Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Banff And Jasper National Parks

Saturday: (06/11) Apples and peanut butter for breakfast. Mostly clear skies this morning. Our recent storm seems to have passed.

Trail To Wapta Falls In Yoho NP Wapta Falls In Yoho NP
On our way into Yoho National Park we stopped and hiked out to Wapta Falls, a 2.4km hike, about an hour round trip.

Flower Along Trail To Wapta Falls In Yoho NP Flower Along Trail To Wapta Falls In Yoho NP
Some nice flowers along the trail. On our hike back to the RV it started to rain lightly. So much for the storm having passed. When we arrived at the parking area for the hike, we had to uncouple and get turned around. When turning down these kind of roads that's often the case. We had lunch before we left. Fried toast and Lou's bean soup.

We continued down to the visitor center at Field. There, we were finally able to purchase a National Parks Pass. We've been scofflaws until now but this was the first place that sold them.

Natural Bridge In Yoho NP Emerald Lake In Yoho NP
We drove out toward Emerald Lake for a look. On the way we stopped to look at the Natural Bridge, a spot where the Kicking Horse River used to pass over a waterfall but eroded into a bridge. We continued on out to the lake for a look.

Old Wooden Pipe Line Along Hamilton Creek Hamilton Falls In Yoho NP
Then we hiked out to Hamilton Falls. An interesting water fall that comes down the inside of a cliff sideways.

Spiral Railroad Tunnel In Yoho NP Bear and Cubs In Yoho NP
We stopped for a look at the spiral railroad tunnels (above left), an engineering marvel imported from Switzerland that cut the grade going over Kicking Horse Pass in half. It's much like the Tehachapi Loop East of Bakersfield except the loops were carved in rock. On the road we stopped where a bunch of cars had pulled over and saw a mother bear and her two cubs crossing the railroad track and going up the hill (Above right). Probably just a little late to see them cross the highway as well. The train that passed by just after they crossed the tracks would have been the one we could have seem at the spiral tunnels if we had stayed another 20-30 minutes. Darn

Then we went on down the hill crossing the continental divide, entering Alberta and stopped in Lake Louise at a nice campground for the night.
(GPS 51.40687152, -116.16743522)

Sunday: (06/12) Pancakes and sausage for breakfast.

Lake Louise, Banff NP Lake Louise, Banff NP
We drove out to Lake Louise to start our day. Evidently, the last of the ice on the lake didn't disappear until about three days ago. We hiked along the edge of the lake to the glacier end.

Ranger Talk Mountain Sheep Talk Lake Louise, Banff NP Plain Of Six Glaciers Trail, Lake Louise, Banff NP
On the way we stopped to listen in on a ranger talking about the mountain sheep. He really gets in to his job even singing and leading the group in a round of "Rocky Mountain High". Lou turned around at the end of the lake and I continued up the Plain Of Six Glaciers trail a couple of kilometers.

Plain Of Six Glaciers Trail, Lake Louise, Banff NP
The trail goes up for some closer views of the glaciers. There was lots of snow and ice still on the trail. Since I promised Lou not to be all day I turned around about 40 minutes up the trail probably 1.5 km from the Plain Of Six Glaciers Tea House. Back in the old days they were quite civilized here. Before we left we enjoyed our olive loaf sandwiches for lunch

Bow Falls In Banff, Alberta
Next, we drove down to Banff and stopped and looked at Bow Falls.

Bow River In Banff NP Geese And Gosling In Bow River, Banff NP
Then out to the Cave And Basin Historic Site. It's currently closed and under construction. It is the origin site of the Canadian National Park System. We'll have to return some time in the future to see the cave. We took a nice hike around the Marsh Loop Trail nearby.

Wildlife Crossing Over Canada 1 Highway In Banff NP Canada 1 Highway In Banff NP
We returned up the road to home at Lake Louise. Along the way we passed some of the nice wildlife bridges that are being installed in the parks. The highway is fenced really well and there are over and under crossings for the wildlife. None for the cars though. Garlic sausage, potatoes and and broccoli for dinner.
(GPS 51.40687152, -116.16743522)


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