This day keeps getting better and better. You woke up along the shore of Lake Louise. Its calm, turquoise water sparkled like a gemstone as the sun bounced off it. Though you were sad to leave Banff National Park, you knew there were many gorgeous views ahead. So you drove north on the Icefields Parkway. The 140-mile road, which extends from Banff to Jasper, is considered one of the most picturesque drives in the world. Glaciers, waterfalls, and more lakes demanded frequent stops as you drove through the Canadian Rockies.
Most people stop at the Athabasca Glacier. The glacier is part of the Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield in the Rocky Mountains. It’s nearly four miles long and up to 980 feet thick, though climate change is certainly affecting its size. Plus, since it’s easily accessible, it’s the most-visited glacier in North America. You didn’t think a quick stop would suffice. You needed more time with this natural wonder.
So you planned a night at the Glacier View Lodge. Canada’s only hotel with an uninterrupted view of a glacier reopened last spring after extensive renovations. The chalet-style lodge now feels very Scandinavian with a minimal design and a hygge vibe. The lobby features floor-to-ceiling windows, shaggy rugs, and a gas fireplace. Rooms have plush bedding and Nespresso machines. While the view of that glacier is never far from sight.
You were welcomed to the lodge with a glass of Canadian sparkling wine and a charcuterie board. Then you boarded the Athabasca Glacier bus for your evening tour of the glacier. Its massive wheels slowly crawled over rocks and snow. When the doors opened, you stepped out onto the ice. It wasn’t the quiet moment you expected. You could hear ice cracking and water running in the distance. But you were standing on a glacier. A real glacier. You listened to every word the guide spoke, and enjoyed canapés and mulled wine during your time out there. Your eyes never left the ice, though.
It was dinnertime when you returned to the lodge. You ate tea-smoked King Cole duck breast, Kuterra Atlantic salmon on pea purée, and a lemon meringue tart—chosen for the blueberry preserves served with it—at Altitude Restaurant. It allowed you to keep an eye on the glacier and try more Canadian wines, this time from the Okanagan Valley.
To end the night, you’re moving to the viewing deck for one last glimpse of the ice sheet. Thousands of stars now join it. Jasper National Park is the second-largest dark-sky preserve in the world. Little pollution and few artificial lights make it easy to see the constellations and shooting stars. It’s incredibly peaceful out here—and you’re in no rush to go back inside.