Athabasca Glacier, World Heritage Site, Alberta, Canada
N 52° 12.591 W 117° 14.002
11U E 484054 N 5784404
Quick Description: The fascinating and accessible Athabasca Glacier is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks and is a World Heritage Site, as this plaque proclaims.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 8/20/2011 8:56:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMCC5H
The Athabasca Glacier can be easily seen by drivers on the Icefield Parkway (highway 93) in Alberta. There is an interpretive center with plenty of parking (for busses & RVs, too), and it is possible to hike to an excellent viewpoint of the glacier, just a few hundred yards from the toe of the glacier.
There are interpretive signs, which warn about the rough terrain (sculpted by the receeding glacier during the last 100 years), and there are also markers that record the location of the edge of the glacier over the last 100 years, as it receeded.
Wear a windbreaker (in the summer) or a warm jacket (in cooler parts of the year), sturdy shoes, and bring your camera for this interesting walk!
Here is the text from the signs:
"A World Heritage Site
Jasper, Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks belong to a Canada-wide family of national parks. These four parks, along with Mr. Assiniboine, Hamber and Mt. Robson provincal parks, also make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, a 23,069 km2 tract of wilderness protected for all people...for all time.
The Athabasca Glacier and The Columbia Icefield
"Athabasca Glacier forefield trail
Length 1 kilometre
Elevation change 30 metres
Hiking time 20 minutes down, 25 minutes up.
The forefield trail passes through an area that, less than 100 years ago, lay beneath the glacial ice. From the trail there are excellent views of the Athabasca Glacier and the landscape it has sculptured.
Sturdy shoes and a jacket are recommended for crossing this rocky, breezy terrain.
The few plants that have gained a foothold here live a harsh life. Please help to protect them and the area by staying on the trail."
Reference number: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/304
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