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Columbia Icefield

A spectacular remnant from the ice age, the Columbia Icefield is the largest icefield in the Canadian Rockies. More than 30 glaciers make up the icefield, including one of the largest and most visited, the Athabasca Glacier. A highlight of a ... 

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Certiļ¬ed reviews by travelers like you.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

Well run and good value, a very early start but worth it.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

Excellent service from coach driver and views were stunning

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

Paul W
Canada

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

This was awesome! The bus driver was very knowledgeable about the area and history, it was very organized and we didn't feel rushed at all. Both the ice fields and the skywalk we great as well. We would highly recommend it

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Jasper

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2015

the tour guide was great. informative and humerous. The bus was having transmission trouble and was very slow. It took us at least 30 min. or more longer to get back than it should have. After a long day it seemed an internity.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Banff

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2015

The tour itself was great, but we wish there was more time for pictures and viewing. They stopped at a few spots along the highway for pictures and it didn't give enough time to enjoy the scenery. Travelling with 2 smaller kids made it feel a little rushed at times. There was definitely not enough time at the skywalk to split up as we had 1 little one sleeping on the bus and could not leave her. So by the time one got back to switch there wasn't enough time for the other person to go and we rushed through quick, not enjoying the view. Next time we go, we'll be doing that one privately so we can take our time and enjoy it more. Our bus driver for the tour and the snow coach were both great and very friendly.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Jasper

Nien
Brazil

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
July 2015

Summary: Great trip but the time in the Glacier is ridiculous.

Details: Unlike most reviews this was not easy to write or rate. I had a very important reason for my rating and I will make sure that everything is clear.

Pros: Organization was perfect, the guide/driver was perfect and polite, the route is very good covering a very long extension in very good time. Most trips only attend one or a few of the destinations that this trip covers and the attractions on the way are fantastic, definitely worth seeing.

Cons: I would state only ONE con but that was a huge turn down. One of the most important things for me in this trip was the possibility to be in the Columbia Icefield, more specifically, the Athabasca Glacier. This is without questions the most relevant item in the trip no wonder it is the photo of the trip itself.

HOWEVER, unlike all the other destinations of the trip, such as Lake Louise, Peyto Lake and the Skywalk, which consisted in a stop of around 30 - 45 minutes to explore the area, the time allowed on the Athabasca Glacier the icefield itself was of merely 15 minutes.

The Athabasca Glacier is fantastic. It is by far one of the most amazing places I have ever been and that is what I paid for, so I expected to be able to enjoy it at least some reasonable time. The necessary time for everyone to get off the huge bus already consumes about 5 minutes and its not easy to walk on the ice, you must be careful not to slide. There are natural mini waterfalls to fill bottles of water, there are hundreds of photography possibilities, there is a huge area that you can walk and enjoy this unique place in the world and you only have about 10 minutes. That is far, FAR from being even close to acceptable. Nobody informs you that you will only have that time when you buy the trip.

The trip is good but the time on the icefield is horrible. Makes you feel like a sample of something instead of a real experience.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

We had an excellent tour guide -Alistair?,who gave us lots of information and his instructions were very clear. Impressive! Thank you

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Jasper

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

This was a full but very enjoyable day. Our driver Jarrod was excellent, very easygoing and friendly and a great driver. Very informative and had some great personal stories of the area to share. The sights are stunning and we spent a sufficient amount of time at each stop to soak up the beauty and take some beautiful photos. Highly recommend this tour it is worth every cent!

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Banff

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

Tour was awesome. Worth every single penny. Breathtaking landscapes and views. Guide was very nice and was talking all the time about what we can see or about mountains. Everything was very professional and very well organized.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2015

A very good tour with an excellent guide. The only thing I would avoid is the connecting buses from Calgary, which extended the long day to a very long day!

