A brand new attraction in the Canadian Rockies offers stunning views, a breathtaking experience, and a dramatic new way to view the world-renowned Columbia Icefield.
The Glacier Skywalk, an impressive curved glass-floored observation platform suspended 918 feet (280 metres) above the rubble-strewn canyon below, opened to visitors on May 1. It is the newest attraction along the Icefields Parkway linking the townsites of Jasper and Banff.
Located five minutes from the Discovery Centre at the Columbia Glacier in Jasper National Park, the Glacier Skywalk enables visitors to literally step into the scenery, high above the Sunwapta valley on a suspended glass walkway.
At a cost of $21 million, this engineering wonder is one of the boldest attractions to go into a Canadian National Park. A combination of structural steel and glass the Skywalk is anchored into the rock on the side of the mountain.
Six interactive interpretative stations and an audio tour (should you want it) talk about the geology and biology of the area as you stroll down the 1,150-foot (350-metre) walkway that leads from the bus drop off to the actual skywalk.
Unlike a similar attraction on Hualapai tribal land outside of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, visitors don’t have to remove their shoes and photographs are permitted.
Brewster Canada, who built and operates the attraction, is extremely proud of the design, concept and the fact that this is a fully accessible attraction. For over 120 years, Brewster has been a valued partner in presenting outstanding visitor experiences and learning opportunities in Canada’s mountain national parks to Canadians and visitors from around the world.
The Skywalk project passed a federal environmental assessment in 2012 and was fully endorsed by Parks Canada.
If you are driving the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper, make a day of it. The Discovery Centre is also the home base for reservations and tickets for the Snocoach tour of Columbia Glacier and the self-guided tour of the Skywalk. The 32 -room Glacier Inn is located on the top floors of the Discovery Centre.
The Glacier Skywalk is open until October 19th and is expected to host a quarter million visitors during its inaugural season.
There are numerous packages available, which include the Icefield attractions as well as some Banff -based Brewster attractions including the Banff Lake Cruise and Banff Gondola.
Stretching 144 miles (232 km) through the heart of the UNESCO Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, the Icefield Parkway opened in 1940 as a scenic road for the use and pleasure of national park visitors.
Every year, almost two million people visit Jasper National Park to sightsee, enjoy iconic Rocky Mountain scenery, and connect to nature.
Jasper National Park, the largest of Canada’s mountain national parks is part of one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural areas in the world.
Jasper National Park part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Glacier Skywalk is located on the Icefields Parkway at the boundary of Banff and Jasper National Parks―approximately 1 hour from Jasper and 2.5 hours from Banff.
No parking is available at the Glacier Skywalk itself. Visitors are asked to use the free shuttle service leaving from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre.
Rates: $24.95; children ages 6-15, $12.50; infants free; package tours are available
Phone: (800) 760-6934 (toll free)
“Our national parks are our national treasures, and Jasper is certainly not the least of these. Brewster Travel Canada’s new state-of-the-art experience will provide visitors from around the world a unique way to learn about the Columbia Icefield’s special natural and cultural heritage. This ‘view from the edge’ experience will give us the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the Rockies and the Columbia Icefield while respecting both the environment and the integrity of our landscape.”
―The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Member of Parliament for Yellowhead