We drove all day towards the glacier from lake Louise. The sights along the Icefields Parkway were constantly awesome, a neverending vista of peaks and glaciers. Around every corner was another photostop and although the weather deteriorated as the day wore on[our only day of rain in the whole month] we managed to come out of the rain and the skys began to clear as we got to Peto Lake, [do stop here-the colour of the lake is amazing] and then Athabasca glacier. What an awesome visit that was-a must do. We took the ice bus onto the glacier down an 18*slope-so exciting to see a glacier at such close quaters and actually be able to walk on it. Wear good non slip shoes or take a walking stick like i did!! and your camera-I guarentee you will be awed into silence.We paid less by prebooking at Banff Gondola for 3 attractions,[Lake Minnewanka,Banff Gondola and Glacier bus] but i believe you can do the same from the glacier visitor centre if you are doing the Parkway in reverse to Banff. It does save quite a bit as the tickets are not cheap-$57approx for glacier.Food is good at the visitor centre and not that expensive.We did the glacier tour first then did the walk from the bottom of the glacier car park later. Park first in the visitor centre carpark to dothe tour, then you can drive over to the other carpark, otherwise it is a lot of walking.