Columbia icefields skywalk is a glacier skywalk built over Sunwapta valley at Jasper national park, Alberta, Canada, a country in North America. Being world-famous for its breathtaking view, the skywalk has won many awards for its architecture and design.
The skywalk consists of a glass-floored observation platform to observe the valley and ice-capped mountain peaks. At an elevated height above the valley, the glacier skywalk is a split path extending on the edge of a cliff.
Along with breathtaking views, the skywalk also offers inspiring and unforgettable experiences. Fully accessible to all tourists, the skywalk has many amenities to help people learn about the glaciology and geology of the place.
Columbia Icefield Skywalk
Address: Icefields Pkwy, Alberta T0E 1E0, Canada
Phone: +1 866-606-6700
Built on April 1, 2014, the Columbia icefield skywalk has been a major attraction for tourists in Alberta. The cliff-edge walkway is located an hour away from Jasper, almost 2 hours away from Lake Louise, and 2.5 hours away from Banff.
The skywalk is accessible through a free shuttle that transports the tourists from the Columbia icefield glacier discovery center to the Columbia icefield skywalk. A 400 m trail from the transportation leads the tourists to the glacier skywalk.
The admission ticket is worth $35 for adults and $18 for children. The ticket includes a visit to the glacier skywalk, in addition to a free shuttle for transportation linking the glacier skywalk and Columbia icefield discovery center.
Every fifteen min a free shuttle offers rides to tourists to and fro the discovery center and the skywalk.
Activities At Columbia Icefield Skywalk
The Sunwapta River rushes below, waterfalls cascade over the cliffs, and mountains make a jagged line across the sky with each step. The Snow Dome, one of two hydrological apexes in North America, “a single place where three different watersheds meet,” is maybe the most amazing sight. Snowmelt from the peak, which stands at 11,339 feet (3,456 metres), eventually drains into three bodies of water: the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans.
Columbia icefield is truly a one-of-a-kind place to visit. With a lot of natural beauty, the place is a fairly popular tourist destination.
Along with the abundance of beauty, the skywalk also has many activities to participate in while you visit the skywalk.
The skywalk helps tourists learn a lot about the unique ecosystems of the Columbia icefields. The place provides various fun ways to learn about the place and enjoy a thone-of-a-kind view.
The skywalk offers an awe-inspiring interpretive experience
Although the glacier skywalk is a total 1 km walk, the first 400 m has an informative display for tourists. Six interpretive stations talk about the stories and scientific history of the place.
The interpretive display shares ancient stories of the Columbia icefields and inspires travelers to gain in-depth knowledge of the place.
Along with interpretive displays, there guided tour available for the tourists. The trip to the glass-floored observation platform also includes an audio tour of the place.
For travelers willing to participate, audio-guided tours are available in many languages. Explore the scenery and learn about the natural formation of the Canadian Rockies.
Architecture Of The Columbia Icefield Skywalk
The glacier skywalk was completed on April 1, 2014. Costing 21 million dollars, the glass observation platform has been world-renowned for its design. The architecture design of the platform has won many awards.
The constructer of the observation platform talks about the importance of their design. They explain why the platform is significant to the land gifted with utter natural beauty.
Sturges architecture says they wanted to allow their guests to witness the transformations that occur in the natural world.
Unique Design Of The Glacier Skywalk
The architecture and design of this observation platform have been applauding. The landscape leading towards the platform has been given a design of folded walls surrounding the trail made weathered steel.
The trail ends at the split pathway leading towards the observing platform set at the height of 918 ft above ground. The entire pathway is supported through cable suspensions.
The observation platform is semi-circle in design and made entirely of glass that provides a feeling of standing at nature’s edge.
Semi-circle design offers a 270° view. The glass is bulletproof with a strong capacity to hold a lot of people.
Wood, steel, stone, and other materials used to build the pathway easily blend in with the surroundings and make the design even more pleasing to the eye. The sustainability of the material and the sleek design attracts even more tourists to the pathway.
What Can You Expect To See At Columbia Icefields Skywalk
Being located at one of the most iconic places in Canada. The skywalk can easily become a memorable trip. There is a lot of sightseeing to take in when you arrive at the observation platform.
