#6 – 3 days in Banff National Park
1. Lake Louise, Agnes Lake hike to the teahouse and Moraine Lake
2. E-bike rental for 55 km round-trip ride along Bow Valley parkway to Johnston Canyon and Inkpots
3. Original national park Sulphur Cave and environs
4. Canoeing and kayaking on Lake Minnewanka
5. Lussier Natural Hot Springs
1. Limited parking and expensive buses to the lake. Summer would be INSANE!
2. Johnston Canyon trail closure
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Monday Sep 26 - We awoke to a lovely oatmeal breakfast, and drove to Lake Louise ski resort parking area (45 minutes). We had to buy a shuttle ticket, since no private cars were allowed at the lake due to parking restrictions. We stopped at Lake Louise for some viewing, and we immediately took a hike up to the 1st teahouse (4.6 miles, 640 ft/mile, about 3 hrs) at Agnes Lake. We then returned to the bus to continue on to Moraine lake, where we stayed for about 30 minutes before returning to the shuttle bus to return to our car. We stayed at the resort to use the wifi for the rest of the afternoon (2 hr) before returning to the campsite.
Tuesday Sep 27 - We rented e-bikes and rode out on the Bow Valley parkway about 18 miles to Johnston Canyon. (2 hrs one way). Upon arriving at Johnston Canyon, we hiked up to the lower Johnston waterfall (1 hr), then biked to Moose Meadows and hiked up to the Inkpots, natural spring pools of varying temperature and color (7.5 mile, 530 ft/mile, 4 hrs). It was a long, full day with the hike and bike combination, and we returned back to town for about an hour of wifi at the library, then back to camp for dinner and evening games and together time.
Wednesday Sep 28 - We awoke early to pack up the campsite and then set out to see the Banff Fairmont hotel. We dropped Tera off for some river and forest ambling, and the kids went to the library to work on calculus, and I went to the laundromat to do some laundry (3 hours). Thereafter, I picked the kids up, and we met Tera at the Sulphur Cave monument, the first Canadian national park (1 hr). We then drove to Lake Minnewanka to rent canoes and kayaks and paddle around the lake (2 hr), then drove out of Banff through the Kootenay National Park. We stopped at Lussier Natural Hot Springs for a dip, and spent the night at a motel in Cranbrook, CA.
1. Lake Louise and Agnes Lake hike to the teahouse and Moraine Lake - There is a reason why Banff is known world-wide for its beauty. Because it is beautiful there! The mountain backdrop setting for these lakes, and the color of these glacial waters really is astounding and sets one heart a-flutter.
2. E-bike rental for 55 km round-trip ride along Bow Valley parkway to Johnston Canyon and Inkpots - This was a super long, super active day. With a 55 km bike ride, and a 12 km hike, we were moving a LOT. It was beautiful though, and worthwhile. I just can't get enough of waterfalls and beautiful mountain hikes.
3. Original national park Sulphur Cave and environs - This morning we split up, Tera to hike amongst the rivers and forests of Banff town, the kids to finish their calculus semester homework (they would take the test in just a few days back in Utah), and Erik to do everyone's laundry at the laundromat. We met back up at the Sulphur Cave, the museum and locale dedicated to the original Banff sulphur hot springs, which would eventually become the first protected National Park in all of Canada. The stinky smell of sulphur was still very much present in the bubbling hot waters in the cave.
4. Canoeing and kayaking on Lake Minnewanka - Yet another gorgeous lake provided the watery means for us to canoe and kayak out on the water. It was a pleasurable break from our daily hikes and provided some new pictures. Megan was simply begging for the "Be Real" notification to go off, but alas, it never came.
5. Lussier Natural Hot Springs - There were a few different developed hot springs sites that we could have stopped at in Canada, but we chose the drive 35 minutes up a dirt road in Kootenay to a natural undeveloped hot spring site, right next to the Lussier River. There were multiple pools to choose from, all formed with rocks from the river, each pool a slightly different temperature. The air was cool, and the river water was frigid, and we sat in hot steamy satisfaction in the pools surrounded by woods and nature. It was a really fun evening.
1. Limited Parking and expensive buses to the lake. Summer would be INSANE! - The limited parking and expensive shuttle bus options were a bit of a downer, constraining our Lake Louise and Moraine Lake visits somewhat. But I was pleased to be there in September. The crush of crowds in the same sites during the summer would have been suffocating.
2. Johnston Canyon trail closure - The Johnston Canyon trail to the upper falls and inkpots was closed, so we had to take the longer route from Moose Meadows. The lower section of Johnston falls was beautiful, and I wish I had seen more. But the telling crowds in September along the narrow boardwalks and hanging trails were a sign of the overwhelming numbers of people who would have been there in the summer. So glad to be here in early Autumn.
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Fall Semester 2022
Here we go again! Our 8 Suitcases have been whittled down to 4 suitcases as we take a four month world trip with our two youngest kids, Megan and Jacob. From Canada to Europe to islands in the Indian Ocean and finally to South Africa, from Sep to Dec 2022, here are our travels and experiences.