Frequently Asked Questions

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

The Columbia Icefield is located on the Icefields Parkway, approximately two hours 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.

Yes! The Columbia Icefield Adventure is wheelchair accessible, however you must book at least 72 hours in advance by phone or in person at any Pursuit Adventure Centre location so we can ensure you have proper shuttle transfers to and from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre. For walk-in service we will do our best to accommodate based upon available resources and tour availability. The Columbia Icefield Skywalk is also fully accessible and can easily accommodate wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.

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

Columbia Icefield Adventure (including the Columbia Icefield Skywalk) tours departs 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.

The shuttle buses for Columbia Icefield Adventure and Columbia Icefield Skywalk depart from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre. The queue hallway will be divided — one side for the Columbia Icefield Adventure guests and one side for the Skywalk guests. Those who have purchased the Columbia Icefield Adventure will depart for the Skywalk directly from the transfer bays when arriving back from the Glacier.

Our specially-designed Ice Explorers can transport up to 56 passengers. The shuttles also accommodate up to 56 passengers including seated and standing room.

No, pets are unfortunately not allowed on the Columbia Icefield Adventure or Skywalk. 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.

Make sure you to wear layers and flat, comfortable 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.

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.

Be prepared for anything! The Columbia Icefield is a unique ecosystem and weather can easily change from sunshine to snow in a matter of 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. Such unusual, severe weather would include lightning, blizzard conditions, severe rain or extreme winds.

Guests are permitted to stay on the glacier for 20 minutes. During that time, we encourage all of our guests to be safe and stay within the designated areas.

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 interpretive trail is 400 metres (¼ mile) from one end to the other. If guests do the full trail from one end to the other and back, they will be walking 800 metres (½ mile).

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. However, 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. While we encourage all guests to purchase their tickets prior to boarding the shuttle bus, the bus itself is free. Therefore, we will have a ticket booth and agents stationed at the Columbia Icefield Skywalk to allow people to purchase tickets last minute. These ticket agents will be scanning the tickets before guests can enter the interpretive trail.

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 1- km 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.

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 visit on the Columbia Icefield Adventure and Skywalk.

For available discounts and packages, please visit one of our Pursuit Adventure Centre Locations or inquire directly at one of our attraction ticket desks.

Yes. You can request a group booking by contacting our reservations team at attractions@pursuitcollection.com or by calling 1.866.532.6150.

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.

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.

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