Banff – No, Lake Louise – No, Jasper – Yes

It is no secret that we don’t like crowds and high traffic tourist areas.  We had heard so many people through the years saying Banff and Lake Louise are beautiful and not to be missed.  To be honest; there is natural beauty to appreciate, however the crowds are crazy (we were there at the end of May – not quite tourist season yet).  We stayed at the Tunnel Mountain II campground since there is no dispersed camping in Banff National Park.  The campground is a little different type of camping because it was laid out like streets and RV’s basically park on two sides of the road. You do have to walk quite a way to get a shower since there is only one shower house in a 400+ site park – but they are very clean.  There are two trails from the campground.  One to a small grouping (about 5) hoodoos and the other goes into a small canyon.

Lake Louise is beautiful aquamarine

Lake Louise is beautiful aquamarine

Glacier on the Ice Field Parkway

Glacier on the Ice Field Parkway

After leaving Banff, we continued up the Ice Field Parkway towards Jasper which is really, really, really spectacular.  The scenery is jaw dropping and there are several pull outs, trailheads, and campgrounds.

We hiked the Five Lake trail and saw the five small lakes that are varying shades of turquoise and aquamarine.  Easy hike without much elevation change for a pleasant two hours.

One of the five mountain lakes on trail

One of the five mountain lakes on trail

We did camp one night on the Ice Fields Parkway right across from the Columbia Glacier.  Even though it is parking lot camping, it is soothing to look around on all sides and see mountains with snow.

Ice off lake on Ice Field Parkway

Ice off lake on Ice Field Parkway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We connected with Doug through the Lance Owners of America Truck Camper Forums and  he wanted to met us at Whistler’s Campground in Jasper National Park and show us some Canadian hospitality. Great suggestion on his part – the Jasper area is less crowded and the campground feels more like a natural national park than Banff or Lake Louise.  The park is nice and if you need to go into Jasper (the town) it is only a 5 minute drive or you can walk the trail.  We found a nice coffee shop/art gallery/laundromat, goodies at Bear Paw Bakery, and fee wi fi at the library.    At the campground there was a Grizzly warning and some sites had been cordoned off (we don’t know if the bears are aware they can’t cross the red tape:))

Grizzly warning in Jasper

Grizzly warning in Jasper

There were several elk in the campground since it is calving season, they know they are ‘safe’ and tend to give birth in the campground and then they move back into other areas of the park.  Like all good mothers, they want to protect their babies and are pretty aggressive if you get too close.  We kept our distance and enjoyed hearing the little ones bleat for their mom.

Cow and calf

Cow and calf

We went fishing with Doug and his friends’ son, Craig on Lake Maligne.  It is a glacial lake with deep aquamarine tones and mountains surrounding it.  We had a wonderful day catching Rainbow and Brown Trout in a breathtaking setting.  Spirit Island is in Lake Maligne and is very picturesque and iconic – featured on many different posters, postcards, etc.

Next we’ll be posting on our travel through British Columbia and into the Yukon.  We have no cell service or data plan in Canada so rely on public wifi.  It might be awhile between posts:)

Cow elk in Jasper National Park

Cow elk in Jasper National Park

 

Fish On!

Fish On!

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6 Responses to Banff – No, Lake Louise – No, Jasper – Yes

  1. G&C,

    With some leisure time after leaving AK, I’m enjoying reading your blog. We’re so sorry we didn’t catch up with you in AK.

    We loved Whistlers campground at Jasper. I had a close call with a Cow, not intentionally. She walked up to within 3 feet of the end of my extended walking stick. I stood my ground and yelled NO three times. Others stood around watching and taking pictures. The cow turned and walked away.

    Doug really gave us the Albertan welcome at Lake Louise.

    If you have not kept up with my LOA photolog, http://lanceowners.hoop.la/topic/florida-to-alaska?page=5
    Take care, G&M

    • gconthemove says:

      Glad you have a safe trip — we marveled at how far you must have driven each day to go from Florida to Alaska in one month. We just don’t get very far, even on our ‘travel days’. Thanks for sharing the link to your posts so others can enjoy your adventure. Glenn is an avid LOA follower so keeps up with you:)

  2. Ed Matter says:

    Nice picture…and a nice Rainbow what were they hitting…?

    • gconthemove says:

      Ed – They were fun to bring in on light tackle. The rainbows and the brown trout mostly hit on small flies – orange and brown. We did pick up a couple on small rappela type lures that were black and blue.

  3. So beautiful. Agree with you about avoiding crowds, but sometimes you just have to suck it up, and join the masses. If not, there would be too many special places you miss. I bicycled thru that area, and we woke up one morning to find a yearling moose walking thru our campground – I’ll never forget that!

    • gconthemove says:

      You are right about some of the sites and the crowds — we try to just look at the natural wonders and look past the people. You have a strong constitution to ride those mountain roads! We have seen several bikers throughout the Rockies and marvel at their determination.

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