We arrived at Banff, the first National park established by the Canadian Government, set up the trailer in a full hook up site and walked about a mile to see the hoodoos.

The valley itself is spectacular but the hoodoos are not as colorful as the ones in Bryce National Park. don't think that this lessens Banff National Park in any way however. The Canadian Rockies and all their national parks are spectacular and may even even be more scenic then some of ours.

The next day we walked by the Vermillion Lakes which weren't vermillion. These are three shallow lakes just outside the Banff Township and are popular with birders. We saw a nesting loon and several red wing blackbirds. We didn't walk around the lakes because only one side is accessible. After our walk we ate our breakfast at the Fenland picnic area and walked the short but pleasant Fenland Nature Trail

and then went to Safeway for groceries. When we got back to the campground we hung around for awhile and then walked the 4 kilometer Bow River Trail. The trail loses 60 meters of elevation between the campground and the river. Going down wasn't bad but the trip back was somewhat strenuous although the trail bikers that use it don't seem to mind. Parts of it were quite scenic but the view of the falls from the trail side of the river wasn't very good.

A couple of days later after walking the asphalted 3.7 km Sundance Trail we drove over to the other side and saw the falls. We saw the falls but they weren't very impressive. The fancy Banff Springs Hotel is right up the hill from the falls. We availed ourselves of their rest rooms but didn't stay for a meal. The hotel has a very impressive view of the mountains which Debby captured along with a statue of a Mountie. The price structure is also impressive. We were more interested in the two elk with fawn and the magpie. The magpie is a beautiful western relative of the raven, jay and crow.

Actually we walked the Sundance trail because we needed a rest from the previous days hike. We had gone to Johnston Canyon to see the falls and ended walking to see the Ink Pots as well. The Johnston Canyon Falls are a very popular tourist spot but most tourists stop at the 2.7 km Upper Falls. We decided to trek the full 5.8 km Ink Pot Trail which gains 215 meters and is supposed to take four hours. While it was almost all up hill in grizzly country it didn't take 4 hours and was worth the climb.

The Ink Pots are 7 small spring fed pools of various shades of aqua nestled in a gorgeous river valley.


After our hike we stopped in a somewhat empty picnic area for breakfast. There were only two other mammals there besides us.

Next: Kootenay National Park

Home | The Big Trip

HԂD 131_3108.JPGpwpuserpwpuser~yH2D 131_3112.JPGpwpuserpwpuseryGp2yHwD 131_3115.JPGpwpuserpwpuser~yEyD 131_3120.JPGpwpuserpwpuser2ypyeD 131_3132.JPGpwpuserpwpuser~0yH2ID 131_3177.JPGpwpuserpwpuser~`~~hiD 131_3179.JPGpwpuserpwpuseryI~h~