Way back to last August/September, Julie and I had the opportunity to roadtrip our way up to Banff National Park (which is just an hour and a half outside of Calgary) passing through Jackson, WY and the marvelous Grand Teton National Park on our way up and a quick pitstop at Crater Lake in Oregon on the way home.
The Tetons were stellar as usual, despite not seeing a single cloud during sunrise or sunset in all of days we were there (photographer problems). Seems par for the course for our visits there.
Our original itinerary had included four days in Glacier National Park, however after a bit of a car snafu en route from the Tetons to Glacier, we unfortunately had to skip that portion of the journey and instead vacationed for three days in beautiful Idaho Falls. Fun fact, Idaho Falls is home to the Idaho Falls Chukars, the single-A affiliate minor league baseball team of the Kansas City Royals.
Fortunately we were able to get back on the road and back in line with our itinerary. In hindsight, it might have been for the best we were forced to skip the Glacier portion since fires near Lake McDonald resulted in closures to the west side of the park as well as half of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Between the closures, concentration of visitors to the east side of the park on Labor Day, and just the amount of smoke in the air it wouldn’t have likely been the best time.
This being our first trip to Banff, naturally we’d have to see all the classic spots. Fortunately showing up before the sun rises and around dinner time dilutes the crowd quite a bit at both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. The Banff area was visually spectacular and certainly worth a trip. We were gifted with a bit of cold rain while we were there which resulted in the first snow of the year in the mountains and a beautiful fresh dusting atop the Rocky Mountain range. Lake Louise was alright, but Lake Moraine certainly lived up to the hype.
But it wasn’t just about those iconic lakes, the whole area is absolutely stunning. Simply driving through on that portion of the Trans-Canada Hwy offers incredible vistas of the staggering formations of the Canadian Rockies. We only scratched the surface during our time there and are already looking forward to returning to the area and exploring further out than we did on this trip.
Anyway, enough blabbering on about, here’s where we went, what we saw, and bit of how it looked inbetween.
(Oh and if find yourself in the town of Banff and are a normal ice cream eating human being, I highly recommend you treat yourself to a visit to Cows (also applicable if find yourself in Whistler, Niagara Falls, or in the far eastern provinces of Canada) for some super rich and delicious ice cream and cow-related puns)