Summer Trip to Alberta, Canada

Trip to Alberta, Canada on July 31st, 2016

After the two hour drive from the airport in Calgary, we arrived in Banff! During our last trip to Banff we were pleased with the amount of wildlife we saw on the drive through Bow Valley Parkway so we decided to start out with that. During our drive through the Bow Valley Parkway we immediately spotted a massive Bull Elk on the side of the road which was insanely cool. Then we had dinner at Lake Louise and called it a night.

After the two hour drive from the airport in Calgary, we arrived in Banff! During our last trip to Banff we were pleased with the amount of wildlife we saw on the drive through Bow Valley Parkway so we decided to start out with that. During our drive through the Bow Valley Parkway we immediately spotted a massive Bull Elk on the side of the road which was insanely cool. Then we had dinner at Lake Louise and called it a night.

Lake Louise at Sunrise in Alberta.jpg
On day two we started out going to my two favorite lakes. After setting a very early alarm we arrived at around 8 A.M to catch the sunrise at Moraine Lake. To say photos can't do this place justice would be an understatement. The color of the water was like nothing i've seen before. It looked like glacier Gatorade. After spending a while soaking in the beauty of Moraine Lake we moved on to Lake Louise. The reflection post-sunrise was out of this world. It looked like glass. The only bad part about Lake Louise was the crowds. There were so many people that it was hard to even find a place to take it all in. I think the best way to beat the crowds is to get up really early and even though you'll be a bit tired, you'll avoid crowds and see these places at a prettier time as I believe the early morning makes for the best lighting. Then to finish off the day we made it to Herbert Lake. I took a dip in the glacier fed water while the rest of the family set up a hammock and we all chilled for the sunset to finish off an awesome day!

On day two we started out going to my two favorite lakes. After setting a very early alarm we arrived at around 8 A.M to catch the sunrise at Moraine Lake. To say photos can't do this place justice would be an understatement. The color of the water was like nothing i've seen before. It looked like glacier Gatorade. After spending a while soaking in the beauty of Moraine Lake we moved on to Lake Louise. The reflection post-sunrise was out of this world. It looked like glass. The only bad part about Lake Louise was the crowds. There were so many people that it was hard to even find a place to take it all in. I think the best way to beat the crowds is to get up really early and even though you'll be a bit tired, you'll avoid crowds and see these places at a prettier time as I believe the early morning makes for the best lighting. Then to finish off the day we made it to Herbert Lake. I took a dip in the glacier fed water while the rest of the family set up a hammock and we all chilled for the sunset to finish off an awesome day!

Fog Rolling through the Mountains on Peyto Lake in Alberta.jpg
On day three we began by taking the drive up to Peyto Lake. The walk up was crazy cool because all of the pine trees had fog flowing through them. Even though you can't get an up close view of the lake, it doesn't matter. It is so incredible regardless of what view you're looking at Peyto Lake from. After a while of watching the fog flow through the mountains and pines we decided to move on and go to our second stop of the day, Bow Lake. The fog, mountain, pine tree, and water color made for an amazing scene here. Finally, the last stop of the day was to Herbert Lake. I was talking about visiting this diving board I heard about at Herbert Lake for a long time before we got to Alberta and to finally get to try it out was one of the best experiences i've ever had traveling. The second day while we were at Herbert Lake, my dad and I went to find the diving board. We went around the lake to the right and didn't see it but then I suggested to my dad that we walk on the path to the left and so we did. Little did we know we were about to encounter a massive male black bear sprinting across the trail about 10 feet in front of us. That scared the living crap out of us and then we went back and had a cool story to tell. The next day we all walked down that same path with our group, making noise to make the bears aware we were coming. We then walked about 15 minutes down the path and there it was, the diving board. My dad jumped in first then I followed shortly after. The freezing glacial water felt like nothing because of how much fun we were having. That's me in the picture doing a back flip :) That was the end to one of the most fun days i've had.

On day three we began by taking the drive up to Peyto Lake. The walk up was crazy cool because all of the pine trees had fog flowing through them. Even though you can't get an up close view of the lake, it doesn't matter. It is so incredible regardless of what view you're looking at Peyto Lake from. After a while of watching the fog flow through the mountains and pines we decided to move on and go to our second stop of the day, Bow Lake. The fog, mountain, pine tree, and water color made for an amazing scene here. Finally, the last stop of the day was to Herbert Lake. I was talking about visiting this diving board I heard about at Herbert Lake for a long time before we got to Alberta and to finally get to try it out was one of the best experiences i've ever had traveling. The second day while we were at Herbert Lake, my dad and I went to find the diving board. We went around the lake to the right and didn't see it but then I suggested to my dad that we walk on the path to the left and so we did. Little did we know we were about to encounter a massive male black bear sprinting across the trail about 10 feet in front of us. That scared the living crap out of us and then we went back and had a cool story to tell. The next day we all walked down that same path with our group, making noise to make the bears aware we were coming. We then walked about 15 minutes down the path and there it was, the diving board. My dad jumped in first then I followed shortly after. The freezing glacial water felt like nothing because of how much fun we were having. That's me in the picture doing a back flip :) That was the end to one of the most fun days i've had.

