Incredible Journey through the Canadian Rockies

Document created by guidedog613 on Jun 14, 2015
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We just returned from a 6 day trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks and to use the word incredible is truly an understatement. After spending a week working in Calgary(more about this stay later) we were ready to hit the road and visit these two national parks.  Although we did not have an agenda set in stone, we did have a number of things we wanted to try to see and do.  The drive from Calgary to Banff (the town) was drizzly and not very exciting with the clouds covering up most of the mountain tops. There is no Marriott in Banff but there is a Delta hotel but until they sort out the rewards we opted to just stay somewhere clean and efficient.  One thing about the accommodations in these two places....they are definitely not cheap. Our Banff stay was busy, the rain stopped and the weather cooperated which was great for hiking the lower trails as some of the higher elevations still had snow cover and muddy sections.  Some trails, namely Takkawka Falls(Yoho NP) and Mount Edith Cavell(Jasper NP) were still closed and not being opened during our time there....we will have to go back to do those two hikes in the future.  Banff is very tourist oriented in its tiny downtown core, and with all the crowds not very appealing to what we were looking for on this trip.  The Lake Louise gondola(which is the ski lift) goes over a grizzly bear sanctuary and was worth the money when on our way up a grizzly came sauntering out to the slopes.  These are truly magnificent creatures but best admired and photographed from afar. The hike up Johnston Canyon is spectacular and the change in elevation is not too overwhelming for us seniors.  This was a well kept trail that clings to the side of the canyon with Johnston Creek raging and thundering below. Lake Louise with it's hotel on the premises is a busy place for tourists....when the buses unload all bets for courtesy go out the window, it seemed at times people pushed to get a photo in case the lake got up and walked away....kind of sad in a way.  The jewel in the crown of this trip was the Icefields Parkway, which takes you up to Jasper NP.  Mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and wildlife around every corner.  Whenever you think it can't get any better than this another surprise pops up.  The lakes are really that blue, the glaciers are really that huge and the mountains are really that awe-inspiring.  The wildlife is abundant and as long as you don't invade their space(or get out of your car) you can get a glimpse of their lives.  All in all it was a trip a long time coming and am glad we finally did it and would love to go again.  Hope you enjoy some of the photos because I enjoyed taking them, a great experience.