Sep. 13, 2016
By Naomi Witherick
Enormous vehicles roved in the distance, large notched tires gripping the icy ground. White clouds hung low in the air, veiling the giant grey mountains behind them. Their misty edges touched the horizon, blurring the line between the sky and the frozen white ground.
This could have been another planet. But I was right here in the Canadian Rockies on the Glacier Adventure and Skywalk tour at the Athabasca Glacier.
Walking on the icy surface of the Athabasca Glacier.
Photo by ShutterRunner
Canada’s National Parks show the beautiful variety in our country’s topography—from British Columbia’s turquoise-tinged glaciers and Alberta’s jagged mountains to the coasts of Ontario’s lakes and seaside in the Maritimes. Among them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites recognized for their unique natural beauty, and while some are easy to access others are located in remote corners of our untamed nation. A full list of all 42 National Parks of Canada, which was the world’s first national park service, can be found at www.pc.gc.ca. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada, and to celebrate there are special events and celebrations—don’t think just because summer is over the fun is done, many parks are at there most stunning when the snow falls—check out a list of upcoming events here. (more…)
Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. (By Benson Kua)
Ever been asked what are must-see spots by friends visiting from abroad and drawn a blank, or thought about taking a trip to another province but not known what’s on offer besides a city stop? The Canadian Tourism Commission has released their Signature Experiences Collection. The federally funded program has released an initial list of 48 (undoable in 48 hours, so don’t get any ideas of a Guinness-worthy task) attractions to see, spanning east to west. Aimed at high-end tourists from Europe and Australia, they’re not exactly the waterfalls and whale watching your parents took you on when you were kids.
Columbia Icefield courtesy Athatbasca Glacier Icewalks
The Columbia Icefield covers 215 sq km (83 sq mi) and is up to 365 m (1200 ft) deep—it’s the largest accumulation of ice in the Rockies. Icefield meltwaters feed the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans (plus people and crops) making it one of two triple continental divides in the world (the other is in Siberia). But this popular attraction is getting smaller due to global warming. Athabasca Glacier markers note that the ice recedes up to 10 m (33 ft) annually. So take an Ice Explorer ride or icewalk while you can. — JN