Skip to content
September 16, 2013 / mws

2013 Banff and Lake Louise

September 12 – September 16

Situated in Kananaskis Country and framed by the famous Three Sisters Peaks, Canmore is a great base for day tripping.  It is considered to be the residential community of the area, but secretly is the hub of the Bow Valley Community. We stayed in Canmore years ago and remembered the charm of this village.  We made day trips from Canmore to the surrounding attractions.

LAKE LOUISE and LAKE MORAINE

Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Even though at times it gets crowded,  Lake Louise, known as “The Jewel of The Rockies” has retained its amazing beauty. The tiny hamlet of Lake Louise is located just off the Trans Canada Highway, and consists of mainly a few hotels, a couple of gas stations, and a small strip mall. The lake is located 5km up a steep two-lane road not far from the village.

Most people are content to stroll the walking path around the lake and visit the famous Chateau Lake Louise. The hotel, built in 1890,  is worth seeing, and is decorated in the grand style of the Banff Springs Hotel.  Lake Louise has become symbolic of the classic Canadian mountain scene. This alpine lake, known for its sparkling blue waters, is situated at the base of impressive snow covered peaks.

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

Just as stunning and maybe just a little less crowded is Moraine Lake. This lake is distinctively surrounded by ten dramatic peaks which rise 1340 metres from the beautiful teal water.

KANANASKIS COUNTRY

Canmore Nordic Center

Canmore Nordic Center

Kananaskis Country is situated in the West and Southwest of Calgary bordering the towns of Banff National Park and Canmore.  Kananaskis Country includes five provincial parks, four wildland provincial parks, one ecological reserve and several provincial recreation areas.  There is also the Canmore Nordic Centre, a world class facility built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.

For our first stop, we went to see the Nordic Centre and take in a little history.  It’s a very impressive training facility and was very active today with a 10K race and outdoor training taking place. The Nordic Center is still a world class facility providing recreational opportunities all year round from mountain biking and disc golf to hosting international cross country and biathalon events in the winter.

Grassi Lake

Grassi Lake

We discovered a hike nearby to Grassi Lakes.  So off we went!  There were 2 choices to ascend to the 2 lakes and we chose the more challenging hike up and the easier hike down.  On the way up there was a nice waterfall and views of Canmore.  The lakes were a lovely shade of blue-green with super reflections and it was an enjoyable hike…our best one yet!!  😎

For our afternoon activity we drove east in Kananaskis Country, to see the Yamnuska Wolfdogs.

Owner description: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary is dedicated to providing educational programs regarding wolves and wolfdogs in order to foster a greater understanding of the importance of preserving wild wolves in the natural environment, as well as providing rescue and safe sanctuary to wolfdogs that have been neglected, abandoned, or otherwise displaced. We provide visitors with a unique opportunity to interact with our wolfdogs and learn all about them.

Zeus, the alpha wolfdog

Zeus, the alpha wolfdog

Of course, being animal lovers, we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the wolfdogs and the care and love that they received here.  The tour was great and included going into the wolfdog enclosure and interacting with the animals.  It was very educational and the owner shows great passion and compassion for these wonderful dogs.

BANFF

The Fairmount Banff Springs Hotel

The Fairmount Banff Springs Hotel

We really weren’t enthused about touring Banff due to all the commercialism and crowds. However, we decided we had to see the hotel.  The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is a Canadian Icon known as the “Castle in the Rockies”.   It has stunning architecture inside and out and the setting is truly spectacular.  There are multiple restaurants and a diversity of shopping opportunites within the hotel.

The main street leading to the hotel is Banff Avenue.  This Avenue is a tourist metropolis inundated with shops and restaurants.  As a fellow traveller commented, “The situation on Banff Avenue is not conducive to a peaceful atmosphere.”    🙄

Tunnel Mountain Hoodoos

Tunnel Mountain Hoodoos

We took Buffalo Street up to Surprise Corner to get a wider angle view of the Banff Hotel.  There is also a view of the Bow Falls from here.  Our last stop of the area was the Tunnel Mountain Hoodoos. The term ‘hoodoo’ refers to the distinctive vertical pillar shapes carved into the rock face by rainfall and glacial erosion.  Just a short walk takes you to viewpoints to get a look at the hoodoos and a nice scenic view of the river.

LAKE MINNEWANKA

Cascade Pond

Cascade Pond

A glacial lake in the eastern corner of Banff National Park, 17 mile long Lake Minnewanka is the largest lake in the Canadian Rockies.  Wildlife and glorious mountain views add to the joy of visiting this Rocky Mountain gem.  We really liked the little side road that went out to Cascade Pond.  This pond had picnic areas, bridges across small streams and walking trails. The scenic backdrop made it a very scenic area.

After taking lots of photos of Lake Minnewanka,  we hiked to Stewart Canyon.  This hike started along the lake and then followed the smooth walled canyon of the Cascade River.

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon is along the scenic Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park. This is a very popular tourist destination and we fit right in. Since it was a lovely Sunday afternoon, everyone seemed to be here!   After circling the parking lot for about 10 minutes, we finally slid into a space after another vehicle backed out.  We hiked through the canyon along catwalks to the impressive Lower Falls.

For more photos of our trip to Banff and Lake Louise, click here

top of page

“Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything better.”
– Albert Einstein

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: