Banff Jasper Collection

Frequently Asked Questions

For up-to-date Columbia Icefield daily operating hours please visit the Location & Hours page.

The Columbia Icefield is located on the Icefields Parkway, approximately two hours and 30 minutes north of Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway, and one hour south from the town of Jasper. The Columbia Icefield Skywalk is only accessible by a free shuttle from the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre.

Leaving Banff, travel 55 km (34 miles) west on the Trans-Canada Highway #1 to Lake Louise. Then travel 125 km (78 miles) north from Lake Louise on the Icefields Parkway Highway 93N to the Columbia Icefield.

Leaving Jasper, travel 108 km (67 miles) south on the Icefields Parkway Highway 93N to the Columbia Icefield.

Directions and parking information are available on the Location & Hours Page.

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Yes! We encourage all guests to bring their cameras, phones and video recording devices so you can record your memories at the Columbia Icefield Adventure and Skywalk. We would also love for you to share them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #ColumbiaIcefield & #PursuitLife @pursuitbanffjaspercollection

The shuttle buses for the Columbia Icefield Adventure, Columbia Icefield Skywalk and Ice Odyssey all depart from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre. Those who have purchased the Columbia Icefield Adventure will depart for the Skywalk directly from the transfer bays when arriving back from the Glacier.

Ice Odyssey guests park and check in at the upper parking lot (Banff side), where tours also depart from.

Yes! We offer the Columbia Icefield Adventure tour in 9 languages via an audio app. Click here for more information.

No, pets are unfortunately not allowed on the Columbia Icefield Adventure, Skywalk or Ice Odyssey. The buses that transport guests are enclosed and we need to consider guests with allergies. While we trust that our guests are responsible pet owners with wonderful, friendly pets, we would like to avoid the risk of a panicked animal endangering itself or other guests.

For the safety of your pets and our visitors, we ask that you leave your pets at home.

Yes. You can request a group booking by contacting our reservations team at [email protected] or by calling 1.866.532.6150.

Make sure you to wear layers and flat, comfortable, closed-toe shoes with grippy soles (e.g. sneakers, hiking boots). Don't forget to bring sunscreen, an empty water bottle that you can fill with glacier water if you wish and your camera! If you have a purse or a backpack, you can bring that along too.

The Columbia Icefield Skywalk and Discovery Trail should not be slippery. In the event of poor weather conditions, our staff will be working to keep it clear of snow and ice. However, we are at the will of nature and therefore appropriate closed-toe footwear is recommend.

Read What Not to Bring to the Columbia Icefield for more information.

Be prepared for anything! The Columbia Icefield is a unique ecosystem and weather can easily change from sunshine to snow in minutes. Dress in warm layers and make sure to wear closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Hiking boots and running shoes are best. You can expect the temperature to be about 15° Celsius (27° F) cooler on the glacier than at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre.

The safety of our guests is our biggest priority. If we experience severe weather that we feel will put our guests at risk, we will close the Columbia Icefield Adventure, Skywalk and Ice Odyssey. Such unusual, severe weather would include lightning, blizzard conditions, severe rain or extreme winds.

To limit our environmental footprint at the Columbia Icefield, there are no washroom facilities on the Athabasca Glacier or Skywalk. Guests will need to use the washrooms at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre, before or after their tour.

For available discounts and packages, please visit our deals page.

Yes! You can stay at Glacier View Lodge with views over the Athabasca Glacier and premium hospitality experiencess. Advanced bookings are required.

Learn More

No. Parks Canada requires all adult visitors to Canada’s national parks to buy a permit for the duration of their stay to support visitor services and facilities. Day Passes or a yearly Discovery Pass are available to buy in-person at Parks Canada's park gates and information centres in Banff and Jasper. Admission for youth 17 and under is free.

No. Based on countless guest requests since the Columbia Icefield Skywalk was launched, we have combined our two iconic Columbia Icefield attractions to provide a more fulsome glacier experience and to reduce time in line ups at the Glacier Discovery Center.

Ice Explorer FAQs

Columbia Icefield Adventure is accessible for guests who use a wheelchair, making it an incredibly unique perspective for getting up close with spectacular natural wonders.

Two Ice Explorers are equipped with wheelchair lifts to bring guests out onto the glacier. Accessible vans are available to transport guests to the Ice Explorer, and then on to the Columbia Icefield Skywalk afterwards. At the Columbia Icefield Skywalk, the entire 800-metre flat circumference is designed as a fully accessible attraction for wheelchairs, strollers and walkers.

Wheelchair accessible tours are offered at specific times and require at least 72 hours of advanced notice to book. Please call 1.866.506.0515 to inquire. Accessible parking is found in our upper parking lot.

Columbia Icefield Adventure (including the Columbia Icefield Skywalk) tours depart every 15 to 30 minutes throughout the daily hours of operation. The adventure lasts approx. 2.5 to 3 hours round-trip.

