Sunday, July 10, 2016

Through their Eyes - Banff NP, Canada

We have been itching to go hiking. Summertime is not the best time for hiking around here in the South unless you go North, way North... So we got ourselves some bargain tickets and off we went, to Canada.

Enter Banff National Park.
Mandatory picture, just because...

I have heard so many great things about the Canadian Rockies that we had to check it out. Instead of trying to summarize our favority activities in Banff, I will list all the things we did... because, they were all favorites. It was gorgeous there... I can't wait to go back and visit Yoho National Park, as well as Jasper National Park. Ok, here we go...

Wonderful Lake Louise: The star of Banff National Park (as witnessed by the crowds gathering around it... This friend, was an understatement...)As busy as Lake Louise was, It was wonderful nonetheless.

Hiking to Lake Agnes: This hike was a great one to start with... It opened our appetite for what awaited for us in the area. The hike was so gorgeous and to reward ourselves after we made it to the summit, a teahouse was there, ready for us, to get a refreshment (I'm still craving the apple crisp we had there)... The location of the teahouse could have not been more beautiful, right by Lake Agnes and a beautiful waterfall.
 Mirror lake

The kids liked making friends with he wildlife ;) This cute, friendly doggie loved fetching the stick for us.

Distance: One way from  Lake Louise to the tea house is 3.6 km (2.2 miles) Elevation: Gain 400m (1312 ft) Elevation of Lake Agnes and tea house 2135 m (7005 ft)

Driving along Bow Valley Parkway: This place was a treasure trove for spotting wildlife, don't believe me? Check this out:

These two are the wildest of all the wildlife we spotted :)
A young Grizzly... This big fellow was complete oblivious of our presence (granted, I captured these pictures with my telephoto from the safety of our car)

Bull Elk... This thing is huge!!!
This one is just there... Posing for me...

More cuteness everywhere

Hiking the Plain of Six Glaciers, this hike was demanding on the kids but the rewards were amazing...

Another tea house to replenish ourselves - I have to say, I loved these tea houses, they remained me a little bit of the tea houses from Turkey - Although, those from Turkey are more my style

Then picnicking with fabulous views and curious friends (and sounds... We heard the ice cracking and falling, so exiting to see this)

Continuing onto the summit (Abbot Pass). The views of the glaciers were stunning

Distance: 5.5 km’s one way (3.4 miles) Elevation Gain: 370 meters (1215 ft) Maximum Elevation: 2100 meters (6890 ft)

Hiking along Johnston Canyon - Easy lovely hike, we spotted a lot of cute animals

Lower falls, 1.1 km one way, elevation gain of 30 meters. Upper falls, 2.6 km’s one way, elevation gain of 120 meters.

Hiking Sunshine Meadows: Another easy and very rewarding hike. It was so peaceful there. I totally recommend it, probably one of our favorite hikes (think wildflowers, gorgeous lakes and great views)

Taking a drive on the Icefield Parkway. We had great weather the whole time we were in Canada (even thought it called for rain the whole time) However, the afternoon we decided to do our drive on the Icefield Parkway, we were not so lucky. We had to skip the hikes here - we'll be saving those for when we go back - It was a good thing though, our kids were pooped, I don't think we could have made them walk much more that day.

Strolling around Lake Moraine on the Valley of Ten Peaks....  Stunning!
Stopping for a snack of Nanaimo bars by the lake. Life cannot get much better than that  

More hiking. Yes, we were able to squeeze one more hike, really easy one right in the town of Banff. Tunnel Mountain is one not to be missed, the views of the town from up there were fantastic - Bring binoculars, you can spot a lot of wildlife from up there.

Elevation Gain: 300 meters (948 feet) Distance: 4.3 km (2.7 miles) round-trip

And to close things up, one more drive around before hitting the road back to the airport:

Mount Norquay for great views of the village of Banff and Vermillion lakes

And the Lake Minnewanka loop for wild flower frolicking and more wildlife spotting

 We spotted a group of mama elks with babies...

That's it friends, Gorgeous right? Not a bad place to make an escape to, don't you think?

Want to see more pictures of our family adventures? Check out my instagram for TONS more pictures ( I just can't help myself)
All travel posts here
More Canada (from our trip to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) here and here

What's next for us this Summer? More hiking, a little bit of camping and family visiting, stay tuned for more.

Have a great rest of your Summer everybody!