8:00am
Departure Time
11 Hours
Duration
All Ages
Age
Leisurely
Activity
May-Oct
Season

Explore The Canadian Rockies on a Columbia Icefield Adventure

The Columbia Icefield is a truly awe-inspiring natural wonder, and it is a must-see for anybody visiting the Canadian Rockies. The Columbia Icefield is one of the largest icefields in North America, covering an area of 325 square kilometers (125 square miles). It’s located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, straddling the border between British Columbia and Alberta. The icefield is made up of several glaciers, including the Athabasca Glacier, which is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world.

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Don’t see a date available? Check out our modified Columbia Icefields + Lake Louise Tour here >

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A Unique Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure

The Columbia Icefield tour offers you a unique experience that is packed with fun, adventure, and lasting memories. Join us for an incredible journey and take advantage of the amazing opportunities that the Columbia Icefield offers for a day filled with unforgettable moments.

From the specially designed Ice Explorers, which can take you onto the massive Athabasca Glacier, to the Glacier Skywalk, a glass-floored observation platform suspended 280 meters (900+ feet) above Sunwapta Valley. You can enjoy guided Columbia icefield adventure tours, to learn more about the area’s natural history and take time to marvel at the beautiful views while having a snack along the way. Whether you’re looking forward to an educational experience or just looking to enjoy some of the most breathtaking views in North America, the Columbia Icefield tour is a perfect choice for anybody who wants to experience the magic and wonder of Canada’s natural landscapes.

Book your tickets today and experience the power and majesty of the Columbia Icefield!

The One-of-a-kind Drive & Columbia Icefield Tour

Climb aboard the Ice Explorer (a six-wheeled behemoth of a vehicle) and drive across the surface of this glittering sheet of ice. These massive vehicles are specially designed to travel across the ice, so you can get up close and personal with this natural wonder.

Sit back and enjoy the ride along the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most stunning scenic drives. Because you don’t have to navigate or watch the road, this Columbia icefield glacier adventure tour lets you focus on the amphitheatre of mountains towering above. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife at the edges of the forest.

Dig into a hearty mountain picnic and take a photo stop at Bow Lake, one of the largest glacier-fed lakes in Banff National Park, against the backdrop of the Crowfoot Glacier. You’ll also visit scenic Peyto Lake (when access permits) or lower Waterfowl Lake along the Icefields Parkway, a stunning glacier lake set against Mt Chephren.

Getting thirsty? You’ll have a chance to drink pure, cold water straight from the glacier.

Incredible Views On The Columbia Icefield Skywalk

Step out onto the glass-bottomed Skywalk and feel the fresh air on your face as you gaze down 280 meters (918 feet) to the Sunwapta Valley below. The views are simply breathtaking, from the towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies to the glacial crevasses and shimmering ice below. During this breathtaking part of your Columbia icefield adventure, you’ll enjoy popular sights like Mount Athabasca, Mount Columbia, and Mount Robson. You’ll also see the Sunwapta River winding its way through the valley.

The Skywalk is a truly unique experience that will take your breath away. It’s the perfect way to see the beauty of the Canadian Rockies from a whole new perspective.

Schedule & Availability: Book Ahead To Reserve Your Spot On The Columbia Icefields Tour

The Columbia Icefields tours are typically available from May through October. However, seats are limited and they fill up fast. We strongly recommend that you purchase your ticket while making travel plans to ensure your spot is saved.

We also offer terrific alternative tours throughout the year:

Included
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Banff)
  • Glacier Skywalk
  • Professional certified guide
  • Ice Explorer
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
Meal
  • Alpine Picnic Lunch
Guide Quote

Rose's Pick

"Besides the amazing views you'll have a chance to try delicious water straight from the glacier." - Rose , Manager of Guiding Operations

Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour Reviews

4.5
3894+
4.4
374+
4.5
786+

The best parts of the tour for most people include the following:

1

Columbia Icefields Glacier Adventure and Skywalk

Venture onto the Athabasca Glacier on the Ice Explorer, followed by a jaw-dropping walk along the Glacier Skywalk.
2

Icefields Parkway

This tour travels halfway along the world-famous Icefields Parkway, recognized as one of the top drives in the world passing numerous Rocky Mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls and emerald lakes.
3

Mountain Picnic Lunch

Enjoy a hearty lunch with your choice of sandwich at a stop along the Icefields Parkway, rated as one of the most scenic highways in the world.
4

Crowfoot Glacier

One of the day’s many up close glacier views.
5

Glacier Lakes

See the headwaters of the mighty Bow River at Bow Lake, and scenic Peyto Lake (when access permits) or lower Waterfowl Lake.
Included
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Banff)
  • Glacier Skywalk
  • Professional certified guide
  • Ice Explorer
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
Meal
  • Alpine Picnic Lunch
Guide Quote

Rose's Pick

"Besides the amazing views you'll have a chance to try delicious water straight from the glacier." - Rose , Manager of Guiding Operations

Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour Reviews

4.5
3894+
4.4
374+
4.5
786+

Choose from the following lunch options:

  • Chicken Club Wrap: mayo, chicken, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a tortilla wrap
  • Roast Beef Sandwich: premium roast beef slices with lettuce, tomato, swiss cheese and horseradish mayo on a kaiser bun
  • Vegetarian Wrap: tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, lettuce and hummus on a tortilla wrap
  • Green salad with chicken (gluten-free): romaine lettuce, tomato, green onion, cucumber and diced chicken with french dressing

Lunches also include fruit, juice, salted potato chips and two bite brownies.

