After a glorious week in a Jasper National Park, it was time to get on with our journey. We headed towards Banff to cover some more ground and explore a new area.
As we wound through the Columbia Icefields Parkway, the mountain valleys started to become much narrower. Instead of having the ability to view a whole landscape from a distance as in Jasper, Banff forces you to feel tiny by sandwiching you right between giant mountains. And as you drive in and out of these tight valleys, you have to actually crane your neck to fully take in your surroundings.
It’s really quite a stunning scene.
Our first pit stop was Peyto Lake, a glacier-fed body of water whose color is probably the most calming shade of teal blue known to humans’ eyes. I could have stared for hours.
We decided to call it an early night, and pledged to wake up before the sunrise the next morning in order to watch it at Lake Louise.
This we did.
Waking up to the faint beginning light of the day, we layered up and grabbed our cameras. Since it was so early, we assumed we’d have a quiet show.
As we approached the lake we were surprised (and a little disheartened) to see hundreds of tourists surrounding the lake. There was no section of boardwalk unoccupied by parka-wearing bus-touring foreign-speaking people. We did our best to appreciate the stunning scene through the masses, then dipped out to check out Moraine lake.
Moraine was a little less crowded. However, a bear advisory was in place, so hiking in groups less than 4 people was prohibited. Larry and I weren’t exactly sold on the idea of hiking with strangers, so we opted to stroll around the outskirts of the lake on our own time. Besides the clouds dulling the shade of the lake, it was as beautiful as could be.
The next day, we ventured into Johnston Canyon. The clouds were super low, creating a mysterious vibe throughout the mountains. We hiked swiftly through the cold, made friends with some Europeans along the way, and ended up at the ink pots.
The clouds limited our viewing options in the area, but we didn’t let that ruin our fun. We threw in some long boarding on our way back to Banff Town.
Ultimately, Banff was beautiful, but it was also pretty populated. Everywhere we went besides Johnston Canyon was full of people. Plus, with the sudden onset of cold and gloomy weather, we thought it best to explore as much as we could in a short time before heading back into the US of A.
Next up: Glacier National Park, Montana.