Future Glacier Discovery Walk Project

Parks Canada has just approved a Glacier Discovery Walk project after determining that the project does fall within the framework of Parks Canada's policy management and protection of national parks.

This innovatively designed project will be a 400-metre-long guided interpretive walkway where visitors can enjoy a 30-metre glass-floored observation area overlooking the Sunwapta Valley at the Tangle Ridge Viewpoint in Jasper National Park. Have a look!

Parks Canada's approval means that Brewster Travel Canada can now proceed with the development of the project. Brewster had commissioned a wildlife impact study with regard to the walkway with emphasis being put on the collection of data on mountain goat and bighorn sheep. This study was submitted along with the Environmental Assessment report to Parks Canada and other environmental stakeholders. This study included information on how and when mountain goats and bighorn sheep use trails and cliffs in and around the Sunwapta Canyon Viewpoint.

Smiley face
Sunwapta River Valley, Jasper National Park
Marcel Finnigan

Human interaction with a natural environment is always of interest to Parks Canada in an attempt to minimize impact on wildlife. It is a fine balance that must be considered at the time of design and of course approval of such a project.

Michael Hannan, President of Brewster Travel Canada, had this to say about the green light: "The regulations set by Parks Canada are very important to the preservation and also the public use of our national parks." He went on to say: "We share Parks Canada's desire to protect the area for future generations. The Glacier Discovery Walk will offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy and learn about the park through a fantastic new interpretive experience that is highly sensitive to the surrounding landscape."

The idea behind this interpretive site is to highlight the wonder and beauty of this unique ecosystem, giving visitors an understanding about glaciology as well as the natural and aboriginal history of the area of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park.

The Glacier Discovery Walk will consist of three integrated components:

  • The Receiving Area

  • A free shuttle bus will take visitors from the Glacier Discovery Centre - 6.5 km away - to the free public viewpoint. From there, visitors can purchase an admission ticket and go on an interpretive walk along The Discovery Trail that leads to the stunning views of the Sunwapta Valley at the Discovery Vista.

  • The Discovery Trail

  • Along this 400-metre walkway visitors will explore interesting facts at interpretive stations in the areas of ecology, geology, glaciology, Aboriginal history and social history of this unique environment.

  • The Discovery Vista

  • The highlight will be a glass-floored observation platform that allows visitors to experience the valley in a whole new way - 30 metres out from the mountain side. The panoramic mountain views of the Sunwapta Valley are simply beautiful!

    Great thought was put into the design so that all visitors, regardless of mobility challenges, will have a wonderful experience.

    A full description of the project and the environmental assessment can be found at www.glacierdiscoverywalk.ca

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