Why did I agree to this? I thought as we stood in line to get our tickets for the Glacier Adventure. I wasn’t nervous about the glacier, but the Skywalk that was suspended on a mountain. But, I put it out of my mind and tried to focus on the experience.
After a beautiful drive on the Icefields Parkway, we arrived at Brewster Travel Canada where we picked up our tickets, browsed the gift shop, and used the bathroom before boarding a bus. That bus took us up to where we’d pick up the Ice Explorer, a vehicle made specifically for driving on glaciers.
Ice Explorer on Athabasca Glacier
Originally, this was the activity I was most excited about. That was until we got into the Ice Explorer and headed down to the glacier. We drove down the steepest road in the world, which completely freaked me out. Luckily, once we were on the glacier itself, my worries subsided and I just enjoyed the beauty of the glacier.
While the area is quite crowded, a little too crowded in my mind, if you focus your attention on the glacier and mountains, you can imagine for a moment that you’re the only one there. You have about twenty minutes to take photos and soak in nature, and if you want, you can fill up your water bottle with glacier water or sample it while you are there.
Twenty minutes was the perfect timing, especially because even in July it was chilly up on the glacier. Weather can change quickly, so it’s good to make sure you pack some layers for the trip.
While I wish it was a bit more secluded and serene, overall the experience was an incredible one. To be able to walk on a glacier and appreciate nature in this way was something I never thought I’d experience. It was definitely worth the scary ride to and from the glacier on the Ice Explorer.
These trips won’t be going on for much longer due to the constant changes of nature and the warming of the Earth. Over time, the glacier has changed significantly in size, and at some point these tours will no longer be able to run. If exploring a glacier is on your bucket list, you may want to get here before it’s too late.
After we got off the glacier, we took a bus straight to the Glacier Skywalk. Still on an adrenaline high, I was excited, but also nervous for this experience. Suspended 918 feet in the air over Sunwapta Valley, this glass bottom walkway offers unreal views of the natural beauty of the Rockies. The view walking up to the Skywalk is almost as good as the view from on it.
Still, I was worried about that initial step onto the glass, especially because there were so many other people there. I wasn’t sure how I’d react or if I’d feel comfortable walking the entire Skywalk.
But, after I took those first few steps, I grew comfortable in realizing that it was a steady structure and that I would be okay. I even got comfortable enough to let go of the side and just walk looking down. It was amazing to be able to appreciate nature this way. While we didn’t see the amount of wildlife we were hoping to see, we did catch a mountain goat hanging out on the cliff below us.
Even though I was initially worried about this experience, I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was worth getting out of my comfort zone a bit to be able to view nature from a different perspective.
If you find yourself in the Canadian Rockies, this experience is one you must have. In the next few years, as Athabasca Glacier melts, part of this tour will no longer be available. If the chance to walk on ice and glass all in one day is a dream of yours, make sure you get yourself here soon.
Glacier Adventure: $94 for adults, $47 for kids, and free for kids under 5
Glacier Skywalk: $32 for adults, $16 for kids, and free for kids under 5
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I was a guest of Brewster Travel Canada, as always, all opinions are my own.