See it now before it completely melts ...
Yes, a gigantic wall of ice:
When visiting Banff or Lake Louise in Alberta Canada, you should dedicate a day to visit the Columbia Icefield in the Canadian Rockies. You can see this sleeping giant, the Athabasca Glacier if you do. If you want, you can also walk out onto the glacier like we did. Fun!
There is a lot of buzz on the interweb saying that the traffic is bumper to bumper all the way to the icefield. They lied. Yes, there is traffic but my husband and I would have enjoyed our own vehicle much better than spending 12 hours on a bus with a bunch of self-absorbed Karens. I recommend you just drive yourself. The peace and quiet of your own vehicle will be so much better than what we endured. We were talked poorly about as people from "Canada's Pants." We paid about $1,000 for this experience, hear my warning, do not use a tour company. Now onto the big icy thing.
The Columbia Icefield is a section of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and it is spectacular. The area is filled with lots of glaciers, some small and others much bigger. When you visit the Athabasca Glacier, you can see informational signs that show a picture of the glacier in the 1950s so you can see the difference today. What a difference. Today, the glacier is about half the size it was 70 years ago. There is even a new river of snowmelt that didn't exist back then and they have even built a new road so you can get to the glacier. I'm sure that this is normal and that that fake global warming stuff had nothing to do with it.
What's it like to walk on the glacier? Wonderful and creepy. The whole time we were up there I just couldn't stop thinking that I was doing something disrespectful of nature and I bet we were. Glaciers have crevasses and if you fall through the surface into one, we were told that we would be toast. Again, we paid $1,000 for this. Also, a glacier is pretty "dirty" with lots of rocks coming to the surface. Imagine NYC the day after a snowfall where the snow is grey with lots of cinders and you've got the picture.
Solitude? No way, picture about 5 buses full of tourists, mostly screaming children. All those peeps are rudely pushing themselves in front of you to take that perfect pic. The surface is also very slippery. I saw an elderly man probably in his 80's take a huge fall, and the tour guides just stood there and watch his elderly wife try to help him. Again, hear my warning, do not use a tour company.
The plain and simple promise:
- Wide open spaces
- Natural beauty
- LOTS, LOTS, and LOTS of tourists
- THE most rude restaurant manager I've ever walked away from
The temperature on the glacier during the summer was pretty warm.
If you go:
- The Columbia Icefield is located in the Canadian Rockies with a population of no one.
- The glacier entrance is located about 26 hours from downtown Palm Springs and 2 1/2 hours from Banff, Alberta, Canada
- Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day weather permitting