Monday, July 20, 2009

Banff National Park, Alberta

It began as a potential "rain all day" kinda day. Our plan was to visit Banff (the city) and visit the hotels, museums, art galleries, maybe drive around a little. As we began the drive and paid our entrance fee (you have to pay the park entrance fee to even visit), we saw the spectacular cloud formations surrounding the mountains and decided to drive the Bow Valley Parkway up toward the Icefields and Lake Louise. We noticed on the map a place called Johnston Canyon with two waterfalls to hike to. I didn't even have my hiking shoes, but we gave it a try. It was amazingly beautiful.
The hiking was aided with catwalks.

The first waterfall was so beautiful and we heard the upper was even more. So, we hiked a total of about 3.7 miles to see both falls.

Lower Johnston Falls. We walked through a little tunnel to get right up close.

The Upper falls.

Mountain Views along the parkway.

Icefields (glaciers)

We visited the famous Lake Louise.

And were more enchanted by the gardens, especially the Iceland Poppies....

....Than the huge hotel.

After lunching at Bill Peyto's Cafe in Lake Louise, we drove to Lake Moraine. It was just beginning to rain, but we grabbed our raingear and headed out on a short hike around the lake. The rain stopped and we had an awesome hike!

The turquoise blue of this lake is particularly striking. Apparently it is caused from tiny mineral particles originating on the glaciers.

Typical forest scene around Lake Moraine...


Bethany said...

GORGEOUS! I had heard Banff was breathtaking. WOW!

Canyonsrcool said...

Unbelievable. I want to jump in, all of it.

Ahenobarbus Textor said...

Fantastic. Breath-taking. Thank you so much for broadening my world-view.

Sayyadina said...

Those poppies are incredible. Thanks for putting up all the pictures!