Looking at the view below through the platform is not for the faint of hearts. Gorgeous, vast, and scary, the view is indulging.
Six Interpretive Stations
The landscaped path leading towards the skywalk includes six interpretive stations. Each station share extensive information about various aspects of the natural surrounding.
From ecology, geology, glaciology, and even biology, the stations are a great way to learn about the natural surroundings of Columbia icefields.
The Sunwapta Valley
The platform is built above the sunwapta valley, and therefore you can see the valley and Sunwapta. Throhor of the platform, you can see the valley down below.
Standing on the platform, you can see the entire valley and more due to the semi-circle design of the platform.
Ice-Capped Mountain Peaks
One of the major sightseeing at the Columbia icefield skywalk is the magnificent mountains in the surrounding. There are some of the most beautiful mountains you can see standing at the observation platform.
These majestic mountains covered with snow make the experience even more worthwhile.
A few mountains that you can spot at the skywalk are some of the significant and magnificent mountains.
- Mt Athabasca
- Mt Andromeda
- Mt Wilcox
- Mt Kitchener
- Stutfield peak
- Mt Woolley
- Diadem Peak
- Mushroom Peak
Glacier & Canadian Rockies
Since the place is all about the magnificent glaciers, that’s the first thing you notice once you arrive at the platform: vast glacier-formed valleys, Canadian Rockies, and beautiful mountains.
Although you cannot find the Athabasca glacier as it’s visible near the Discovery Center. Though the icefields parkway is not visible, you can also spot the Columbia Icefield in addition to a few glaciers.
Canadian Rockies and glacier is the true essence of this place. Along with Columbia icefields, you can also spot a few glaciers.
- AA glacier
- North face glacier
- Andromeda glacier
Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre
This centre is a must-see for anybody visiting the Columbia Icefield. The Glacier Adventure, Glacier View Inn, restaurants, retail, and the Glacier Gallery interpretive exhibit are all part of the newly rebuilt property. The centre also has plenty of parking and serves as the starting point for free shuttles to and from the new Glacier Skywalk.
Try this 9.3-kilometer out-and-back trek near Alberta’s Improvement District No. 9. It takes an average of 3 hours and 6 minutes to finish this moderately difficult route. Because this is a popular spot for birding, hiking, and rock climbing, you’ll almost certainly run into other visitors while exploring. The trail is available all year and is a lovely place to explore at any time. Dogs are permitted, but they must be kept on a leash.
Banff National Park
In Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park and the flagship of the country’s park system, Rocky Mountain peaks, turquoise glacial lakes, a picture-perfect mountain town and village, rich wildlife, and picturesque drives come together. Over three million people visit the park each year for a variety of activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, and camping in some of the most beautiful alpine landscapes in the world. Banff is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks.
From Where Can One Purchase The Tickets
Columbia Icefield Skywalk tickets are available online. One may visit a trusted site and book their tickets anytime. The cost of the ticket stands $36 for adults and $18 for children. Children below the age of 5 do not require a ticket. The price of the ticket, though, may vary as per the demand and season.
What Else Can You Visit Nearby
Along with this beautiful place and vast glacier-formed valleys, there are many other major attractions nearby you can plan to make your trip even more interesting.
Banff and Jasper national parks are almost 2 hours away; both places are very popular tourist places in Alberta, Canada.
- Lake Louise- Lake Louise is a village in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, famous for its blue glacier-fed lake surrounded by high peaks and overlooking a magnificent château.
- Icefields Parkway- The Icefield Parkway, a 232-kilometer stretch of double-lane highway meandering along the Continental Divide past soaring granite mountain peaks, icefields, and large sweeping valleys, has been named one of Condé Nast Traveller’s greatest drives in the world.
- Glacier walk, Jasper National Park
- Peyto Lake Icefield parkway
- Sightseeing in Lake Louise
- Skiing at Lake Louise
- Sulphur Mountain, Banff
You can explore many things on a trip to the Columbia icefields skywalk. In addition to many things mentioned here, you can also spot mountain goats and other wildlife roaming in their habitat.
There is a lot in the Columbia Icefield skywalk to make your trip memorable. Explore the natural world of the Columbia icefield skywalk.