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Eric and I toured the west of Canada in august/september of 2001. We spent about two weeks camping and hiking in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks of Banff, Jasper, Yoho, and Kootenay. We did not visit Mount Revelstoke & Glacier.

Apart from the Rockies, we also spent time on Vancouver Island, and in Calgary, Vancouver, and the Kootenays and Okanagan regions.


Lake Louise
Town of Banff
Icefields Parkway
Commercial links: Banff weather forecast and Banff news
Banff radio: 101.1 FM, lots of up-to-date information

Lake along Icefields Parkway

Banff is a beautiful park, with endless forests, surprisingly green and blue lakes, and threatening peaks. Unfortunately, when we were there, smoke from a forest fire in Kootenay was making the views in Banff hazy, and was a little irritating to our throats and eyes. So we moved on to Jasper after only a few days, in search of the clean mountain air. The photograph above shows one of the beautiful views along the Icefields Parkway in Banff, on the way to Jasper National Park.

Two Jack Lake

This photograph shows Two Jack Lake, close to the town of Banff. We had planned to camp at the Two Jack campground, but bears were prowling the area and no tents were allowed. Instead, we camped at the Tunnelmountain campground just outside of the town of Banff. The facilities at this campground - as well as the other National Park campgrounds - were excellent.


Elk along Bow Valley Pkwy.

Hiking along the Park's trails, or even cruising along the roads, there were good chances of encountering wildlife. Wildlife along the roads was easily spotted by the RVs parked haphazardly along the side of the road, and people eagerly brandishing binoculars. This causes the so-called "bear jams," which are not bears stuck in traffic, nor something you eat for breakfast. The photograph shows an elk (please correct me if I'm wrong) grazing along the Bow Valley Parkway.

We were amazed by one after the next shiny blue lake hidden in the green forests. This remarkable shade is caused by silt that is carried into the lakes by water from melting snow, and that absorbs all colors but blue. Two of the most famous lakes in Banff are Lake Louise and the nearby Moraine Lake. Both are beautiful, but we also found them rather touristy; the paths around the lakes were crowded with senior citizens in pastel clothes, and the parking lots were jammed with RVs and rental cars from Alberta and British Columbia. From Lake Louise, we hiked up to Saddleback Pass, which was a nice trek. We had planned to walk up to Fairview Mountain, for a beautiful view, but were forced to turn back when dark clouds came rolling in.


The town of Banff is relatively large and has all facilities a tourist could want or would never want, from bookstores to mountain bike rentals, from souvenir shops to hardware stores. There's a variety of restaurants and fast-food joints. Various locations, including the Wendy's on the main street, offer internet access.

Peyto Lake.

This photograph shows Peyto Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes along the Icefields Parkway. This Parkway leads north, through Banff and Jasper National Parks, to the Jasper Townsite. The Bow Valley Parkway is the scenic route from Banff town to Lake Louise; from there it's the Icefields Parkway. The route passes a series of large and small glaciers, a number of which are parts of the huge Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield outside of the Arctic. The Icefield Centre is located near one of the Columbia Icefield glaciers, the Athabasca. You can take a trip onto this glacier in a Snocoach, which is something like a bus on skis.

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Description & Photos of Calgary
Description & Photos of Banff (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Description & Photos of Jasper (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Description & Photos of Yoho (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Description & Photos of Kootenay (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Description & Photos of the Okanagan and Kootenays region
Description & Photos of Vancouver Island including 
			Pacific Rim Nat'l Park
Description & Photos of Vancouver