Saturday, September 21, 2019

Heading Home Sunday, Sept 15th

Banff to Cranbrook, BC and home

Well, the journey is coming to an end! We have one more night in Canada which we spend in the little town of Cranbrook about an hour from the US border. We decide to make a beeline for home, so we enter through the top of Idaho, traverse to Spokane, then down to Pasco, Bend and home. We stay at a nice KOA in Pasco, Washington and the La Pine State Park, in Oregon.

This has been a wonderful trip! Beautiful scenery! Delightful companionship! Great vehicles!  Mostly we have a gracious God who created so much beauty and allowed us the privilege of enjoying it! 

Tim and Kathy

A Day in Banff Saturday, Sept 14th


Our last day in Banff was spent mostly in town. The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies was quite well done. It displayed the art of the founding couple and a number of historical items from the railroad, early helicopter skiing, and mountaineering. Very interesting. 

Another highlight was a self guided tour of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. This is a 20 hundred star hotel with a long history. Absolutely beautiful architecture and views of the towering mountains around it.

Fairmont Banff Hotel
Fairmont Banff Hotel

Fairmont Banff Hotel

Fairmont Banff Hotel

Johnston Canyon, Vermillion Lake, Mt. Norquay Friday the 13th


This Friday the 13th brought lots of rain, so we decided to go for a hike. The Johnston Canyon is very well known and a must see. So we joined many other folks that arrived early to get a place to park.  

Johnston Canyon
This was a very beautiful climb along the river to the lower falls. A side trail got us to a short tunnel with a close-up view of the falls. We continued another mile up the trail to, as you might guess, Upper Falls. All the pathways were well maintained and many sections were suspended out from rock canyon walls or suspension bridges. Very pretty! After a couple hours or so, we returned to the pick-up rather wet from the rain. The rain jackets were great, but the pants took a direct water hit! All in all, totally worth it!

After drying out, warming up, and eating a little we went exploring again. This time we stayed mostly in the vehicle. Tunnel Mountain Drive was interesting as was the Mount Norquay Ski resort. We still had time so we captured a few pictures and looked for birds at Vermilion Lakes.
Vermillion Lake

Vermillion Lake

Bow Valley Parkway to Banff Thursday, September 12th

Yoho to Banff

Bow Valley Parkway
Today’s move from Yoho National Park to Banff takes us by way of the Bow Valley Parkway. Mostly it was a scenic drive with several viewpoint stops such as Castle Mountain and Moose Meadows where once again we saw no moose. We also enjoyed a nice lunch stop at  the Muleshoe Picnic area. (No mules!) We had a good rain in the night and found snow on the mountains around us as we traveled. 

Our next campground is the Tunnel Mountain Village 2 which we found with no problem along with many other people who seemed to find it. After getting the trailer settled into it’s new home, we headed to the town of Banff. We stopped by the visitors center to say hi and ask for a coffee shop suggestion. One of the recommendations was the Whitebark Coffee Shop which we walked to and enjoyed a lite snack, good coffee, and fast internet.

Cascade Gardens
Banff is a very busy tourist town with many shops and places to eat. We explored around and really enjoyed an art gallery of an absolutely amazing wildlife photographer by the name of Jason Bantle. His website is We walked across the river from the main part of town and discovered the delightful Cascade Gardens.

Cascade Gardens

Bow Parkway

Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Wednesday, September 11th

Lake Louise and Moraine Lake

Lake Louise
So today we need to do the best we can to manage the crowds at Lake Louise. We leave the campground at 6:00 am to make sure we get a place to park and discover we are one of the first arriving! Bonus points for us! We had breakfast as we drove and finished up in the parking lot. It was all good planning as we could enjoy this beautiful and so well known emerald lake. We had to bundle up a little since it was only 40 degrees and a bit foggy.

We walked along the Lakeside trail with delightful views back toward the Fairmont Lake Louise Hotel. The clouds moved in and out creating new views around each corner.
Tea House
We returned to the Hotel and enjoyed a hot drink before climbing the Lake Agnes Trail to the tea house. Here we found another picturesque lake, a few more people and a really good Chai Tea and soup.

We made our way down the mountain and drove to the Lake Louise village. We explored an old train depot that is now a restaurant, did a little shopping and had dinner at an Asian eatery.

Because a person can never get enough lakes and mountains we headed on to Moraine Lake. The people management rule says to wait till early evening to drive up to this lake. By then, many of the crowds have left and there is room to park. This worked great and we enjoyed an evening walk by the lake with the mountains towering around us.
Moraine Lake
Tea House
Moraine Lake

Friday, September 20, 2019

Trains, Takakkaw Waterfall and Emerald Lake Tuesday, September 10th

Yoho National Park

Narrow Gage Train Engine
This area is known for a railroad engineering masterpiece. The Continental Divide pass is extremely rugged and steep. The original track grade that was built was way too steep. After several accidents the track was redesigned. To reduce the slope of the track, they created two switchbacks by boring two deep tunnels in the mountain that formed a large loop. The long trains could exit the tunnel and still see the end of their train entering. 

This morning we hiked from our campground up a trail that led us to the train tracks and to the crashed remains of the original narrow gage engine that was used to build the tunnels. This was quite an uphill climb but provided a great history on the railroad system in this area.

Convergence of Glacier and Lake Water
We drove up the Yoho Valley Road from our campsite and stopped at the viewpoint of the lower spiral tunnel and a little further on the convergence of the Yoho and Kicking Horse rivers. One was glacier fed and milky, the other lake fed and clear. At the top of our road we end at the Takakkaw Falls. This is one of the highest in Canada.

On this same mountain area we explore Emerald Lake. We hike the entire level trail around the lake enjoying the beautiful turquoise colored water. 

This evening it’s time for dinner out, so we find a great little place to eat in Field called the Truffle Pig’s Bistro. Very good food! We both had salmon.

Takakkaw Falls

Emerald Lake

Truffle Pig Bistro

Kicking Horse River next to campsite

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Travel to Yoho National Park Monday, September 9

Travel day from Wilcox Campground to Yoho National Park

Our next travel day takes us South toward the Canada Highway 1. There are several stops along the way to enjoy.

Panther Falls
Panther Falls Trail - From this hike you can see Bridal Veil Falls from the viewpoint, but for the best view a hike down the canyon is required. This was quite a rugged climb down and the falls were great!

We enjoyed many beautiful mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys as we drove. Not every spot was workable for the trailer, so we enjoyed the drive-by sightings. We watched for moose and other wildlife without much luck.

Peyto Lake - The glacier fed lake required a nice uphill climb. We have decided that an uphill climb a day keeps the doctor away. We sure find no trouble finding trails that go up! 

We settle into a campground right on the Kicking Horse river. The town of Field is very close so we drove in to check things out. This delightful little town of very few people is right on the main line of the railroad. It is surrounded by huge mountains with a river running right next to the city. They had a great info center that helped direct our activities both in Yoho and Banff National parks.

Peyto Lake
Community of Field
Community of Field

Mistaya Canyon