Expats · Travel

Exploring Canada: Jasper and Athabasca Glacier

I envisaged last week, after we returned to Toronto from our trip west, to be something of a creative week. With no prior commitments, I saw it as an opportunity to knuckle down with a bit of writing… hopefully complete another chapter of my novel and pin down a few blog posts.

But in reality, I had little free time. I went into my old job for a couple of days to help out with training up new staff. I also have another potential temp job beginning next week. I’m torn between concern regarding not working and therefore not having any income, vs. dread over what temp position I will land next and all the anxiety that comes with starting a new job. As the clock ticks closer and closer to home time, I am finding my thoughts are beginning to sway towards finding a permanent role for when I get home. It feels somewhat wrong to still be looking for work here when the end is so close.

Time is going quickly. I can’t believe it’s already been over a week since we were in Jasper, Alberta.

In my last blog post, I spoke of our morning in Wells Gray Provincial Park. That afternoon we made the four hour drive to Jasper – again past stunning lakes and mountains.

Elk Jasper 1
Elk on the side of the road – Jasper, Alberta

Our first morning in Jasper, was spent hiking around ‘Moose Lake Loop’.


I am very happy to say we did spot a couple of moose. Another of my trip highlights was watching this animals completely at bliss in the wild.

Moose spotted at Moose Lake, Jasper

In the afternoon, we visited the popular ‘Maligne Canyon’ – a touristy spot with paved footpaths, a small teashop and gift-shop.

Maligne Canyon
Canyon, Jasper, Alberta

The following morning we woke early to drive to Athabasca Glacier, next to the Columbia Ice fields – accessed via the Ice Fields Parkway between Jasper and Banff.

icefelds one
Getting ready for our Glacier hike!

We’d researched this aspect of the trip quite far in advance – and after reading several reviews, decided to do a guided glacier hike rather than one of the popular bus tours.

icefelds two
Athabasca Glacier, which we hiked up

glacier two

glacier hike
The snowfall made the Icefields extra beautiful (but cold!)

I’m so glad we opted for the hike. It felt really personal (a small group of 8-10 people rather than a bus full of 50) and you got to see a lot of things you wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise.

glacier 4
Careful not to fall down the many crevasses in the glacier
glacier 3
Athabasca Glacier

I was surprised to learn from our guide the glacier we hiked will likely have completely melted by 2040. It is currently disappearing at a rate of 15-20m per year.

The Athabasca Glacier hike was definitely a once in a lifetime experience I thoroughly recommend!

Next post I will be writing about our final stop – Banff!!

Click here for previous posts on Vancouver, Whistler and Wells Gray.


4 thoughts on “Exploring Canada: Jasper and Athabasca Glacier

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