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2015

Informative tour guide Jarrod! Enjoyed learning the tid bits about history of the various people and places along the tour. The time on the ice fields was short 15 mins but worth the views. We had lots of sunshine the whole day and some spectacular views of the glaciers and mountains. We saw three black bears, a mountain goat and lots of tourists :

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Banff

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
May 2015

The trip, Icefield tour, Athabasca falls and Sky walk are definetely worth doing but not with this Brewsters tour. The driver Dustin, on our tour turned up a little late and then looped back around Jasper to make an unscheduled stop at Tim Hortons' this wasn't necessarily too bad however should you turn up back to the coach just one minute late you can expect a 30 minute berating over the PA system. The driver continued his rant like behaviour by suggesting exactly when passengers should and shouldn't use the toilets this was to a coach load of tourists where no one was under 30 years of age. In the name of viewing some roadside wildlife you will get to see just how quickly a large coach can actually stop from 50mph, be warned this would be considered dangerous driving in the UK and I'm suprised they get away with in Canada - clearly the vehicles aren't tracked. At the buffet lunch you will get the opportunity to meet some of the rudest people on earth, enough to put you off dinner. After lunch you are told that you have to hang around for an hour for your return journey to Jasper, this turns out to be a scruffy minivan which departs from a back entrance, certainly NOT an air conditioned coach by any definition. This also means that you end up spending more time somewhere that there is very little to do. My recommendation is to do everything on this tour but not to book it this way, instead hire a car and do it yourself. There are two hire car companies in the train station at Jasper and it probably wouldn't be any more expensive, also the road conditions are very good with very little traffic if you are used to driving in the UK.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Jasper

Ken C
Australia

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2015

The last day of tours to the Columbia Icefields before things close down for the winter.

Pick up was early and driver was very good. All of transport was on time and good quality. we returned later on in the day in a car type vehilcle as others were directed to other tours.
Weather was mixed. The trip to the Glacier was amazing.
We enjoyed the trip compliment the tour and driver. Happy to endorse and recommend , but don't leave to this late in the season.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Jasper

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

We really enjoyed this tour and we highly recommend it when you're visiting Banff or Jasper national Park. Spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies and lakes along the way to the Columbia Icefield. As part of this tour, we also visited Lake Louise and Peyto Lake and it was just beautiful. Our driver/guide John was really exceptional. He even had us spend about 15-30 minutes at the Lake Louise Fairmont hotel and also at the Lake Louise Village on the way back to Banff as we had extra time left after visiting the Icefield. John was very friendly, courteous, very efficient in doing both his driving responsibilities as well as being our guide and giving us information along the way. He also had our safety first at all times during the trip. The tour bus was also very clean and had toilet facilities as well. We had a great time riding the Ice Explorer to the Athabasca glacier and had a great 30 minutes walking on the glacier, we even got to sample the water there! Our driver/guide of the Ice Explorer (we forgot his name but I want to mention he is older and per his introduction he had retired but was called to help out in the tours as some of the younger drives left for school) was also exceptional and he made the ride to the glacier field fun and informative. He also did an exceptional job. Kudos to John, our Ice Explorer driver/guide and also to Brewster company for an excellent tour!

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Banff

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

We loved the tour; will recommend it highly!

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Banff

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

This tour is a must-do in Banff. On the way to the icefields we had scenic stops at Lake Louise and Peyto Lake. Both absolutely stunning. Enjoyed the ride on the ice explorer. We drank water straight from the glacier. Even saw some wildlife on the bus ride. Bears, big-horned sheep and mountain goats.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Banff

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Awesome experience! Great tour! Great guide!

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2014

Good weather, well organised. Would have liked more detailed information.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2014

Wish there was more time on the ice field but was a great your loved the glacier skywalk

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Jasper

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

I found this tour very good. The tour guide, Patrick, was excellent and gave us lots of interesting information on the Rockies , the different ranges and peaks and those associated with their naming and the flora and fauna of the park. At the Icefield the buffet was very good, wide choice and great food and the guides there were bright and bubbly.I would have liked a bit more time in Banf on the return , even 1/2 an hour more.
Cathal

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2013

This is excellent value - all major areas are seen and plenty of stops for photos. Only down size was not enough time for dinner in Banff if you are returning to Calgary but would highly recommended this tour and our guide on the day Rick was excellent

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2013

The day we took this tour we were fortunate enough to experience snow falling at Lake Louise and the Athabasca Glacier. It was a fairy tale experience.
Riding the giant purpose built transports to get onto the ice was very exciting. The tour was certainly value for money, which included a buffet lunch.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2013

Great trip to experience the beauty of the Rockies. The tour guide was interesting and kept the group organized and informed during the day.

Doing what: Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary

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