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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.


Jasper Townsite
Hiking in Nepal

Medicine Lake.

Jasper presented some excellent opportunities for hiking. The park is much "wilder" than Banff, with fewer tourists. If you want to do some hiking without having to worry about running into people all the time, don't stay in Banff only, but go see Jasper as well. The photograph above shows two men fishing in the shallow waters of Medicine Lake.


Maligne Lake from Bald Hills

The most famous lake in Jasper is Maligne Lake. The parking lot by the lake offered enough room for quite a collection of tourist buses, but from the nearby lookouts, at roughly the same altitude as the lake, we didn't find the view that spectacular, certainly not compared to others we'd seen.
We then started climbing up to the Bald Hills, and looking back at the lake, down in the valley, it certainly did look beautiful. Both the pictures above and below this text show Maligne Lake.
The Bald Hills hike, from Maligne Lake, is a great hike, by the way. The start's a little dull, up a fire road, but once you get to the Bald Hills the 360 degree views are spectacular and absolutely worth it.

Maligne Lake from Bald Hills, 
		with Eric & me

Another good hike starts just south of the Icefields Centre, along the Icefields Parkway, off a road leading to Wilcox Camping. The path climbs high above the valley very rapidly, and offers beautiful views into the valley and onto Mount Athabasca and the Athabasca glacier (picture below). We could follow a group of climbers descending from the top of Mount Athabasca with our binoculars.

Athabasca glacier


Bighorn sheep observing bird

We saw various animals along the way. At lower altitudes we saw herds of bighorn sheep in alpine meadows. This picture shows a bighorn sheep studying a little bird. At higher altitudes, there were many ground squirrels, one of which is shown in the picture below.

Ground squirrel on Bald Hills


Hiking near Maligne Lake, on the Bald Hills trek, we saw the marmot in the picture below. We think it's a "hoary marmot" but don't know for sure!



Jasper Townsite is a village at the end of the Icefields Parkway from Banff, and the touristic hub of the park. There are various restaurants here, including fast food. There's a supermarket, and there are other stores, but it's all on a much smaller scale than in Banff.

Jasper has a large selection of guesthouses, over a hundred at least. Most offer an "apartment" with a kitchenette and bathroom, at a reasonable price. Apparently, life in Jasper is so expensive that the people who live and work here often need the extra source of income that comes with renting out their basement to tourists. To find a guesthouse, go to the Visitors' Center. They have lists of names and phone numbers, and there's a phone you can use for free to make a reservation on the spot. We stayed at Athina Megas' guesthouse, which was perfectly fine.

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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