The Athabasca Glacier is one of the six principal ‘toes’ of the Columbia Icefield, located in the Canadian Rockies. Close to Banff and Jasper, the Athabasca Glacier is the most visited glacier in North America.
The glacier currently recedes at a rate of 2–3 metres (6.6–9.8 ft) per year and has receded more than 1.5 km (0.93 mi) in the past 125 years and lost over half of its volume.
The glacier moves down from the icefield at a rate of several centimetres per day.
The leading edge of the glacier is within easy walking distance; however, travel onto the glacier is not recommended. Hidden crevasses have led to the deaths of unprepared tourists. In fact their bodies are rarely recovered.