Canadian Rockies - seriously beautiful ....

Trip Start Jul 17, 2008
Trip End Dec 06, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Unbelievable scenery in the Canadian Rockies - if you haven't been there you should go!  Take some hiking boots and plenty of energy.  So many gorgeous sights along the way, every turn along the highway is another postcard.  Really gave the camera a good workout here.  We had extraordinary weather - was relatively warm and nice and sunny most days.  Gill was an excellent travelling companion - great sense of humour and generally up for anything - even staying at grotty backpacker hostels with 30 women in the one dorm with about one working toilet! Go Gill.  By the way, the hostel at Lake Louise was lovely but the one near Whistler Mountain near Jasper was very ordinary and pretty grungy. 

Saw all sorts of scenery and animals.  One of the highlights was the Athabasca Glacier guide, Johan.  Check out the piccy - he complimented the amazing scenery very well!  We ended up driving along the Icefields Parkway for about 5 days.  One night on David Thompson Highway, 2 nights in Lake Louise, 2 nights in Jasper.  Would return there in a heartbeat. 

Must sees:  Lake Moraine (and Lake Louise) - get there early (ie, before 8am), Banff Mountain, Edith Cavell - amazing glacier sliding down the mountain, glacial lake with little icebergs floating at the bottom and an ice cave with freezing cold air pouring out which hits you even 50m away (all visible from the one spot!).  Doesn't require a big walk to get there (about 40 mins return but allow a couple of hours to really enjoy the scenery etc).  Medicine Lake (keep an eye out for the Bald Eagle nest on the little island) and Maligne Canyon (it's deep!).  Wish I'd had more time to check out more areas and to do some day or even overnight hikes.  Only came across bears at the side of roads as we were driving along which was fine by me.  Even the black bears have been known to be a little aggressive (the Grizzlies are very aggressive but not as common as the black bears - normally).  I would allow at least 2 weeks to really enjoy the Rockies.
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