Complete Columbia Icefield Tour

For each guest weighing more than 250 lbs an adjacent, empty seat purchase is required. The charge is 50% of the tour price.

If you are booking less than 48 hours in advance, please call to confirm availability.

All tours are open to the public and are sold by the individual seat.

Details & Itinerary

Described by guests as one of the best helicopter tours anywhere in the world.

This awe-inspiring trip takes you up to the headwaters of Cline River, which is fed by Pinto Lake.  Pinto Lake is fed from the glacial meltwater of Minister Mountain, Mount Coleman, and Cirrus Mountain.  The river then flows directly east, emptying into Abraham Lake where we departed from.

Reaching an altitude of 10,000 ft (3048m). in the distance your eyes will espy the Columbia Icefield and Continental Divide.

Flying by the west face of Cirrus Mountain, is the Weeping Wall.  Weather conditions during winter make the Weeping Wall at the base of Cirrus Mountain’s west face the premier place for ice climbing.  It was suggested that Cirrus Mountain be called Mount Huntington, but it was not adopted, however, the glacier below the eastern aspect of the summit is named the Huntington Glacier.

Passing over the Icefield Parkway is where you will encounter Mount Columbia and the Columbia Icefield, where you will view the large crevasses, fissures, and the stunning blue of glacial ice from above.

The Columbia Icefield is the largest icefield in the Canadian Rockies, covering some 125 sq mi (325 sq km) to a depth of 1200 ft (365m) and some 17 miles (28km) long. Draped over the continental divide on a high alpine plateau along the Alberta-BC border, it receives an average of 23 ft (7m) of new snowfall per year. Not all snow can melt in the short summers, so it accumulates, turning to ice which flows outward through the surrounding passes, creating fingers of ice known as glaciers, the Athabasca Glacier being the most well-known.

Known as a hydrological apex, water from the Columbia Icefield flows to three different oceans. On the British Columbia side, meltwater flows into the Columbia River and to the Pacific Ocean. On the Alberta side, the North Saskatchewan and Athabasca rivers feed into the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, respectively.

You’ll view the north face of Mount Bryce which is situated at the southwestern corner of the Columbia Icefield, in British Columbia making it the fifteenth-highest peak in BC.   Flying over the vast snowy expanses of the Alexandra and Lyell Icefields is where you’ll get some great shots of the icy wonderland.

Heading in a southernly direction you will fly beside “The Castelets” so named in 1920 on account of its outline, said to be shaped like two castles, onward through the Valley of the Lakes taking you to Mount Wilson and the Wilson Icefield.

Flying over Michelle Lakes, “The Twin Lakes”, is divided by a 50 ft (15m) waterfall which homes the beautiful Golden Trout.  Michelle lakes is at an elevation of 7,545 ft (2299m).  The lake then leads to a 900 ft (275m) waterfall that plunges into Waterfalls Creek.  Following Waterfalls Creek back to the Cline River Valley we will fly by the White Goat Provincial Park.  Looking to the east tucked up one of the valleys is a mountain that is an oxidized orange due to the ferric iron content.

The next mountainous encounter is with Mount Cline.  Mount Cline is one of only a handful of 11,000 ft (3352m) peaks east of the Continental Divide.  Mount Cline, Cline Pass and the Cline River were so named after Michel Klyne, also referred to as Michael Cline.  Klyne was employed as a fur trader by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Once past Mount Cline you’ll have the chance to view the Cline, White Goat, Lion, Lioness, Resolute, and Hanging Glacier.

Rounding Purple Mountain, (Purple Mountain is a purple hue due to the ferric iron in the presence of hematite/limonite) you will have an epic view of the aqua blue waters of Abraham Lake.  Abraham lake is a man-made lake 19.5 miles (32 kms) long.

Landing back at base you will have many memories and an extra-ordinary number of photos/videos/selfies for you to upload to your social media

What You Should Bring
  • Always bring layers as the mountains can be fickle with its weather.
  • For the summer, a good pair of walking shoes/sneakers (closed toes) or hiking boots, no
    sandals. A raincoat / wind breaker, light jacket, and pants. Additional items are a hat/baseball
    cap, suntan lotion and bug spray.
  • For the winter, a good pair of winter boots, a winter jacket, toque, snow pants, and gloves.
  • Always remember to layer. Extra clothing can be held in the cargo compartment of the
Frequently Asked Questions

Are young children allowed on flights?

Yes, children 24 months and under do well on flights. We even have baby headsets for them to wear. Please be aware that Transport Canada regulations require a full-fare seat for children 24 months and over. Children 24 months and under are welcome to sit on the lap of a responsible adult at no charge.

