Panorama from the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier hike on Icefields Parkway, the Canadian Rockies
Panorama from the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier hike on Icefields Parkway, the Canadian Rockies

Toe of the Athabasca Glacier hike

Jasper National Park
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View of the glacier on the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Hike in Jasper National ParkMountaineers on the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Hike in Jasper National ParkGlacial moraine on the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Hike in Jasper National ParkViews of Athabasca Glacier from Icefield Discovery Centre on the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Hike in Jasper National ParkTrailhead of the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Hike in Jasper National ParkStunning views on the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Hike along the Icefields Parkway in AlbertaTarns along the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Hike in Jasper National ParkHikers and mountaineers on the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Hike in Jasper National ParkViews from the lake by the parking lot on the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Hike in Jasper National ParkView from the parking lot of the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Hike in Jasper National Park

Toe of the Athabasca Glacier hike

Distance: 0.9mi
Elevation: 197ft
Time: 0.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.8 Overall Rating
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Do you want to see the Athabasca Glacier for Free? While at the Columbia Icefields consider hiking the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier trail. This family-friendly hike is a great alternative to the expensive tour of the glacier. The Athabasca Glacier are sublime.

Toe of the Athabasca Glacier hike Map

Getting there

Drive on Highway 93 north to the Columbia Icefield Centre. Instead of turning into the Centre turn left and head on a small road that goes downhill to the bottom of the glacier, passing a small lake en route.

I’ve done this 25 people have done this
I want to do this 79 want to do this route

About

When to do

All Year

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

At trailhead

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Lollipop


Toe of the Athabasca Glacier
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Toe of the Athabasca Glacier

Start the hike to the Toe of the Athabasca Glacier from the far end of parking lot. There is an obvious trail across a bridge and up towards the glacier. This hike shows the impact of the retreating glaciers, with signs showing how far the Athabasca Glacier has shrunk over the years.

Continue hiking uphill and then go left as the path makes a circle, you are going around clockwise, and you can read about the glacier at various stops on this hike. There are great views all around during this walk.

Please watch your kids closely and do not cross the roped off area while hiking on this path. There are unobservable crevasses near this trail and the last three people who fell in were not able to be saved. It is particularly easy for children to fall down these crevasses as there care free nature may not allow them to see them until it is too late, as they are quite hidden among the rocks..

As you do your circuit your view continues to change. We particularly like watching people on the glacier, dwarfed by the massive Icefield.

Once you have completed the circuit, hike back the you came.

Insider Hints

  • If you have more time need the experience of walking on the Glacier, there is an alternative trip with Brewster’s Glacier Adventure (although there is a cost associated with this method!).

  • There are washrooms and refreshments at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre.

Comments

RobCruz 1 year ago

I'm glad my family agrees to this kind of bonding, it's so special to me. Nature really is the most beautiful thing!

10.0 Overall Rating
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1h 00m Time Taken
JohnCan 1 year ago

No wonder there are loads of people around it. It's so beautiful!

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Zina SW. 2 years ago

This hike is classic! The glacier was impressive. There are various stops that offers scenic views as well!

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Jackson C. 2 years ago

It was beautiful! Words are not enough to describe its incredible charm.

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SebClyde 2 years ago

Possibly the most beautiful thing i saw in my life.

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MUCHADVENTURE 2 years ago

Not hard at all but a nice way to see the glacier without paying for the fancy rides. Bring a coat, we went in the early fall and were freezing!

oskareglq 2 years ago

What an unfogettable experience!! For some reason it wasn't crowded when we visited. It was a peaceful and stunning!

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Donald J. 3 years ago

It felt great to see this place with my own eyes! What a beautiful wonder!

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Frinces L. 3 years ago

This is a special hike for my family. The view of the glacier is stunning.

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Sammy Rickson 3 years ago

Stunning hike for minimal effort and expense. Glad it's open to the public but sad that it's quite busy.

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17 Comments Show all

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