Canada/West 2022:
Day 15 - Jasper National Park [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Canada 2022: [Day 1 - Holmen] [Day 2 - Trempealeau] [Day 3 - Coon Valley] [Day 4 - Viroqua] [Day 5 - Cloquet] [Day 6 - International Falls] [Day 7 - Winnipeg] [Day 8 - Winnipeg] [Day 9 - Regina] [Day 10 - Grasslands NP] [Day 11 - Taber] [Day 12 - Waterton Lakes NP] [Day 13 - Banff NP] [Day 14 - Edmonton] [Day 15 - Jasper NP] [Day 16 - Bay View] [Day 17 - Woodinville] [Day 18 - Woodinville] [Day 19 - Mt. Rainier NP] [Day 20 - Macks Creek Park] [Day 21 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 22 - Yellowstone NP] [Day 23 - Lewis and Clark SP] [Day 24 - Fargo] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

Wednesday, August 24, 2022: We slept in until 7 AM, ...
... and were on the road twenty minutes later. We wanted to be on our way to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake as early as possible after sunrise to try to beat the crowds.
We passed Deer Lodge on the way to the parking lot, which was quite crowded, even at 7:30 AM.
We managed to find a parking spot. There were lots of cars and vans with what appeared to be people camping in them overnight.
We paid for parking, ...
... and made our way down to the lake front.
This area has been reserved for public use since 1884, and has been designated a World Heritage Site since 1980.
There was an information board showing the names of the mountain peaks and listing the lengths and elevation gains of the various hikes, ...
... but we were here to gaze on beautiful Lake Louise itself. The colors were amazing. There was green from the trees, the turquoise of the lake, and the yellow from the early morning sun. Stunning.
The water was crystal clear, ...
... and reflected the surrounding hills perfectly.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is right on the lake. The rooms cost a pretty penny, but the views must be spectacular.
After taking in the sights, we made our way back to the parking lot, passing this Escape Campervan on our way to our van, ...
... and this Escape Campervan as we were leaving the lot. Every one is unique, and we are determined to photograph every one.
Five minutes later, we passed the entry to Moraine Lake where the road was blocked off and covered with "Parking Full" signs.
We made our way to Trans-Canada Highway 1, ...
... and headed north. Check out this wildlife crossing bridge over the highway.
There was a huge freight train headed up the valley. Maersk!
Since we saved a lot of time by not being able to go to Moraine Lake, we decided to make a little detour to ...
... Yoho National Park, which happens to be in British Columbia.
The clouds were clearing as we drove west.
The Trans-Canada Highway sign now had a British Columbia banner at the bottom.
The low lying valleys were filled with fog, while the peaks were bathed in sunlight.
A stream with glacial runoff ran beside the highway. It looked like it must be a mighty river during the spring thaws.
We made a quick pit stop at the Yoho National Park Visitor Center, ...
... where the fire danger was now down to moderate.
Our quick trip to Yoho over, we headed east until we met up with the Icefields Parkway again and headed north. We were probably on the road for twenty minutes when we saw a car pulled over on the side of the road. We passed them slowly to see if they needed assistance, and then realized that there must be wildlife to see. We turned our vehicle around and pulled off to the side of the road, ...
... just in time to see this black bear. It walked right across the road behind our van, maybe fifteen or twenty feet from our rear bumper, close enough to sniff at our van as it crossed behind us.
Not thirty seconds later, a baby ran out of the ditch from the direction the larger bear had come from, and ...
... then a second baby ran behind that one. We didn't get a picture of the second baby, as we were caught up watching the first baby and only barely saw the second one. All three bears disappeared down the western edge of the road behind our van.
We resumed our drive north, passing lakes and glaciers as the sky cleared.
There were glaciers on the mountains leading to Bow Peak.
Let's take a closer look.
And even closer.
Speaking of Bow Lake, we stopped at the viewpoint to take a closer look. Gorgeous.
The road descended a little and we drove through some low lying clouds.
We drove past Waterfowl Lakes, ...
... and this pack of bicyclists. They had a lot of gear loaded on each bike. They must be travelling from one campsite to another.
Just before 10 AM, we reached the bridge over the North Saskatchewan River, ending the repeated scenery from our drive to Lake Louise yesterday evening.
The river continued along the road. The grayish-white color of the water is from all of the glacial silt.
As we gained elevation, we started to get above the clouds again, ...
... and a few minutes later, we had clear blue skies again. That's Parker Ridge straight ahead, ...
... where the road climbs a switchback known as the Big Bend.
Check out that view from the top of the switchback looking back the way we had come.
We got our first view of Mount Athabasca, which is the second peak from the left, just hidden by clouds. Hilda Peak is the leftmost peak and looks as if it was made from melted plastic.
A little further up the road we drove through Sunwapta Pass and entered Jasper National Park.
There was a pylon with signs on it that said that the highway through Sunwapta Pass was officially opened on August 3, 1961.
A few minutes later, we made it to the Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield in the Rocky Mountains. The icefield spans 125 square miles in area and is between 330 feet and 1,200 feet thick.
Look at the glacial cap from Snow Dome on the left and Mount Kitchener to the right.
Zooming in on Mount Kitchener on the right, you can see the massive thickness of the glacier.
That's the toe of the Athabasca Glacier, one of six principle toes of the Columbia Icefield. A toe is a terminus or end of the glacier.
The glacier has receded about a mile and has lost more than half of its volume in the past 125 years. There were markers with years denoting where the glacier used to be at some given time. The 1908 marker and this 1925 marker were not far very off the main road toward the trailhead.
The current parking lot is beyond both the 1942 marker ...
