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Athabasca Glacier

Halfway along the Icefields Parkway, the Athabasca Glacier stretches down to the valley from the Columbia Icefield. A living remnant of the last ice age, Athabasca is one of the largest of around 30 glaciers in the Rockies’ largest icefield. ... 

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Lucy United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

Fantastic Tour. Our tour guide Ben was friendly and knowledgeable and even handed out bottles of water throughout the day. The glacier is a must see.
The lunch was delicious and fresh.
We really enjoyed our day.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

Nicole J M

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2016

This experience was one of the coolest I have done in my life. It was great to be part of the tour group due to the long waits for line during the time I was there. I was very pleased with the tour, long day of driving but well worth it.

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

sheila.pollecutt

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

A wonderful trip. The whole day was so enjoyable - so much to see along the way. Obviously the glacier was the highlight of the day, but we also enjoyed our picnic in the warm sunshine in a field surrounded by snow clad mountains. Our driver was excellent.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

Jane O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

Terrific tour with a terrific guide! Very knowledgeable! It was nice to be with a smaller group also rather than a large tour bus.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

Lisa M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

Rose our driver was excellent . She was very knowledgable and it was obvious she loves the area. It and #39;s nice to know what you and #39;re looking at and the history of the area. We packed in a lot of sightseeing into the day. Smaller Bus size was a plus.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

ANIL VIJAISINH A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2016

Driving through the Rocky mountains is an experience in itself thankfully the weather was great. The beauty of the mountains, numerous glaciers and lakes are captivating. Perhaps the most exquisite in its pristine glory is turquoise lake Lake Peyto which drew gasps from everyone as we approached. The color is simply unbelievably pure. The Ice field trip is a once in a life time - the detailing by the driver sorry about the name as we approached was very informative. The exhilarating experience as we take our first steps on A GLACIER ! and after all the photos, a drink of glacial water from the source and a little bit for home. The sky walk is great but the Mountains,Lakes and Ice field are greater. Organisation perfect, Driver and host sorry names forgotten tremendous - their detailing impressive !!! the lunch plentiful and varied - which is great on such long trips. On way back, a happy silence as we absorbed the experience,

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

Teresita I

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2016

This tour was amazing!

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

Joe

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2016

The journey to/from the Athabasca Glacier takes several 2-3 hrs each way and is the best part due to our very experienced and knowledgeable tour guide, Graham McDonald. Saw deers and 3 black bears along the way.

The glacier experience itself was ok but not great. We were trucked from the base station up/down the glacier in a high volume operation. I wouldn't have known it was a glacier if weren't told. We were allowed to get out of the truck and walked around on the glacier in a relatively flat cordoned off area. Relatively safe but no ice shoes were provided and one could easily slip and fall on the ice. Time on the glacier was 30mins to an hr at most. There was some commentary provided by the operator at the glacier but not in much detail about the glacier, e.g. how it was formed, amount of snow in the area, whether it is advancing or retreating, etc.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

jasdoit92

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2016

Felt very rushed. Not enough time during Lake Louise and Peyto Lake stop. Our guide Dale was very dismissive, not friendly except to select few passengers. He was indifferent for most of the tour. Even the Athbasca glacier stop felt too rushed. What a let down

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

metonyc

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
July 2016

We took the full day Athabasca Glacier tour with Discover Banff Tours booked through Viator. The tour itself has some wonderful sites and the Columbia icefield was definitely worth seeing. However, our tour guide Terry was horrible. We were told to stand outside of our hotel for pickup. He did not bother to look for us and went straight to our concierge and then left without even calling out our name. We had to call the tour company to get him to come back. He was rushing through the whole tour and even skipped a stop that was on the itinerary. If anyone was 1 minute late he would berate them on the bus microphone. He also yelled at little kids for bringing on ice cream on the bus there was no sign or any mentioning of food not allowed . He made fun of a lady because she wants to make a restroom stop and told the couple in front of us that seat changes are not allowed. Even though there was no assigned seats. He also yelled at them for talking while he was talking. All this was done over the bus speaker in front of the whole group. He treated us like we are in kindergarten. I would do this tour again but not while Terry is a tour guide.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

Jenna T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

I took this tour on 31 May 2016, and it was incredible! There is a lot packed into the day which itself is long - around 6am to 9pm if you're travelling from Calgary, like I was, but it really was sensational and worth every penny. I was in Calgary for a conference, and so decided to book this tour because I didn't have much time for sightseeing, and wanted to fit in as much of the Rockies as possible.
The day certainly didn't disappoint, and, as well as all the sights listed on the itinerary, we were also treated to the site of two grizzly bears, and one brown bear with her two cubs!
The whole day was very well-organized from start to finish, and I will definitely be back to Canada for more adventures in the future. Special thank you to Frank our driver and Rebecca our Brewster rep, who did a brilliant job. Frank was a fountain of knowledge!

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

Parichat W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

Love the trip. Our guide tour was excellent and knowledgeable! We had so much fun ! This was a trip to remember. It was worth it. All the staff were very helpful and informative as well. Both Viator and Discovery staff did a good job. We encountered rain, sunshine, and snow all in one day but Athabasca Glacier trip was a unique experience that we'd never forget. We love Western Canada.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

Charlotte F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

Anick our guide was awesome. Tour was great and we got to see a grizzly bear and two brown bears.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

Lucien D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Outstanding experience despite the cold and snowy weather. Breathtaking scenery, an amazing glacier walk and even two bears thrown in for added effect! Do be prepared for a very long day - a 6 a.m. start and return to Calgary at 9 p.m.

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

Adrienne S

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2016

The trip was really a wonderful experience. What made it truly enjoyable was our guide, Hugh. He was extremely informative, which meant that we learned a lot about the history of the area, and he even let us stop on the way back to take some pictures of one of the only lakes that was not still frozen! We were also able to stop numerous places along the way to enjoy a variety of sites. Great experience for sure!

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

Lori D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

Great scenery, great tour. Highly recommend this tour.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

Erna L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

although we did not have nice weather for our trip, we still enjoyed it very much. Our guide and chauffeur was excellent, giving us plenty of information at the different sites we visited.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

Nuning O

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2015

Seeing and standing on the ancient icefield were amazing experience. Although it was raining, the experience was incredable! The glacier skywalk was not so spectacular. I expect more on this.

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

Mary O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

The tour was amazing and Alister was full of knowledge and was also a great driver. Brewster bus didn't have our reservations even though we had a confirmation from viator which caused some distress. The Columbia Icefield was unbelievable and breathtaking and I would recommend this trip to others.

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

Stacey V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

This was a great tour, and the guides did a great job keeping everyone together and timely so that we were able to enjoy all the activities. There was traffic slow down on the way back due to an unfortunate accident so did not get as much time for dinner as expected but did not go hungry as there is a Tim Hortons in the bus terminal to get dinner.

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

Catherine P

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

Howard R

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

Adam T

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2015

Was a fairly big day. A long drive to see the glacier but was along one of the most scenic roads in the world so can't complain.

Doing what: Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

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

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