Sunday, May 28, 2017

Spectacular!


What an absolutely beautiful day for the first major sightseeing of our trip. We left the campground around 8:45, headed  west on hwy 1, made a comfort stop at Lac des Arcs before stopping in Canmore for a few groceries and gas.  It was very busy in the small town of approx. 12,000.
We continued on to Banff National Park, Canada's first national park established in 1885. We tried to stop in the resort town of Banff to see a neighbour working there but couldn't as there was no RV parking available. Several cars had taken up spots. Most annoying. Based on the crowds there, we could believe that the town receives 2.5 million visitors a year.
We were more lucky with our other sightseeing stops, able to make all but one as we took the Icefields Parkway, hwy 93 north, through the park. We saw Crowfoot Glacier and Bow Lake which was still ice covered.  We could not stop at Bow Summit, the highest point on the parkway at 6,849 ft.. The  parking lot, reduced in size by plowed snow, was full.


Lake Louise

Athabasca Falls

Sunwapta Falls

We stopped at Lake Louise and saw the new visitor centre which had several interesting exhibits and then took the shuttle bus up to the lake. The lake was still mostly covered with ice.
Another new feature in the park since our last visit in 2007 were large animal overpasses covered in sod, small trees and made to look like natural rock.
Next photo stop was the Columbia Icefield. The glaciers visible from the road are fingers of the great Columbia Icefield which covers 388 sq. km.
Columbia Icefield
We also stopped to see two waterfalls, the Sunwapta Falls in Banff National Park and in Jasper National Park, the more dramatic Athabasca Falls which drops only 40 feet but through a short, narrow canyon.


The two campgrounds open in Banff Nat. Park had a 25 ft. maximum length RV restriction so we had no choice but to motor on to Wapiti Campground just south of the town of Jasper. We arrived at 6:30, after 392 km. of breathtaking scenery. All we could get was an electrical site in the overflow parking lot.
It was also our best day yet for wildlife sightings: a prairie dog at Lake Louise, a grizzly bear, Dall sheep and mountain goats along the highway and to top off the day, deer at the campground.




















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