The star of the show for Day 2 of our weekend getaway to Lake Louise was the Columbia Ice fields. After hurriedly packing up our stuff and grabbing a coffee and a cinnamon bun, we hopped into the vehicle for another road trip.
The Ice Fields are located on the highway between Lake Louise and Jasper – about a 1.5-2 hour drive (depending on how many camping trailers you get stuck behind).
We weaved through the mountains, admiring the scenery of the mountain cliff faces, tall spruce trees, and winding rivers. This route is very different than driving on a freeway, but, unfortunately, we didn’t spot any wildlife.
We arrived at our destination, and marveled at the glaciers poking out from the mountain tops. We were told that in some places, the ice is estimated to be as thick as the Eiffel Tower.
The glacier has receded quite a bit in the past 30 years, but our tour guide informed us the majority of the glacier’s body was hiding behind the mountains.
We traveled up part of the mountain in an Ice Explorer – a giant bus with absolutely giant tires. Each one has very low tire pressure, to help it travel up and down large hills (and thankfully not skid on the ice).
We stepped onto the glacier and were given about 20 minutes to explore, take photos, and the like. The ice has a blueish tinge, and it is incredible just how thick it is. There are mini waterfalls all around, rushing with clear, icy cold, glacial water.
We stuck our fingertips into the water before admiring that it would travel to the Arctic Ocean.
Back onto the bus we went, where our tour guide provided us with a few fun facts such as how much snow it takes to form glaciers and the life of glacier toe’s lake.
It was a lengthy drive home, but we had a few good CDs for sing-a-longs and I was fueled by my excitement to reunite with Sophie.