Hike to the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier

Hike to the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier

Columbia Icefields Center

Distance

1.2 Miles

Elevation Gain

165 Feet

Activities

Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Julie & Brian

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Scenic

Get up close to one of the six toes of the Columbia Icefield, the Athabasca Glacier, without having to sign up for a tour.

This short hike is a must-do if you are driving up the Icefields Parkway and don't have the time or funds to take one of the tours that goes onto the glacier. Standing in front of such a massive sheet of ice, is a humbling experience.  

The trail head has a large dirt lot just across the road from the Columbia Icefields Center, and is well marked. You will begin on a short, gradual slope up up loose gravel, so be sure to wear the appropriate footwear. There is one section that is a little steeper, but just take your time with it and you'll be fine. The end of the trail is marked by a rope, as this the furthest visitors are permitted to go without a guided tour. Take a few photos, remember to budget more time to explore for next time, then head back to your car.  

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Sunrise

This place can get busy during the day, I recommend going there for a sunrise when everyone is pretty much sleeping and the area is still so quiet. It is a beautiful spot, its just so terrible that the glacier is receding so quickly.

Nothing Makes you appreciate a receeding glacier like Glaciers

Endless buses, screaming and shouting, rumbling engines.... just about the furthest thing from a wilderness setting one could hope. It's a circus, and definitely not worth seeing where there are hundreds of places to get the same view if you don't mind leaving your vehicle behind.

Distance

1.2 Miles

Elevation Gain

165 Feet

Activities

Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Julie & Brian

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Explore the Athabasca Ice Caves

Adventure

Hike along the Athabasca Glacier

Adventure

Snowshoe to Wilcox Pass

Adventure

Hike to Wilcox Pass

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

travel

Women’s Adventures on the Rise with MT Sobek

​Our friends at MT Sobek are proudly marking their 50th anniversary by creating a series of women...

gear

5 Pieces of Gear You Need for a Weekend Adventure in Monterey, California

Everything you need to crush your trip to Monterey.

destinations

Why You Need to Visit Taughannock Falls in the Winter

Taughannock Falls is gorgeous year-round, but it is especially beautiful in the winter

how-to

How to Pack for Adventure Travel

Pack light, pack smart, and always give yourself some breathing room.

More Stories