8th GEWEX Open Science Conference: Extremes and Water on the Edge

May 6 - 11, 2018 | Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Columbia Icefields Tour
Registration for the Tour is now closed
The updated itinerary is listed below; buses begin boarding at 6:45 AM at the Coast Canmore Hotel and Conference Centre

A trip down the Icefields Parkway, one of the most scenic highways in the world, takes you to the Columbia Icefield, where you will explore the surface of the Athabasca Glacier in a unique, specially designed Ice Explorer. This excursion is scheduled for the morning and afternoon of Sunday 6 May 2018, and will have you back in time for registration and the Conference reception.

Spend the day exploring the Icefields Parkway, with an ever-changing view of waterfalls, turquoise lakes, alpine meadows, snow-capped peaks and glaciers. You’ll arrive at the Columbia Icefield, the largest sub-polar body of ice in North America, and one of the reasons why the United Nations declared Canada’s four Rocky Mountain Parks a World Heritage Site. It covers an area of nearly 325 square kilometres, sometimes reaching a depth of 300-360 metres (1150 feet) deep. Board an Ice Explorer that will take you directly onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier.

Updated Itinerary:

  • 0630 Buses arrive at Coast Canmore Hotel and Conference Centre
  • 0645 Buses begin boarding
    Water and breakfast muffins provided
  • 0700 Buses depart from Coast Canmore Hotel and Conference Centre
  • 1000, 1030 Arrival at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre
    Washroom break and time to explore the facility and Parks Canada exhibit 
  • 1100 Private Ice Explorer Tour Bus departures
  • 1200 End of Icefield tour
  • 1215 Estimate departure from the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre
  • 1245 Estimated arrival for picnic lunch at Mt. Coleman (weather dependent)
    Boxed lunch provided
  • 1330 Estimated departure from Picnic grounds for sight-seeing stops
  • 1500 Stop at Bow Lake
  • 1700 Estimated arrival in Canmore


Participants should wear warm winter clothing. A coat, gloves, hat, and shoes or boots are strongly recommended due to the high variation of temperatures on the Icefield. The tour operator has advised that the warmer you dress, the better, and layers will likely be useful.

Please note that you must be a paid registered Conference attendee or accompanying a paid registered Conference attendee to take part in the tour.

Cancellation Policy
The tour is not refundable unless cancelled by the tour company.

The tour registration deadline was April 6th, and registration is now closed. If you received a confirmation email from PayPal concerning your payment, then your registration for the tour was successful.