The Columbia Icefield - located south of the community of Jasper, Alberta, Canada - is the most visited glacier attraction in the Jasper National Park. The Columbia Icefield is a sightseeing destination popular for activities like wildlife sightings, all terrain tours and guided ice hiking tours.
Due to global warming and safety issues the only way to access the glacier is via a tour. Tours exploring the glacier are provided by local interpretive hiking guides and an "ice explorer" all terrain company. The "ice explorer" vehicles are enclosed, heated and monster truck-like with 6 large tires.
The tours explore the Athabasca Glacier of the Columbia Icefield which is a small toe of the icefield which is accessible.
The Columbia Icefield is the largest glacial ice formation located south of Alaska measuring over 389 square kilometres and up to 360 metres deep. The glacier is always moving forward and backward with the seasons.
There is a large parking lot located at the end of the access road with an interpretive centre which houses a gift shop, restaurant and coffee shop. The centre is located at the base of the Columbia Icefield.