The park system in this area is massive. Within a few hundred kilometers you have Revelstoke, Glacier, Yoho, Banff, Jasper and Kootenay. Just south of here is Glacier in the US and Waterton Lakes along the border in Canada. We opted fro Banff as home base for a week. We camped at Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court, full hookups! It was a massive campground set just outside the village of Banff in the park. It was weird to have a town actually inside of the park. Mom and Dad made a quick drive to Home Depot in Calgary to get parts to fix Grandma and Grandpa’s broken kitchen waterline. This trip has been plagued with water related issues! When they got back we went to a campground program called Bison on the Horizon (They pronounced bison differently…biZon). Breighton volunteered to be a strong male bison and was flown via helicopter from Elk Island NP to Banff NP to repopulate the bisons in the park. It was a great program and we learned a lot about the bison program in Banff.
The next morning we were up and out early to get to Lake Louise before the crowds descended. We barely beat them there arriving at 8:00am. The lake was amazingly beautiful and we could see why it is the most photographed place in the Canadian Rockies. Mom thought it was funny that every photo she took looked like it was in front of a backdrop or green screen. We walked along the lake and learned about the people who discovered the area and some of the history. The boys were shocked that a canoe rental was $105 for 1 hour! There are very limited water vessels on the lake so it was understandable but still ridiculous. We saw the Fairmont hotel that Grandma Susie will stay in on her Canadian Rockies train tour next year.
We opted to head north towards the IceFields in Jasper NP. Not knowing how long of a day was ahead of us. We saw beautiful turquoise lakes everywhere.
Our favorite was Peyto Lake, names after Wild Bill Peyto. It was in the shape of a coyote!
We were feeling adventurous and headed to hike out to the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Ice Field. It was quite an uphill hike but a great view of the ice field.
We drove and explored the entire park. We really enjoyed Athabasca Falls. It was a spectacular waterfall. We hiked all the way to the bottom and the kids played in the river below for a while. The water is the milky blue from the glacial till that is brought down in the streams. The minerals mix in the water and cause the strange color. If you see water this color it is a sure sign it is glacial fed!