Canadian Rockies

Banff National Park Aug 15-16, 2010
We are so pleased to have arrived in Banff National Park from the north, as the crowds in Jasper prepared us for the even bigger crowds we found here. We camped at Lake Louise where the tent only camp-ground is huge and surrounded by an electric fence. The fence is there to keep the bears safe from people! We have seen people leaving food about at camp-sites we have stayed at, despite all efforts by park managers to educate park users. I guess it has come to the electric fence solution to manage any interaction between us and the bears. We drove the Trans-Canada Highway, which bisects the Park, to the township of Banff. Big and busy and traffic congested so we headed back to Lake Louise on a side road originally constructed by interred alien citizens during the First World War. What a surprise this turned out to be, it was like entering another world. In the late afternoon, we passed quite a few cyclist on an otherwise quite road – we saw elk and a bear grazing on the beautiful wild flowers and berries by the side of the road. Early the next morning to beat the crowds we headed to Lake Louise for a trail run around the lake and up towards the glaciers which feed it. I was not prepared for how gobsmackingly beautiful Lake Louise is especially in the morning light. I can see why there is a traffic jam every day to fill it three huge car parks. It would have to be the most stunning and memorable trail run we have ever done. In the afternoon we headed west to the much smaller Yoho National Park which borders Banff. The Park is famous for many natural wonders but also home to Trans-Canada Railway which enters Banff from Yoho through the Kicking Horse Pass spiralling tunnels. We were lucky, along with a dozen other trainspotters, to see the Trans-Canadian heritage steam train pull into the town of Field. Tired from the morning run we joined the Winibagos and became ‘minibago’ tourists and drove our rented Chevy, to Takkawah Falls and then Emerald Lake. The falls were very high and crashed down into the valley – water mist spouted a long way off.Out of the Park we camped on Cedar Lake near the Kicking Horse Ski Resort in Golden. The Lake should have been named Mosquito Lake. It had the most ferocious and numerous mozzies I have ever seen. I am sure all 30 species of mosquito to be found in Canada and Alaska originate from here and we have been bitten by all of them.