We love the National Parks in the United States. However, our first visit to a Canadian National Park has blown us away! Banff National Park in Alberta is truly spectacular, and our four days here only scratched the surface.
We arrived to the Tunnel Mountain II Campground in Banff National Park in a snowstorm and wondered if we’d see any of the beautiful peaks that define the area. But, low hanging clouds and cold air didn’t put a damper on the excitement.
But within hours, the blue sky began to show through and it was on!!
Our first hike was from our campground to the hoodoos overlook. Sweeping views of the snow drenched mountains with the Bow River below indicated something special.
With our traveling companions, Russ and Susan Shoemaker, we braved the cold, and a little snow, to finish the first of several beautiful hikes.
We headed to Lake Louise on our first full day and were greeted with more snow and low-hanging clouds.
The view was not what we had hoped for but Susan’s photoshop skills allowed us to see what it might have been like had the clouds lifted and the ice on the lake had melted.
On our third day here we were blessed with spectacular blue skies and a bit warmer weather (if 50 is considered warm). We set out to take on the popular, 1 1/2 mile Johnston Canyon hike.
Though much of the trail was ice-packed which made for slow-going, we made it to the upper falls with ease. The advantage of being here early in the season is smaller crowds. We were happy to have parts of the trail to ourselves which made it even more special.
Evenings are special too. We’ve been taking turns making dinner and have enjoyed several meals cooked in the Park’s cooking pavilions, around a wood-burning stove. Spending time with Russ and Susan is always fun, as we love to hear about their world travels.
We’ve known them since Susan and I worked together at the City of Phoenix in the early 1990s and being together is always so easy.
On our final day in Banff we tackled the Tunnel Mountain Summit trail which provided 360-degree, sweeping views of the town of Banff and surrounding area. We could have sat up there and soaked in the views all day.
We are sad to leave this beautiful area, with it’s many animals, sweeping views, and wonderful people, but we know there’s more spectacularness ahead!