As of last summer (May 1), the Canadian Rockies and its inhabitants welcomed a new addition to the park, The Glacier Skywalk. Inspired by the different aspects of the park, the interactive structure was created to guide visitors each step of the way to experience the breathtaking glaciers and its diverse habitat. An educational, multi-language audio tour is provided, but we would personally avoid being distracted by the Siri-esque vibe out in the middle of the majestic Canadian Rockies.
So 30 dollars later, with ticket in hand, you’ll begin the adventure at the Columbia Glacier Discovery Centre, just over 100 miles away from the town of Banff in Alberta. The Icefields Parkway leading to the center is noted as one of the most scenic drives in the world and although cars aren’t allowed at the Skywalk, biking is however permitted. A limited amount of bike rentals are also available at the Discovery Centre.
A routine shuttle will transport you to the Glacier Skywalk where you can embark on the interpretive walkway and find your way to the glass-floor platform. The trail is roughly four times the length football field (about 400 meters) overlooking the valley floor at a height of 280 meters. But the real rush is when you step onto the glass-floored platform, which extends another 35 meters beyond the cliff face. Put the adrenaline and flushed faces aside and take in the view of cascading waterfalls and glacier-formed valleys that have developed over the last three million years!
It was the intention of the architects and designers to use the Skywalk as a link that connects visitors to the natural world, in the hopes that they leave with knowledge of the ecology, geology, glaciology and evolutionary history of the Canadian Rockies. With every moral intention in mind, the Skywalk construction will hopefully maintain a balance of wonder and protection to the surrounding natural resources. Photography and videography are encouraged by the park, and that the memories will be shared via social media with unique hashtags such as #GlacierSkywalk or @GlacierSkywalk.
A few things to note about the Glacier Skywalk area:
- No washroom facilities are available. The nearest washrooms are at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre
- Pets are not allowed on the Glacier Skywalk or transporting shuttle
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Knowledgeable guides available at each station of the Skywalk
- Audio tour is available in English, French, Mandarin, Korean and Japanese
As one visitor said, “Walking out those first steps was such a thrill. The quality of this walk made you feel like you were walking on air!” And we hope you experience the same!
Banff Jasper Highway, Jasper
T0M 2H0 Canada 1.800-760-6934