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Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre

Exploring a Glacier - from Mid-Air
Jasper National Park’s newest attraction, the Glacier Skywalk, opened earlier this year as part of several features at the Glacier Discovery Center. After parking at the center, take a quick bus ride to the Skywalk. A free audio tour introduces the local ecosystem - it's a nice accompaniment to the stroll along the nature exhibits on the way to the platform. Once you finally reach the engineering marvel – anticipation building – take a step out onto the 1.5-inch thick glass that hovers over the Sunwapta Valley below. Peering down the valley reveals a glimpse of the Athabasca Glacier (though you’ll have to head down the road to get a good view of the whole thing). From the Skywalk you’ll see waterfalls, endless trees, and maybe even a mountain goat or two. Visiting first thing in the morning means less crowds and more freedom to really explore the Skywalk. The best thing about the attraction? The view is still amazing even if you are too nervous to go out very far on the glass.

Photo and travel courtesy of Travel Alberta.

Glacier Discovery at the Icefields
The Athabasca Glacier may look huge. After all, it measures six kilometers long and one kilometer wide. It’s also 350 meters deep, which makes it taller than the Eiffel Tower. Yet it’s still less than 3 percent of the Columbia Icefield. At 215 square kilometers, the Columbia Icefields is the world’s largest non-polar icecap.

There is no better way to learn about these glaciers than to board Brewster’s custom-build Glacier Explorer buses and venture onto the ice itself. The tours stop in the middle of the Athabasca Glacier, where passengers are able to disembark to check out the glacier firsthand.

The surroundings are stunning. Nearby Mount Snowdome is the hydrological apex of North America, as its meltwaters reach the Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Mill wells and crevasses crisscross the glacier’s surface and meltwater flows upon its surface.

The Glacier Discovery Tours operate from April until October, departing every 15-30 minutes throughout the summer. The entire family will find the tour exciting. Just remember to bring a water bottle, as there is no source of fresher or cleaner water!

From $50. Contact 1-800-760-6934.

Walk on the Sky in Jasper, Alberta
Surrounding by some of the most unique and awe-inspiring landscapes in the world, the newest attraction in Jasper National Park is about taking a single step above the landscape.

The Glacier Skywalk is a glass-floored arch that hangs 280 metres above the Sunwapta River Valley. The hair-raising heights offer a unique view of the glacier-carved landscape located just minutes north of the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre.

From $29.99; contact 1-866-606-6700