The Canadian Rockies & our return to the coast
Trip Start Apr 15, 2008
60Trip End Apr 01, 2010
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Where I stayed
A fairly long drive of 200 miles took us through some amazing scenery, passing one of Canada's highest mountains, Mt Robson. Unfortunately it was hidden in the clouds! We remembered to turn our clocks forward an hour as we went over the border into Alberta, we'll get that back when we return!
Jasper is a small town with a country feel, not too touristy. It had cooled down considerably whilst we were here, down to 6C! At last those warmer clothes have come in handy! We were certainly glad of them. I can recommend the Whistle Stop Pub in Jasper they serve excellent Grasshopper wheat ale. There is also a fantastic bakery, Julie was in her element.
We visited the local countryside, and were fortunate to spot a Black Bear with her two cubs; they all looked very cute but can be deadly so we were happy to view from a safe distance
Ice fields Parkway
An amazing route, this has to be one of the world's most scenic drives. Around 200 miles in distance, it links Jasper with Banff in the south. Every corner provides an impressive vista, mountains of every shape and size, some snow clad, some with glaciers and others weathered into magical shapes. The Columbia Ice Fields run special buses onto the glaciers, an easier and safer way to have the experience of a glacier than trying to climb one.
Along most of the drive we were accompanied by azure mountain streams and lakes, probably the most famous being Lake Louise, of course the down side is it was full of tourists. There are many more lakes which have equally impressive settings without the crowds.
Situated in a beautiful valley amongst pine trees, the town has mountains rising up in all directions. Banff is Canada's highest town sitting 4,800ft above sea level. Originally built due to its natural hot springs, which were discovered when the railway was being built through the area
Yoko Provincial Park (Alberta)
Yet another amazing park, today we visited the Takakkaw falls, these are the highest falls in Canada. It was a beautiful day so we enjoyed a picnic lunch at the falls base. From a distance the falls don't look that big until you notice people climbing at the side of them, they look like tiny ants in comparison, mind you the falls are over a 1000ft. A few miles further on we came to the emerald lake, as the name suggest this lake is a lovely jade green colour and is backed by tall mountains. For $30 an hour you can take a canoe out on the lake, or the other option was to enjoy a pint of the local honey beer on the terrace of the restaurant, mmmm decisions, decisions......................no contest we opted for the beer
Revelstoke (British Columbia)
We spent a wonderful evening watching a local group perform on the plaza, only briefly interrupted every 30 minutes by the 2 mile long trains! We stayed at the 7 Acres B & B, it was high spec, and our wonderful host Martha made us feel very welcome. In the morning we drove to the Sky Meadows on top of Mt Ravelstoke where we were greeted by an amazing kaleidoscope of colourful wild flowers, there are several hikes you can take from the top, unfortunately some were close due to the presence of grizzly bears! The flowers only have a very short flowering season due to the 6000ft height they grow at, we were lucky to have visited in August when they were at their very best.
Kamloops (British Columbia)
In comparison to the rest of the countryside we have driven through, Kamloops is very dry, the climate is more like California than the rest of Canada, however it can get very cold in the winter. The climate is semi arid due to being at the top of a desert area which runs through two states south into the USA. Our abode for the night was Andersons by the River; we had lovely Canadian hosts, Nancy & Clarence who were wonderful company