Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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Travel photos on the way to the
Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre
August 3, 2015

Below: A jagged mountain that Lee Duquette thought was interesting looking.

a jagged mountain a jagged mountain

Below: A stop at a glacier and river. No signs to let the two RV Gypsies know the name of the glacier.

glacier and river Karen Duquette in front of a glacier and river

Below: Another one of Jasper National Park's roadside attractions, Tangle Creek Falls flows unmistakably on the side of Highway 93, the Icefields Parkway. The falls are three to four levels and flow westward into the Sunwapta River. No hiking is necessary, just park and view. Just watch for traffic when you stop to enjoy the view!

Tangle Creek Sign
Tangle Creek Fallsб═ Tangle Creek Fallsб═

The two RV Gypsies parked their RV at Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre to buy tickets for the Glacier Skywalk, Glacier Snowcoach Adventure, Banff Gondola, and Banff Lake Cruise.

August 3, 2015

The Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre is nestled at the foot of the majestic Mount Athabasca. It is a 'green' building with many environmentally friendly features. It shuts down in the winter. There is a big parking lot for cars, an area for busses only, and an area for RVs (but lots of cars were parked in the RV area, and the two RV Gypsies had to just make their own space). The Discovery Centre also has a restaurant and a gift shop.

sign: Columbia Icefield sign: Icefield Centre

This is where the two RV Gypsies bought tickets for the Glacier Skywalk and Glacier Adventure. Below: Karen stood beside a snowcoach used to transport visitors on the Glacier Adventure in an earlier era. The current snowcoach can be seen on the Glacier Adventure page through the link at the bottom of this page. There are display boards in this area so that visitors can learn about the mechanics of how the coaches travel on ice.

Glacier Skywalk and Adventure dates and hours Karen Duquette and an old-time snowcoach

The Columbia Icefield is the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains of North America. Located in the Canadian Rockies astride the Continental Divide along the border of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, the ice field lies partly in the northwestern tip of Banff National Park and partly in the southern end of Jasper National Park. It is about 325 square kilometres (125 miles) in area, 100 metres (330 feet) to 365 metres (1,198 feet) in depth and receives up to 7 metres (280 inches) of snowfall per year.

The ice field feeds eight major glaciers, including Athabasca Glacier, Castleguard Glacier, Columbia Glacier, Dome Glacier, Stutfield Glacier, and the Saskatchewan Glacier.

Parts of the ice field are visible from the Icefields Parkway. The Athabasca Glacier has receded significantly since its greatest modern-era extent in 1844. During the summer months visitors to the area can travel onto the glacier in the comfort of large snowcoaches. The Columbia Icefield is also a major destination for ski mountaineering in the winter months.

Snow Dome Andromedia Glacier

Below: Views of the Athabasca Glacier, where the snowcoaches travel.

Athabasca Glacier Athabasca Glacier
Athabasca Glacier Athabasca Glacier
Athabasca Glacier Athabasca Glacier

Below: Sign about the Glacial Retreat of the Athabasca Glacier.

signa bout glacial retreat sign about the Athabasca Glacier
sign about reaching the Columbia Icefiled

Time for the two RV Gypsies to walk on the Skywalk and then ride the snowcoach up onto the glacier (see the link below). If you would like reservations, call '403.762.6735. Do NOT call or e-mail the two RV Gypsies for reservations.

  • You can also take an ice walk, led by a certified mountain guide, that leaves daily from the Toe-of-the-Glacier parking lot. Tickets and reservations are available at the Icefield Chalet Hotel front desk or by reservation at 800.565.7547 or 780.852.5595. The two RV Gypsies did not do this, but thought it might be helpful information to visitors of their website.

    IMPORTANTThe nearest gas station is 52 km south at Saskatchewan River Crossing (seasonal only). Keep an eye out “next gas” signs along the Icefields Parkway as you leave Jasper and Lake Louise.

look below

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