On day four we began by going to hike the amazing Johnston Canyon. This hike, even though there were insane crowds was still worth it. The reward at the end of this hike is really interesting... On the way you go through these narrow paths then at the top you end up seeing this incredible rock structure surrounded by waterfalls. Later on in the day we drove up a windy road to get to a chairlift called Norquay to take us to an amazing lunch with a crazy view of Mt. Rundle. On the way, we stumbled upon 7 Bighorn Sheep on the side of the road which was a nice treat. They used their amazing climbing abilities to get down this insanely steep ridge to crowd around our cars to give us a great sense of what these guys look like up close. After a couple long days, this was the day we decided to chill a bit and have some a nice sit down meal. To finish off the day we went back to the hotel and swam in the pool and chilled in the hot tub to rest up for a big day five. 

On day four we began by going to hike the amazing Johnston Canyon. This hike, even though there were insane crowds was still worth it. The reward at the end of this hike is really interesting... On the way you go through these narrow paths then at the top you end up seeing this incredible rock structure surrounded by waterfalls. Later on in the day we drove up a windy road to get to a chairlift called Norquay to take us to an amazing lunch with a crazy view of Mt. Rundle. On the way, we stumbled upon 7 Bighorn Sheep on the side of the road which was a nice treat. They used their amazing climbing abilities to get down this insanely steep ridge to crowd around our cars to give us a great sense of what these guys look like up close. After a couple long days, this was the day we decided to chill a bit and have some a nice sit down meal. To finish off the day we went back to the hotel and swam in the pool and chilled in the hot tub to rest up for a big day five. 

On day five we started out super early for another sunrise at Moraine Lake. The sunrise definitely warmed us up after the freezing weather pre sunrise. The reason we got up so early is because we decided to make a very long drive in just a day's time - about 400 miles - in one day! We went up to Jasper National Park and back into Banff in one day. The ride was beautiful, so many amazing mountain views, crazy amounts of wildlife, awesome glaciers and the bluest lakes you'll ever see. We got to Jasper after about 200 miles in the car. When we got to Jasper, we ate, then everyone thought we were going to go back, then I said we weren't coming all the way here without going to Maligne Lake. Everyone else didn't understand what I was saying then I said we have to, trust me. Everyone was tired but trusted me so we took the extra hour maybe hour and a half drive to Maligne Lake, we got to the lake and right away saw an incredible female moose just splashing around in the water. It was so magical watching this moose not even care about the people, playing in the water, eating grass and minding it's business. Then my mom said we didn't come all the way here to not take the ferry to Spirit Island. We went in to ask if we could get onto one of the ferry's and the cashier said that it was booked and we need to order tickets a couple days in advice. We told them how badly we wanted to go to Spirit Island and we came all the way from Washington D.C and we don't get this opportunity much. So they said they'd make space for us. We went onto the ferry and it so exciting, we then got to Spirit Island and it was out of this world. One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. So we walked around the island for a bit then the girls decided to jump in the freezing water and that ended such an amazing day.

On day five we started out super early for another sunrise at Moraine Lake. The sunrise definitely warmed us up after the freezing weather pre sunrise. The reason we got up so early is because we decided to make a very long drive in just a day's time - about 400 miles - in one day! We went up to Jasper National Park and back into Banff in one day. The ride was beautiful, so many amazing mountain views, crazy amounts of wildlife, awesome glaciers and the bluest lakes you'll ever see. We got to Jasper after about 200 miles in the car. When we got to Jasper, we ate, then everyone thought we were going to go back, then I said we weren't coming all the way here without going to Maligne Lake. Everyone else didn't understand what I was saying then I said we have to, trust me. Everyone was tired but trusted me so we took the extra hour maybe hour and a half drive to Maligne Lake, we got to the lake and right away saw an incredible female moose just splashing around in the water. It was so magical watching this moose not even care about the people, playing in the water, eating grass and minding it's business. Then my mom said we didn't come all the way here to not take the ferry to Spirit Island. We went in to ask if we could get onto one of the ferry's and the cashier said that it was booked and we need to order tickets a couple days in advice. We told them how badly we wanted to go to Spirit Island and we came all the way from Washington D.C and we don't get this opportunity much. So they said they'd make space for us. We went onto the ferry and it so exciting, we then got to Spirit Island and it was out of this world. One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. So we walked around the island for a bit then the girls decided to jump in the freezing water and that ended such an amazing day.

On day six we did two things, take a heli ride and take an airplane home. Thanks to Rockies Heli for the complimentary flight I was able to take my first heli ride and it was over the incredible Canadian Rockies! That was my trip to Alberta, Canada over the summer, I hoped you enjoyed :)