Banff and Jasper

Early last month, I took a week-long trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta, Canada. It was a spectacular trip with non-stop gorgeous scenery. You can see some of it in the gallery below:

Moraine Lake   Mountains and Lake thumb

I had the opportunity to go on a couple of day hikes. Perhaps my favorite (and the favorite of many others, as it’s one of the most popular hikes in the region) was the Plain of Six Glaciers. It features lakes, glaciers, and even a backcountry teahouse! What more could you ask for? You can read all about it in the trip report.

Lake Louise   Lake in the Distance thumb

This following picture was from the Upper Falls at Johnston Canyon, which features a short hike to two waterfalls.

Johnston Canyon   Upper Falls thumb

Beyond the waterfalls is a more strenuous hike to an area called the Inkpots. There, multiple pools of water fill from underground wells. Each pool fills at different rates, which leads to different levels of silt, causing the "inkpots" to take on different colors. Here’s one of them:

Johnston Canyon   Inkpots I thumb

And here’s another:

Johnston Canyon   Inkpots II thumb

Another hike that I enjoyed was the hike from Bow Lake to Bow Glacier Falls. It’s an easier hike than the Plain of Six Glaciers, but is no less scenic. I’ve also written a trip report about that hike.

Bow Lake   Bow Glacier Falls II thumb

Surprisingly, one of the more enjoyable parts of the trip was the driving. Banff and Jasper are connected via the Icefields Parkway, an almost impossibly scenic highway. Mountains and glaciers tower over the road, constantly tempting you to pull over to take photos. I succumbed to that temptation many times.

Icefields Parkway   Waterfowl Lake Panorama thumb

It was a memorable trip, and even with a week, there were still places that I didn’t have time to see—​which makes for a convenient reason to come back!