The Great Canadian Rockies are iconic to Western Canada and nestled amongst them is the Athabasca Glacier, a 10,000-year-old ice sheet in Jasper National Park. Overlooking the Columbia Ice Field is the luxurious Glacier View Lodge and coupled with the Columbia Glacier excursion, makes for an unforgettable experience.
Glacier View Lodge
The recently renovated Glacier View Lodge allows guests to take in the serenity of Jasper Park from the comfort of their Scandinavian-inspired rooms. The lodge exudes luxury with its mid-century modern furniture, clean lines and plush bedding. The word that comes to mind is Hygge, the Danish culture of cozy comfort, but in a chic minimal upscale way!
The primary draw for staying with Glacier View Lodge is for the unobstructed views of the glacier from the rooms thanks to the many floor-to-ceiling windows. After sunset, the views are just as magical. Jasper National Park is the second-largest dark sky preserve in the world. On a clear night, the sky comes alive with twinkling stars. For the stargazing enthusiasts, there are telescopes available for celestial fun.
Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure
Something as magnificent as the Athabasca Glacier deserves an equally epic adventure. Massive “Ice Explorer” vehicles transport visitors to the glacier and when I say these vehicles are big, I mean they are huge! There are only 23 of these high-powered all terrain buses in the world one of which is at McMurdo international base in Antarctica. The remaining 22 are here on the ice fields.
Walking on the glacier is surreal. It is hard to believe that nestled between Jasper and Banff amongst the Rocky Mountains are miles of ice. Visitors get 30 minutes to walk around and take in the glittering ice before heading back onto the Ice Explorers to the Skywalk.
An architectural marvel, the glass bottomed Skywalk is not for the faint of heart. The kilometre long walkway goes through the Sunwapta Valley in the Columbia Icefields culminating at the glass bottomed cliff walk that is suspended 918 feet above the Columbia Icefield. It was breathtaking and I cannot put the feeling into words. Striding across the glass floor was an experience for the books!
With a focus on locally sourced ingredients, the team behind Altitude restaurant offers a thoughtfully curated menu of Canadian contemporary cuisine. Diners can enjoy an early breakfast before glacier excursions and post adventures are invited back for dinners.
Altitude keeps breakfast simple and nutritious with their wholesome offerings like the superfood filled breakfast bowl. The Avocado Toast is given a glamorous makeover with the addition of Gin-cured salmon gravlax. The Eggs Benedict is finished with a luxurious champagne hollandaise sauce, but for those who like to live on the sweeter side of life, the French Toast is layered with rum flamed bananas and raspberry coulis!
Dinner follows in Breakfast’s footsteps with its gastronomic dishes. Excite your tastebuds with the Tea-smoked King Cole duck breast or Braised Alberta Beef Short Rib with smoked creamy horseradish grits. Do not forget to give the cocktail menu a browse as you would be remiss to not try their inventive drink creations.
An Experience of a Lifetime
Being out on the Athabasca Glacier was awe-inspiring and allowed me to connect with Mother Nature on a deeper level. The views of the sprawling ice fields from the bedroom at Glacier View Lodge were special. Not to mention the sleek design of the chalet made it all the more amazing of an experience!