We have a list of places we'd like to travel to one day and Banff/Lake Louise in Canada in one of them on our list. We were on a date night a few months ago and Logan handed me a present to open. It was a travel book to plan a trip to Canada! I was super excited. So we went a few weekends ago. We flew into Calgary, Alberta. The cars in the parking lot had snow one them!! We went from 90's to 30's!!!
We stayed the first night right by the airport because we got in late. I had to take a pic of the beds....you could change the color of the lights underneath them. It was pretty funny and weird.
Then we rented a car the next morning and headed north to Jasper! We drove along Icefield parkway which is one of the most scenic drives in the world. It was pretty cloudy and even snowed on us so it was hard to see too much. Every once in awhile the clouds would clear and we'd see a huge mountain right next to us!
We stopped in Banff to grab some snacks and get some Canadian money. It is very busy and people everywhere but beautiful because mountains are all around.
mountain goats just eating the salt from the road :)
We stopped at the Columbia icefield center. It was a place at the bottom of the athabasca glacier. You could ride on a glacier mobile type thing and go up on the glacier or do a skywalk thing. The wait was super long for the mobile thing so we ended up just doing the skywalk. It was ok....expensive!
We stopped at Sunwapta Falls and hiked along the river. It was really pretty. Definitely felt good to get out of the car.
We saw a bear eating on the side of the road!!! It was awesome.
We stopped at Honeymoon lake. It was so clear and calm!
We got to Jasper and checked into Maligne Lake lodge. Then went to the town (few blocks down the road) and ate at Downstream. It was supper yummy! It was SO cold outside!!! We were wearing coats and toboggans!!
Then we found a coffee shop that we read about called Snodome in our travel book. It was actually in a laundromat but it was the best mocha!!
The next day we got up and ate breakfast at the place connected to our motel. Then we headed up to Maligne Lake. We saw an elk on the way out of town. He was huge and "kill joy" showed up and scared him to try to get him to go back into the woods. He ran into a sign and knocked it right over. Everyone was stopped all along the road watching it all.
We did a hike called Bald Hills Loop. We look like we're going snow skiing because it was FREEZING!!! It's all about layers....we started like this but it was ALL uphill so the layers came off quite quickly. But then at the top it was FREEZING again.
coat back on....we stopped at the summit for lunch and I was shaking I was so cold!! We couldn't really see much but we just imagined the view was amazing. The weather was too cloudy and snowy to see much. Still amazing and a hard hike!
Logan's snow angel
We went in the lodge and ate a brownie and drank some coffee after our hike. We were pretty tired. The coffee gave us a second wind so we walked around the lake and took some pics.
On our way back to town we saw a MOOSE!!! It was crazy big and we were quite excited. Kill joy however showed up pretty quickly and blared her horn at us to keep moving. It was awesome to see though!
Farther up the road were caribou just right in the middle of the road! They weren't bothered by us one bit. It was really awesome to see!
Maligned river was so pretty....these are all taken by it.
We stopped at Athabasca falls on the way back....there are 6 different bridges that you can go on and see the canyons. Pretty amazing and powerful waterfalls!
A wolf!!! We were way pumped every time we saw wildlife. It became the game to see who could spot something.
This elk was the one back in town and it was HUGE. I definitely made us get out of the car and I got a selfie with him!!! Kill joy did not like that. She was there quickly and made everyone keep 300 feet from the elk.
We went straight into town and picked pizza for dinner. We ate at Famoso for dinner. It was yummy pizza!
We shopped awhile in town and got a lecture in why you need bear spray. So then we purchased our $40 can that we couldn't even bring home because you can't fly with it :(
We bought some fudge pops and came back to the room and watched college football. Fun night!
The next morning we checked out of room 229 and headed out!
We ate breakfast again at the Wicked cup which was connected to our motel. It was weird....wicked definitely in the name....had weird buddha stuff everywhere. Not somewhere I'd wanna eat everyday.
Before we left Jasper we decided to do one last hike that was really close to town. It was called Old Fort Point. This was the Athabasca river that was close by.
