For only a short incline, this walk packs a punch of stunning glacier views.
As crowds flock towards Athabasca Glacier, this walk will take you off the beaten path. Walk a dirt path upward through the woods before arriving above treeline. The path will become more gradual as you ascend the ridge of Wilcox Peak. Across the valley, you'll see Athabasca Glacier, snow-capped Mt. Adromeda, and Boundary Peak. Below in the valley, you'll also see the Columbia Icefield Discovery Center which hosts most travelers as they pull off of the Icefields Parkway to take in the view.
Once you arrive at the top of the Mount Wilcox Route, you'll be able to take some of the best-framed photos in the area. From here, you can either head back the way you came, or if you'd like to do a little more exploring, head out on the Wilcox Pass Trail for some beautiful tundra walking. From the end of the pass, you'll glimpse views of the Sunwapta Peaks.
Bring your tripods to get some of the best glacier pictures of the trip!
Bears are present and active around all hiking routes. Be sure to review The Parks Canada information regarding travel in bear country to familiarize yourself with best practices. Always carry bear spray and know how to use it.
The weather in this area can change quickly. Even if you start a hike with blue skies, it could easily be storming (or even snowing) by the afternoon. Check the weather report daily to adjust your hiking schedule as needed.
Trail Conditions can vary based on the season and weather. Check with a local visitor's center or visit the Parks Canada Website for the most up to date trail conditions. Always be prepared to turn back if you feel that snow or rain makes a trail unsafe.
Bear spray, hiking boots, warm layers, water, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat, warm hat, rain gear.
Points of Interest:
Looking accross the AB -93 from the top of this hike, you'll see Athabasca Glacier as it stems from the Columbia Icefield above. Notice the bus tours that safely drive out on the glacier to give visitors a chance to explore the ice up close.
Food & Drink:
As there are no good places to stop to eat or drink on this hike, we recommend you bring a lunch, snacks and water. For recommendations of restaurants and grocery stores on the drive see your driving route notes.
Following your driving directions to Wilcox Pass Campground, as soon as you turn off of AB - 93, you'll see a wooden hutch to to mark the trailhead and parking spots on your left. If the spots are full, you'll see people parking along the road.