How high do you fly?

We fly to altitudes of 12,000 feet.

What are your hours of operation?

Summer:  April – October / 8am to 8pm

Winter:  November – March / 8:00am to 5:00pm

 Can I book your helicopter for private charters?

Rockies Heli does charter and specialty flight services including charters, aerial photography, and flight instruction.  Please get in touch with us for more information.

 What should we bring & wear?

Summer – Hiking boots, Hat, Raincoat, Light Jacket, Pants, Socks (In case they get wet), Bug Spray, Water.

Winter – Winter boots, Winter Jacket, Toque, Gloves, Snow Pants.

 Is photography allowed?

Not only is photography allowed, but it’s also encouraged! You’ll see the Rockies like you’ve never seen it before!

 I get motion sickness frequently. Should I take medicine before the flight?

Our flights are very smooth; this is not a theme park ride! So many people who presume they may have an issue feel just fine during the tour. However, if you are prone to motion sickness you might want to take a motion sickness pill just as a precaution. We want you to enjoy your flight!

 What time is check-in for my flight?

Check in time for your flight is 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure. Please understand that your check in time is required to ensure you are prepared for your flight and a safety briefing will be given at that time. Late arrivals are subject to a reduction in flight time and/or full cancelation of flight.

 What is your cancellation policy?

We require 24 hours’ notice prior to flight time to change or cancel your reservation. Reservations cancelled outside of 24 hours are fully refundable. Tours cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice affect other guests booked and don’t allow enough time to resell the cancelled seats. Reservations, no-shows and cancellations within 24 hours will be assessed a 100% cancellation fee. If you need to change or cancel your reservation, please provide us 24 hours’ notice prior to your tour time and we will be happy to accommodate you.

 What is your weather policy?

We ask that you contact the heliport prior to leaving your location to confirm weather.  If the trip is cancelled due to weather a full refund is issued.

 Are we guaranteed to see all the sights mentioned in your tour descriptions?

We try to fly over every landmark listed on your selected tour. However, flying in a helicopter is not as simple as watching a movie. Occasionally we must contend with poor visibility, strong winds, or other weather that may prevent us from taking our normal route. We will do our best to cover the listed landmarks as well as accommodate any requests that you may have.

 Do you recommend taking anti-motion sickness medication?

Our flights are very smooth; this is not a theme park ride! So many people who presume they may have an issue feel just fine during the tour. However, if you are prone to motion sickness you might want to take a motion sickness pill just as a precaution. We want you to enjoy your flight!

 When is the best time to fly?

As far as the best time of day for a helicopter tour, you should primarily consider your personal schedule, whether it be morning or afternoon, will make no difference. If we happen to have a bad weather pattern the pilot will consult weather reports and other pilots who have been flying to determine if we can operate a good tour. Rockies Heli does not want to take our guests on a flight unless we are reasonably certain we can give you an excellent experience.

 How long has Rockies Heli been in business?

Rockies Heli has been in business since 2009.

 Will we be the only ones in the helicopter? How is seating arranged?

Seating configuration of the helicopter is 2 front seats, 4 back seats.  If you book one of our private tours, then you will be the only one in the helicopters.  All other tours guests are combined.

 Can I take a tour if I use a wheelchair?

Yes, you can take a tour if you use a wheelchair.  Please contact us so we can go over details.

 Can I reserve front row seats?

Yes, there are 2 front seats that can be reserved.

 What are your driving times?

Banff: 170km / 112 miles (2hrs 20)
Canmore: 219km / 120 miles (2hrs 30)
Lake Louise: 119km / 74 miles (1hr 45)
Jasper: 195km / 122 miles (2hrs 40)
Calgary via #93: 304km / 190 miles (3hrs 45)
Calgary via #11: 350 km / 219 miles (4hrs)
Edmonton: 362km / 87 miles (4 hrs 40)
Field: 139km / 87 miles (1hr 55)
Columbia Icefields: 95km / 59 miles
Golden: 197km / 123 miles (2hrs 41 mins)

Directions to Heliport

Confirm directions to our heliport via phone call or click on the google map link below.

If you are coming from Banff/Lake Louise, when passing by Lake Louise your turnoff is 4kms
(5 min) past, if you have driven under an overpass, you are on your way to Golden. Find a safe
place to turn around and locate the exit for Highway 93, Icefield Parkway taking the overpass
you drove under.

(Please make sure you have the correct directions prior to leaving your location, adding on an
additional 2 hours to your driving time is not fun)

Click on a Tour or Icon below for more information.