It wasn't steep so it was a fun change to actually talk and stroll along :)
We climb the "summit" and took some pics :)
We saw yet another elk on our way out of town. It was right on the road. Crazy!!! So Logan got his selfie this time :)
So after we left Jasper we went back south towards Lake Louise but there are SO many amazing places to stop at! We saw a sign for this and turned off last minute. Oh my. Maybe the most beautiful little lake and it just sits right off the road and NO one was even there!!!! Crazy!!!
We got out to walk down to the river and after the first few steps the sole of Logan's hiking boot came right off!!! It was pretty funny. Thankfully the rest of his boot worked ok and then he just wore tennis shoes the rest of the time.
I mean look at that water!!!!
Gorgeous....the colors and how clear and perfectly calm it is!!
We saw another bear!! He was on the move but not bothered by anyone else!
The skies were much clearer than the drive up. We got to see a lot more views of the massive mountains all around us. It's just breathtaking.
We stopped again at the Athabasca glacier and this time got out and hiked to the bottom of it. It was pretty neat to see it!
We got to Lake Louise late afternoon so we decided to get a quick hike in before it got too late. We did the Lake Agnes hike.
It was a pretty steep hike but worth it!!
This was a small lake almost to the top of the hike.
At the top was a tea room!! Yes a tea room! You could order hot tea and several other things. It was amazing. The coolest thing was that it started snowing while we were there....and I mean really snowing. The flakes were HUGE and it was just beautiful!!
tea and chips and salsa :) I mean we're Texans right?!?!
This is the Fairmount hotel that is famous. You don't even want to know what it costs to stay there for a night :)
Not the greatest views because of the clouds but the color of that water is amazing!! This is Lake Louise.
We found the closest restaurant we could find. We were hungry and pretty tired after the hike! We ate at Mountain Lodge. Then we went to a grocery store and got a thing of ice cream for dessert :). We stayed at the Lake Louise Inn.
The next morning we got up early so we could make it in time to park at Moraine Lake. It's a small parking lot so they only let so many people in to park. We ate some breakfast and drank coffee before we started hiking....first things first :)
I can't really even describe this place....it was in my opinion the most beautiful place I've ever been to. The mountains, clear water, teal color of the water, snow, blue sky (at times), and how remote it felt were amazing!!!! There were 2 brides getting their bridal portraits done while we were there. I was jealous and would like to redo mine! Ha!
We climbed up a big rock formation and got some more pictures of the lake.
It was hard to pick which hike...most are pretty far but we chose the Larch Valley hike. There was a bear warning that it was strongly encouraged to hike in groups of 4 or 5.....never seen that before. So we met up with some other girls that were hiking up but there were plenty on the trail. It was uphill and pretty hard hike but so fun.
Lots of switchbacks up the mountain until we got to the Larch Valley.....all the trees were covered in snow. It was like a winter wonderland!
We kept going up and got to Minnestimma lakes....they were small but beautiful.
Then we decided to keep on going up and I do mean up to the top to Sentinel pass. It was walking a skinny trail UPHILL in like 2 foot of powder. Most had trekking poles or something. We had one stick between the 2 of us...ha!
We made it to the top and stopped and had some lunch....or snacks. I went from sweating to freezing in about 2 minutes. So we ate quick and took several pictures. It was beautiful. You could see down both sides of the pass.
Behind us is Ten peaks.....ten different mountain peaks all in a line. Amazing!!
On our way back down the sun had broke through the clouds and melted the snow off the larch trees. Wow....they were bright yellow and SO beautiful!!! It was like a totally different view on the way down.
Coffee at the bottom!!
More and more pics of Moraine lake....you just can't get enough of this place.
We went back by Lake Louise to try to get a better picture now that the skies were a bit clearer. It was beautiful of course!
After all that we went back to town and ate at the Lake Louise station for dinner. We splurged and ate a lot and even got coffee and dessert. It was super fun and worth every penny :)
Amazing trip.....really amazing. Even though we only had a few days we crammed a lot in and saw some amazing sights! I think we'll be back here one day. I love my hubby and taking trips with him is the best. I'm so grateful we love to hike and be together in God's amazing creation. One day maybe we'll even get to hike there with all of our kids :)