11.05.2017 - 14.05.2017
In the past, when we have visited this area, it has always been in the summer. As this was a spring trip, we found the views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains even more spectacular and defined with all the snow covered peaks.
As Canada is celebrating 150 years in 2017, we lucked out and all National Parks and National Historic sites are free in 2017. We plan to take advantage of as many of them as we can.
Lake Louise was still frozen over and did not have the same magical effect it has in the summer months. But we have seen that turquoise blue several times in past visits, so to see this new view of what it looks like in the spring was equally as impressive. There were still remains of the ice rink on the lake, as well as partial thawing was starting to reveal the blue features of the lake.
A quote from a Banff and Lake Louise website, ".. a rich heritage as one of the world's most awe inspiring mountain destinations. With easy access to pristine wilderness, endless outdoor adventures, and all the amenities you need, in Banff National Park you feel truly immersed in nature." We were camped for three nights at a Banff campsite with pristine mountains surrounding us on all sides. It was truly breathtaking at every turn. Mount Rundle was towering over the area we were camped at and we took many pictures of this 9,672' magestic mountain that towers over the town of Banff. Apparently it at one time was a prehistoric ocean floor that had a classic thrust-fault that created this awesome mountain.
We did our normal rituals while in Banff, walking down main street, taking pictures at Bow Falls, and visiting the golf course (where we saw about 50 elk grazing on the greens).
We did one thing we had not done on previous visits, we went to see the "Cave and Basin National Historic Site", which apparently is the birthplace of Canada's national parks. Canada was only 18 years old when the government established a nat'l park around the hot springs on Sulphur Mountain. I had read online that only on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 they offer a 45 minute free guided tour. It turned out we were the only ones that showed up for this tour even though there were lots of people at the site. We had a very informative and enlightening private one hour tour.