... and the 1948 marker. There weren't markers for every year, and the year markers were not at any discernible interval. Maybe it was based on how far the glacier receded rather than time.
We found a parking spot, grabbed hats, jackets, and a bottle of water, and set out for the glacier. This bridge spanned a small river of glacial runoff.
The trail was well maintained and there was a moderate elevation gain as we made our way up. Here's the view back toward the parking lot and the pond beyond.
After five minutes of hiking, we had made it about halfway up the slope and reached the point where the glacier had been in 1982.
The view to the east was of dirt and scrub, but when Debbie was last here in 1976, there was glacier all around at this point.
There were some pretty flowers that managed to survive in the rocky ground.
Check out the scars and scratches on this rock that were made by the glacier moving over it.
We reached the summit of the trail and the glacier was still far off in the distance. The glacier had been at this point 30 years ago in 1992.
Further up, we reached the spot where the glacier ended in 2006.
Now, a wide river of glacial runoff flowed between us and the ice, so the area was roped off to prevent people from attempting to cross.
We could see the sightseeing snow coaches out on the glacier, probably a mile or so beyond where we were. There were six coaches lined up, ...
... with people from the coaches walking over the ice. Debbie had gone on one of these trips back in 1976, but she walked on the glacier much, much further down the valley.
The breeze was coming from the glacier and was quite cold. We were very glad that we had grabbed our jackets and hats. The trail formed a loop with information placards distributed around the walk.
We started down the trail, and noticed this plant that had some pods open with willowy tendrils of fluff extended in the breeze, and other pods were still tightly wound closed.
The walk down was easier than the hike up, ...
... and we were back at the van in no time, shedding our coats and hats.
The Glacier View Lodge had a commanding view of the valley, with a large patio for people wanting to view the glacier.
There was a vintage snow coach on display, and looked just like one that was in use during Debbie's family's 1976 visit.
We headed north, and soon we were able to see the Columbia Icefield Skywalk hanging out over the mountainside, ...
... with thirty or so people out on the glass walkway. The walkway extends out from the hillside and is suspended more than 300 meters above the valley floor.
Tangle Creek Falls was beautiful as we drove by, with all of the recent rain in the area no doubt contributing to the show.
We reached the northern end of the icefield and got a good view of the Stutfield Glacier, which runs from Mount Kitchener on the left to Stutfield Peak on the right.
Check out this elk crossing sign. You would definitely stop if you saw a set of antlers like that.
The drive northward continued to be beautiful, with the mountains on either side of the road covered in trees at the bottom, bald on top, with vertical strips where avalanches or landslides scarred their sides.
Our beloved van, Septimus, had hit the 100,000 mile mark at some point earlier in the day.
The Fryatt Range was ahead to our left, ...
... with the peak of Mount Fryatt looking quite spectacular.
We stopped at the Mount Christie viewpoint to see their red chairs and to look at the Athabasca River.
This Escape Campervan was parked at a trailhead and we made a quick circuit of the parking lot to get a closer look. We ended up seeing this one again two months later in Yosemite National Park, 1400 miles away.
We crossed over the beautiful Athabasca River, ...
... and about five minutes later, we were entering the town of Jasper.
One of the first things we noticed was the rainbow-themed crosswalks, ...
... and the colorful murals on some of the buildings.
We looked for a drive-thru, but after circling the town once with no luck, we gave up and finally found some street parking near an A&W.
Tom ran inside and picked up a Cheddar Bacon Uncle burger, a Beyond Meat burger, and an order of poutine, naturally.
As we headed west out of Jasper, we could see the Jasper SkyTram from its lower station all the way to the summit of Whistlers Peak.
We were on the Yellowhead Highway in Alberta and the mountains we were looking at in the distance ...
... were in British Columbia.
We reached the summit of Yellowhead Pass, named after a blonde fur trader from this area in the early 19th century.
There was a nice rest area at the pass, with picnic tables and a view of Portal Lake.
Beyond the pass starts Mount Robson Park, a 2,200 square kilometer provincial park that was created in 1913. The park is named for Mount Robson, which is the highest point in the Canadian Rockies.
We passed Yellowhead Lake and saw the distant Yellowhead Mountain, ...
... and then passed the equally beautiful Moose Lake a short time later.
Around 2:30 PM, we arrived at our destination, the Robson River Campground.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and we spread out the rainfly on the picnic table and applied the seam sealant that we had purchased in Edmonton the day before.
We created some shade behind the van, ...
... and enjoyed a cocktail while we waited for our repairs to dry.
After the sun went down, we made a lovely meal of sweet and sour pork, ...
... and then spent some time in the tent working on our laptops. This travelog doesn't write itself, you know.
After 24 hours of non-stop rain, there was none in the forecast for this night, so we decided to sleep without the rainfly. It is such a magical experience to see the stars as you lay in bed.
Around 9:30 PM, we got into our pajamas, ...
... bundled up in our sleeping bags, and said goodnight.

Day 16 >

Canada 2022: [Day 1 - Holmen] [Day 2 - Trempealeau] [Day 3 - Coon Valley] [Day 4 - Viroqua] [Day 5 - Cloquet] [Day 6 - International Falls] [Day 7 - Winnipeg] [Day 8 - Winnipeg] [Day 9 - Regina] [Day 10 - Grasslands NP] [Day 11 - Taber] [Day 12 - Waterton Lakes NP] [Day 13 - Banff NP] [Day 14 - Edmonton] [Day 15 - Jasper NP] [Day 16 - Bay View] [Day 17 - Woodinville] [Day 18 - Woodinville] [Day 19 - Mt. Rainier NP] [Day 20 - Macks Creek Park] [Day 21 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 22 - Yellowstone NP] [Day 23 - Lewis and Clark SP] [Day 24 - Fargo] [Day 25 - Heading Home] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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