July 30th
2009
written by Alonna

We just spent an awesome week in Banff National Park in Canada with our good friends Becky and Jenna.  This has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world!  We had an amazing time. Here’s some of the highlights.


Lakes

The Canadian Rockies have some amazing blue and turquoise colored lakes.  The color is due to tiny particles deposited in the lake from melting glaciers.  Some of them are opaque and milky-looking, and others are very clear.  Even the main river that flows through the valley is turquoise.

Lake Louise The group at Lake Louise Moraine Lake Alonna trying to be a photographer Peyto Lake

Boating on Lake Minnewanka – One day we rented a fishing boat and trolled around a lake near Banff.

Jenna driving the boat on Lake Minnewanka Ben showing off his muscles


Hiking

Hiking is the best thing to do in Banff National Park.  There are tons of trails, and once you get out of the parking lot and onto a trail, you quickly lose the hoards of tourists.

Consolation Lake – A short hike that we had mostly to ourselves, and we enjoyed scrambling around on huge rocks near the lake.

Consolation Lake Bouldering at Consolation Lake Consolation Lake

Parker’s Ridge – A steep hike up to this ridge that overlooks an amazing valley with the Saskatchewan Glacier.  Once we got to the top, I realized that I had done this hike 14 years ago with my family.  It was my favorite hike then, and still is now.  I could just sit up there forever and enjoy the view.

Hike to Parker's Ridge - view of Saskatchewan Glacier View from Parker's Ridge The top of Parker's Ridge - can you find Alonna hiking?

Panoramic from Parker's Ridge of the Saskatchewan Glacier

Sunshine Village – We took a bus up to this ski village which had pretty lakes, good views, and beautiful wildflowers.

Rock Isle Lake at Sunshine Village Ben and Alonna Hiking at Sunshine Village Ben's looking for some wildlife (we were told there were bears in the area) Wildflowers Wildflowers up close


Wildlife

There’s a lot of wildlife in the parks: moose, bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, marmots, wolves, elk and deer.  Becky, Jenna and I made it a mission to see as many as possible.  We were only mildly successful.  We did see a bunch of bighorn sheep, including babies and also an adult male up close with the full round horns.  Also a small black bear ran across the road in front of us.  However, we looked and looked and never saw a mountain goat.  We were confused all week between the difference between goats and sheep, but finally asked and found out that the mountain goat is completely white and furry – nothing like what we had seen.  We left the park disappointed.  But to our amazement, Ben and I saw two at a random stop on our drive through Glacier National Park on our way home!

Bighorn Sheep A group of female and baby bighorn sheep Female and baby Bighorn Sheep Coyote Black Bear
Mountain Goats in Glacier National Park

Mountain Goat in Glacier National Park Mountain Goat in Glacier National Park Another Mountain Goat was nearby just hanging out


Gondola Ride

Banff Gondola Banff, Canada View of Banff National Park View of the town of Banff Alonna and Becky A cool bird


Sunrise and Sunset

Sunrise – While Ben slept, Becky, Jenna and I got up early to hike up Tunnel Mountain and see the sunrise.  It was really pretty!

Sunrise from Tunnel Mountain in Banff Sunrise from Tunnel Mountain in Banff Sunrise from Tunnel Mountain in Banff

Sunset – A couple evenings we went out searching for wildlife, since we heard they come out at night.  This was a stop at Mt. Norquay with a good view of Banff.  It’s also where we saw the bighorn sheep with the full horns.  Jackpot!

The town of Banff near sunset Becky and Jenna Becky and Alonna


Biking

Ben and I had our bikes along, so we biked the “best trail in Banff” called Goat Creek.  Sorry to be a bike snob, but it was just a gravel road, nothing spectacular.  But the views were great, and it was a nice change from hiking.

Ben biking Goat Creek Ben biking in Banff National Park Alonna's bike and a nice view

5 Comments

  1. Robin Scott
    07/30/2009

    How gorgeous! The photos of the lake almost appear to not be real — they are so incredibly turquoise! Glad you had a great time!!!

    Love ya,
    Mom S

  2. Katie Daugherty
    07/30/2009

    WOW! What wonderful pictures!!! You are so lucky to be able to do something like this…can’t wait to see more pictures! Tell Jenna I said hi!

  3. Sandra Capri
    08/01/2009

    Wow – you’re making me remember why I love Banff so much! The dog’s head lake (peyto lake?) really brings back memories. I love that you spent time in Banff and saw that awesome area!

  4. Lindsay Tyson
    08/03/2009

    The peaks are stunning! It sounds like you are enjoying the park more than the average tourist. Thanks for letting us following along through your camera lens.

  5. 08/03/2009

    Thanks guys, I’m glad you like the photos. I’m afraid they don’t even do it justice, it’s just so beautiful there in person and difficult to capture on film (hmm… not film, maybe image sensor or SD card? ;).
    Sandra – that’s so funny, I totally didn’t realize that Peyto Lake was shaped like a dog’s head!