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“Expensive but...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure

Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure
Box 1140 | 100 Gopher St., Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1J3, Canada
+1 403-762-6735
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Ranked #6 of 24 Tours & Activities in Banff
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Glacier Adventure reveals the most unique attraction in the Canadian Rockies. Massive Brewster Ice Explorers, specially designed for glacial travel, take passengers on a remarkable excursion onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier. Each 80 minute journey is lead by an experienced driver-guide, who shares a wealth of fascinating information about glaciers, icefields and their impact on our environment.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Expensive but...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

Before considering this attraction there are two things you need to be awre of - it's expensive and it's very cold. If you are prepared to put up with both then it is a brilliant experience. We were there on a sunny day and the views were superb. The driver / guide on the Ice Explorer was both informative and entertaining in about the right mixture. I would imagine queues could be quite long in peak periods but we arrived fairly early without a reservation and didn't have to wait too long. The restaurant area and shop were very crowded and the food didn't look very good - just had coffee and took our own food following the advice of other reviews.

Overall this is an expensive attraction but is also a bit of a "bucket list" thing to do. The drive down the Icefields Parkway to get there is an experience in itself, with amazing views at every turn - well woth the visit.

Visited March 2013
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Stillwater, Minnesota
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62 reviews 62 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Expecially Fun Trip on a Glacier”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

Columbia Ice field is one of the only tours that go up on the glacier in a vehicle. You can leave the warmth of the custom ice vehicle - and I recommend that you do. All the same you can return to the bus-like vehicle if (more accurately when) you get cold. Be sure to dress warmly and walk very carefully, it is really easy to lose your footing. Bring winter coats and winter hats and gloves. It is windier up on the glacier and colder than it is in the parking lot - so don't be deluded into thinking you don't need warm duds.

The attraction is worth the price. Glaciers are receding - and may someday may not be around for any form of exploration. This attraction allows anyone to view a glacier, no matter your physical limitations or abilities.

Visited September 2013
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Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“What an adventure”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

We were on a self-drive tour and happened to be passing! We decided to stop and have a go and it was well worth it. There was a bit of waiting around to start with but then we were put on a bus for the first part. We then switched to one of the special buses nearer to the glacier and had a hair-raising trip with a lunatic driver down to the glacier and up onto the ice. The driver was well-informed and turned what could have been dry facts into fun. Being on the glacier was amazing! This was well organised and safe but gave the feel of a real adventure. I would definitely do it again if I was near enough.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
52 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Highlight of our trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

What a wonder of nature! Although we were there on a very busy weekend, it was a very organized outing; first loading into buses then onto the big wheel tundra cats to actually go out onto the glacier and walk around. Pack a coat because it was cold even in August and gripping shoes because you obviously are on a gigantic sheet of ice (we were shocked and the number of people in flip flops or heels!) Our funny, knowledgeable driver really added to it. The hanging glaciers on the sides were my favorite. And the drive north along the Icefield Parkway was some of the most awe inspiring, gorgeous scenery I ever saw. Ate at the cafeteria there for a nice convenient meal with a great view

Visited August 2013
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Walton, Ontario
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58 reviews 58 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“An icy adventure!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

We visited the Columbia Icefields as a part of the Brewster 3-attraction deal and this was indeed a highlight of our visit to the Rockies. The mountain scenery all the way from Banff, up the Icefields Parkway was spectacular and once we arrived at the Columbia Icefields it only got better as we took the large "Ice Explorer" tour down a rather dramatic drop off, then up onto the glacier. Our guide was absolutely awesome. He was as funny and personable as he was informative. While I usually detest bus tours, the short duration of this guided trip onto the glacier added a great deal to our knowledge and experience of the area.
Even in the summer, visitors need to come prepared for the cold. Wear runners and bring a coat, or at least wear layers! Spend the money to go on the Ice Explorer; you'll be glad you did!

Visited July 2013
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