: Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour

4.7 / 5

88 reviews

Activity provider: Discover Banff Tours

Banff: Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour

Activity provider: Discover Banff Tours

From US$ 234.67 per person

Travel along the Icefields Parkway and see the Athabasca Glacier on this full-day tour from Banff and enjoy a packed lunch. Pass the Rocky Mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, and emerald lakes.

About this activity

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Duration 11 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
English

Experience

Itinerary
5 hours
  • Banff

  • 1.5 hours
  • Crowfoot Glacier Viewpoint (photo stop)

  • Waterfowl Lakes Viewpoint (photo stop)

  • 30 minutes
  • Saskatchewan River Crossing (photo stop)

  • 30 minutes
  • Icefields Parkway (photo stop, lunch, picnic, free time)

  • 40 minutes
  • Columbia Icefield (photo stop, guided tour, walk)

  • Columbia Icefield Skywalk (photo stop, visit, view, self-guided tour)

  • 1.3 hours
  • Bow Lake (photo stop, guided tour)

  • 1.5 hours
  • Banff

Pickup included
Main stop
Other stop
Highlights
  • Travel along the world-famous Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most stunning scenic drives
  • Climb aboard the Ice Explorer and travel onto the ancient Athabasca Glacier
  • Take in unparalleled views from the glass floored Glacier Skywalk
  • See iconic Rocky Mountain landmarks such as Bow Lake and the headwaters of the mighty Bow River
  • Pass by numerous peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, and lakes
Full description

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.

Includes
  • Round-trip transportation
  • Tour guide
  • Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure: Ice Explorer and Glacier Skywalk
  • Packed lunch
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Tips

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Meeting point

Wait at the public bus parking spot located behind the Mount Royal Hotel. Your guide will be wearing a Discover Banff Tours t-shirt or jacket.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Warm clothing
  • Sunglasses

Not allowed

  • Luggage or large bags

Know before you go

  • Early and late season road / trail closures may limit access to some areas
  • Infant rates do not include food
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.7 /5

based on 88 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    4.8/5
  • Transportation
    4.7/5
  • Value for money
    4.3/5
  • Safety
    5/5

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Star rating:

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.

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October 10, 2022

My husband and I were treated to a full day of learning and sightseeing as we toured the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park. From the outset, the tour guide Jake was energetic, courteous and eager to share his knowledge about the area. His background in forestry and teaching made him an ideal guide as we learned about the challenges facing the parks' forests and how controlled fires are essential to their health.

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September 26, 2022

Fantastic opportunity to see multiple sights outside of Banff and learn about the history of the area. The glacier excursion was amazing, although I was shocked at the number of people--old enough to know better--who were completely unprepared for the weather (i.e., cold) on a glacier. We were limited to 30 minutes on the glacier, which felt rushed, but I understand the need to move things along. Be prepared for all types of weather--even if it is sunny and warm in Banff.

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September 13, 2022

Product ID: 226492