Please note schedules may change pending the time of year.

You must arrive with your ticket at the boarding hall no later than 15 minutes before your departure time for check in. However, we recommend arriving at the Glacier Discover Centre 30 minutes early to find parking, use the restroom and prepare for your tour.

Our specially designed Ice Explorers can transport up to 56 passengers.

Yes! Halfway through the tour, you will be able to step out onto the ancient ice of the Athabasca Glacier. We ask that visitors stay within the clearly marked area as this section is regularly maintained and has been deemed safe.

Guests are permitted to stay on the glacier for 25 minutes. During that time, we encourage all guests to be safe and stay within the designated areas.

To access the centre, you must climb 75 stairs from the parking lot. An alternative pathway is located to the left of the stairs. Additional accessible parking can be found in the upper lot.

You will need to walk up and down the steps on the tour vehicles, 4 – 5 times.

The Skywalk loop involves 1 km of walking on relatively flat ground.

The Ice Explorer travels on off-road terrain that includes a steep moraine slope before venturing onto the glacier itself.

Skywalk FAQs

Your Columbia Icefield Skywalk admission includes: shuttle transportation between the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre and the Columbia Icefield Skywalk, a hand-held audio guide available in a variety of languages as well as access to the interpretive walkway and the glass-floor platform.

The length of the full trail is roughly one kilometre (0.6 miles) from one end to the other.

The glass-floor platform of the Columbia Icefield Skywalk is approximately 280 metres (918 feet) above the valley floor. The Discovery Vista (glass-floored platform) extends 35 metres (115 feet) out from the edge of the cliff face.

While guests will be sure to see a lot from the Columbia Icefield Skywalk (mountains, waterfalls, rivers and wildlife), the experience is so much more! Guests will be exposed to a world where glaciers rest above and birds soar below. Learning opportunities are all around. Interactive displays, audio commentary systems and roving interpretive guides all make the Columbia Icefield Skywalk so much more than just a place to see the sights.

You are more than welcome to bike to the Columbia Icefield Skywalk but you must have a ticket pre-purchased to experience the Skywalk. We ask that you be cautious while riding to the Skywalk as the highway is narrow and will have a fair amount of traffic, including buses and cars.

Yes. You must purchase pre-purchase your tickets before boarding the shuttle at the Glacier Discovery Centre.

We recommend 40 to 45 minutes. However, guests are welcome to spend as much or as little time at the Columbia Icefield Skywalk as they like.

The Columbia Icefield Skywalk is so much more than a glass-floored platform — it is a one-kilometre walkway that provides unique views of mountaintop glaciers, waterfalls, wildlife and fossils, all accompanied by Pursuit’s engaging interpretive storytelling. Learn all about how Glaciers helped form the Rocky Mountains and how they still support the diverse wildlife that inhabits them. Not willing to test your nerve on the glass? That’s okay as there are many other great viewing areas within the Columbia Icefield Skywalk to take in inspirational mountain vistas without stepping out onto the glass.

Yes, for those short on time the Columbia Icefield Skywalk can be purchased as a separate experience giving you an incredible Rocky Mountain experience in less than an hour. See the Columbia Icefield Skywalk page for more information.

Ice Odyssey FAQs

SHERP vehicles carry five guests, along with a driver guide. ARK trailers carry 14 guests, along with an on-board guide.

No, unfortunately you cannot book a specific vehicle. Vehicle allocation is dependent on tour time and number of reservations.

Closed toe shoes are required. We recommend wearing something comfortable and solid. Hiking boots are preferred, though all shoes will be outfitted with adjustable crampons for grip on the glacier.

Due to the remote destination and access points of the SHERP and ARK vehicles, we are unable to offer the Ice Odyssey for guests who use wheelchairs.

We are, however, able to offer wheelchair-accessible tours on the classic Columbia Icefield Adventure and Columbia Icefield Skywalk at select times. Please inquire with our team at least 72 hours in advance at 1.866.506.0514.

The ARK trailers provide a remarkably smooth ride, despite the challenging terrain. The SHERP is a bit bumpier, though still relatively smooth. However, be aware that you will be travelling off-road and will encounter some bumpy sections.

Space is limited in the SHERP and ARK interiors. We advise against bringing large backpacks, large purses or bulky camera bags for your own comfort.

Yes. Guests must be at least 6 years old for the on-board harnesses to properly fit.

The Ice Odyssey is a two-hour tour.

Both the SHERP vehicle and ARK trailer are accessed via a small ladder. Guests must be able to maneuver this ladder on their own to take part in the experience.

Please park in the allotted Ice Odyssey parking spaces in the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre’s UPPER BANFF-SIDE LOT. Your access code will be included in the confirmation email.

Check in will be located under an Ice Odyssey tour tent, found in the UPPER BANFF-SIDE LOT at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre.

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