Jutting out from the side of a Jasper National Park cliff, the elevated, glass-bottomed Columbia Icefield Skywalk, also known as Glacier Skywalk, is an exhilarating—if somewhat unnerving—way to experience the epic, untouched landscapes of the Canadian Rockies. From this vantage point, the view of the park’s ice-hatted peaks and glacial valleys is nothing short of spectacular.
At the Skywalk, make your way along the 1,312-foot (400-meter) Discovery Trail to the Discovery Vista. Here step out onto a curving, open-air observation platform where only a transparent pane of glass underfoot separates you from the Sunwapta Valley floor—918 feet (280 meters) below.
You can purchase an admission ticket and make your own way to the nearby Glacier Discovery Center, from where a shuttle bus transports you to the Skywalk. Alternatively, visit as part of an organized day tour from Jasper, Banff, or Calgary. Day tours typically combine visits to the Skywalk with the Athabasca Glacier, part of the breathtaking Columbia Icefield. One-way day tours, running from Jasper to Lake Louise (and vice versa), Banff to Jasper (and vice versa), and Jasper to Calgary are also available.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Complimentary audio guides are available to visitors.
- The Skywalk is partially exposed and can be windy and cold, so dress warmly.
- The Skywalk is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Columbia Icefield Skywalk experience begins at the nearby Columbia Icefield Discovery Center in Jasper National Park, Alberta. To get there, drive 2.5 hours north from Banff or 1.5 hours south from Jasper along the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93). Free Skywalk-bound shuttle buses depart from the Discovery Center every 15 minutes. There is no parking at the Skywalk.
When to Get There
The Skywalk is open from May through mid-October. The best time to come is directly after opening or in late afternoon, around the bulk of the visitors.
Views from the Skywalk
On a clear day, you will be able to see a portion of the Columbia Icefield, one of Canada’s biggest expanses of glacial ice. The North Glacier of Mt. Athabasca is also visible, as is Mt. Kitchener. If you have a sharp eye, you may even be able to spot bighorn sheep and mountain goats roaming below.