Getting to the Athabasca Glacier, Columbia Icefield

The Athabasca Glacier  and the Columbia Icefield

The glacier, and icefield  lie alongside the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93), between Lake Louise and Jasper. Check out the “Icefields Parkway Driving Guide” from Parks Canada

Please read the FULL section below for details.  We lose fewer guests that way…

Distances and times:

From Banff 195 km., 2 hours 40 minutes

From Lake Louise  130 km., 1 hour 40 minutes

From Jasper 105 km., 1 hour 25 minutes

These times allow for summer traffic. Allow extra time for sightseeing stops. There are often delays because of construction along the Icefields Parkway. We recommend that you allow an extra half hour for these delays. For best results and timing, contact Park information centre personnel.

NOTE: The Columbia Icefield area is in the  Mountain Time zone. If you are coming from Valemount/Mt. Robson or Revelstoke in British Columbia you will need to adjust your watch one hour ahead.

Travel directions from Banff or Lake Louise:

Head west on the Trans Canada Highway (Highway 1 west) from Banff and go past the Lake Louise exit.

Continue west two kilometres to the junction of Highway 1 and the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 north).

Head north at the turnoff to the Icefields Parkway. Driving time from here is about 1.5 hours.

Travel directions from Jasper:

Your starting point is the junction of the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) and the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 south), accessible from the western end of the town of Jasper. (From Jasper Park Lodge, simply head west 6 kilometres on Highway 16.)

Head south on the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 south), for 106 kilometres. (about 60 miles), or 1 1/4 hours.

At the Columbia Icefield area

Stop at the Glacier Discovery Centre for Parks Canada’s interpretive displays and information desk, washrooms and last minute snacks.

Be sure to look across the valley to the Athabasca Glacier and the parking lot nearest the glacier. We meet near the footbridge in the parking lot nearest the glacier. (Did you catch “nearest the glacier”?) Look for the black Icewalks vehicle pulling a white trailer emblazoned with the Icewalks logo. We usually arrive a half hour before the scheduled departure time of the hikes.

In Google Maps only, enter:
Glacier Road, Jasper, Alberta

Latitude and Longitude coordinates:
52.212306°  –117.232694°
(Please note the minus sign)