Included
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Banff)
  • Glacier Skywalk
  • Professional certified guide
  • Ice Explorer
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
Meal
  • Alpine Picnic Lunch
Guide Quote

Rose's Pick

"Besides the amazing views you'll have a chance to try delicious water straight from the glacier." - Rose , Manager of Guiding Operations

Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour Reviews

4.5
3894+
4.4
374+
4.5
786+
The tour begins at 8:00am in Banff (or 9:00am in Lake Louise) and brings you back to Banff around 7pm (or Lake Louise at 6:15pm), approximately 11 hours.
The full day tour includes transportation from most hotels in Banff on a guided bus tour along the scenic Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefields Centre, where you will climb aboard the Ice Explorer to visit the Athabasca Glacier and walk on the glass floor Glacier Skywalk. The tour has numerous photo opportunities, including picturesque glacier-fed Bow Lake and scenic Peyto Lake (when access permits) or lower Waterfowl Lake.

A picnic lunch is included with your choice of menu options. Please note that lunch is not included for infants.

We pick up from most hotels in Banff and the Samson Mall in Lake Louise, and you can select your preferred pick-up location during the booking process. For drop offs in Banff, our guide will ask you on the way back where you would like to be dropped off either in town or at your hotel.
You are welcome to meet us at any of our pick-up locations in Banff to join the tour. You can park for free at the train station (it’s included in the pickup list); please note that the capacity is limited, so ensure to come in advance in case you need to find alternative parking. Please refer to the Town of Banff website for general parking information, or the banffparking.ca website for live parking availability.

For guests staying in Canmore, you can also use the Roam bus service and disembark at the Banff High School. The closest pick up point to the Banff High School is across the road at the Ptarmigan Inn Hotel. Guests staying in Lake Louise can meet at the Samson Mall in Lake Louise.

While for a large portion of the tour you will be on the bus, it can snow, rain, hail or shine any month of the year at the Icefields and so we suggest to prepare for unpredictable weather and dress in layers with hats, gloves and warm shoes. It is usually only a few degrees cooler at the Icefields as it is in Banff, although the glacier does experience some cold winds. For shoes, we would suggest closed toes shoes such as trainers or outdoor shoes. It is also recommended to take sunglasses as it can be very bright on the glacier.
The drive from Banff to the Columbia Icefield is around 3 hours.
The tour from the Columbia Icefield Centre is about an hour and 15 minutes, where there will be guided commentary all the way. You will have about 20 minutes on the glacier itself.
Unfortunately the tour does not run in winter, as conditions are too harsh to travel on the glacier.
There is a chance of seeing wildlife on the tour and the Icefields Parkway is a common area to spot animals, however we do not guarantee seeing wildlife on any of our tours. Our guides have a lot of knowledge about the animals within the park and can fill you in about them if you see any wildlife or if you have any questions.
There is a 72 hour cancellation policy, which allows you to change/cancel or refund your booking up to 72 hours outside your booked tour (up to 7 days for group bookings).
Tips are not expected, but are certainly appreciated. If you think your guide did a wonderful job and would like to indicate that with a tip, it will be graciously accepted.

Included
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Banff)
  • Glacier Skywalk
  • Professional certified guide
  • Ice Explorer
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
Meal
  • Alpine Picnic Lunch
Guide Quote

Rose's Pick

"Besides the amazing views you'll have a chance to try delicious water straight from the glacier." - Rose , Manager of Guiding Operations

Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour Reviews

4.5
3894+
4.4
374+
4.5
786+
  • Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.
  • Early and late season road / trail closures may limit access to some areas.
  • Infants (5 and under) are free of charge, but this does not include any food.
  • Photo ID may be required for identity verification.
  • By participating in a tour with Discover Banff Tours, guests are acknowledging that they understand that we may take video and photographs of them during their tour. These videos and photographs may be used in promotional materials including, but not limited to, social media.
  • Please note that this tour requires a minimum of 4 participants, please call the day prior to confirm the tour.
Included
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Banff)
  • Glacier Skywalk
  • Professional certified guide
  • Ice Explorer
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
Meal
  • Alpine Picnic Lunch
Guide Quote

Rose's Pick

"Besides the amazing views you'll have a chance to try delicious water straight from the glacier." - Rose , Manager of Guiding Operations

Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour Reviews

4.5
3894+
4.4
374+
4.5
786+
See the Athabasca Glacier on the Icefields Parkway Tour
Drive along the scenic Icefields Parkway on the Columbia Icefields Parkway Tour with Discover Banff Tours in the Canadian Rockies
Glacier Adventurer Ice Explorer Bus on the Columbia Icefields Parkway Tour
Touch an ancient glacier on the Icefields Parkway Tour with Discover Banff Tours
Drink glacier water on the Icefields Parkway Tour with Discover Banff Tours
Walk on the glass floor Glacier Skywalk on the Icefield Parkway Tour with Discover Banff Tours
Walk on a glassfloor Glacier Skywalk on the Icefields Parkway Tour
Walk on the glassfloor Glacier Skywalk on the Icefields Parkway Tour
Children love the Glacier Skywalk views on the Icefields Parkway Tour
See Peyto Lake on the Icefields Parkway with Discover Banff Tours
See Bow Lake on the Columbia Icefields Parkway Tour with Discover Banff Tours in the Canadian Rockies
Discover Banff Tours Summer Sightseeing and Transport