Calgary Trip: View, Bow Valley, Lake Louise & Ice Fields
This trip I stayed at a hotel closer to the office and this was the view from my window: On Saturday I had a very fun day but it was almost 11:30 when I finally got back to my hotel room. I had a nice big breakfast from the buffet here before I left. I wasn't hungry again until dinner time. Along the way yesterday I saw lots of Elk, a black bear, some chipmunks, maybe a deer but she was shy and ran back into the bush when I slowed to peak at her and lots of birds including a raven.
I went up to Lake Louise along the Bow Valley Parkway which is a very scenic route -- lots of places to stop. The alternate is via the Transcanada which is faster but not as many places to admire. Bow Valley Parkway actually has travel restrictions from 6pm to 9am at this time of year on the bottom 18 km to "protect wildlife at this critical time of year" It starts March 1 and goes almost till the end of June.
The first long stop was at Johnston Canyon.
There are three hikes here -- 1.1 km to the Lower Falls, 2.7 km to the upper falls and I think the last was 5.6 km to the Ink Pots. I only went as far as the Lower Falls which took 35 minutes one way. (taking pictures and admiring the scenery takes time).
They are very beautiful. Lots of people out walking that trail especially when I was coming back.
Most of the trees are pine trees are a tall, thin and very straight. Coming back I
noticed one tree that was tall, thin and very S shaped.
When the warden services puts up a sign like this one:
you need to be careful about turning fast:
From there brief stops at some of the lookouts on the way. One was for Castle mountain. It does sort of look like a castle.
Then into Lake Louise. There are 4 public parking lots at Lake Louise. The top two were still closed. The lower of the two was still covered in 2 or 3 feet of snow.
The lake itself was still mostly frozen and most of the trails were still closed. Its very pretty there. The access road to Moraine Lake was still closed so I couldn't go there at all.
Decided then to go see some glaciers and drove up to the icefields which is what caused me to be so late getting back to Calgary. At the icefields, they take you out to the glaciers on a special bus. Its top speed is 18 mph. The first hill out of the parking lot for this bus is an 18% grade.
In front of the Athabasca Glacier
It was a beautiful drive up. By the time I'd been out to see the glacier, the cafeteria at the visitor center was closed and I was hunger. So I stopped at Saskatchewan Crossing for dinner about 7. I didn't stop at as many places on the way back down the highway because I knew it was making for a late night. Did stop at some of the look outs though.
On the highway leaving the park there was a meadow with a herd of elk grazing. By the time I noticed them, it was too late to stop. Then at the entrance to Canmore there was another herd
curled up at the edge of a park ready for the night but it was getting too dark to take photos.