Mt Robson, Jasper and Banff (July 21-23)

Mt. Robson Provincial Park was beautiful, with considerably less crowds than the nearby National Parks.

We spent the morning enjoying the views but decided not to hike since there were no accommodations in the Park and the hikes were long. If we ever get into camping and backpacking, we must do the hike to Berg Lake along the Valley of a Thousand Falls.

Jasper National Park was next and this time we had a sunny day to appreciate it! We drove out to Maligne Lake, stopping first to hike all 6 bridges and take in the rushing waterfalls of Maligne Canyon.

Maligne Canyon hike

On the way back we stopped at Medicine Lake, which interestingly drains by an underground river system.

Medicine Lake on the Maligne Valley road in Jasper NP

Back in Jasper, we stayed at the Sawridge Inn again and had another good experience there. On the morning of July 22nd, we said goodbye to the Yellowhead Highway and headed south on Hwy 93 towards Banff.

We didn't get very far before turning off to see Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier. This is a stop not to be missed and easily worth the hike out to the glacier lake with closer views of the jagged mountain, named for a British nurse who helped allied soldiers in WWI escape to the Netherlands from occupied Belgium. Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans.

Mt Edith Cavell in Jasper NP

Mike at the glacial Lake below Angel Glacier and waterfall on Mt Edith Cavell

Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls was our next stop, right off of the highway, followed by Sumwapta Falls. We'll have to look into rafting next time.

Along the road through Jasper to Banff we stopped to observe Bighorn Sheep on the road.

Bighorn Sheep along the road

Scenery along Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Banff

With so much to see, along the way, we didn't make it to the Icefields Parkway until late in the afternoon. Not wanting to rush this final leg of our trip, we splurged (although they did give us a discount) and stayed at the Glacier View Inn where we had a view of the Athabasca Glacier from our room.

View of the Athabasca Glacier from our Glacier View Inn room

The massive Athabasca Glacier

Thought it was late, after we checked into our room, we hiked closer to the tongue of the Athabasca Glacier and got to enjoy some evening light on the surrounding mountains.

There was a glacier bus tour the next morning we could've taken but we elected to move along.

Stunning views abounded all the way down to Lake Louise Thursday morning. We had lunch at the Chateau Lake Louise patio and started talking about what to do next.

A typical view in Banff NP

A black bear observed from the road
Susan enjoying the poppies near our lunch spot at Lake Louise

There is so much to see in Jasper and Banff, and we had been on the go so much, we hadn't scratched the surface of hiking. But we started to feel home calling. Southern British Columbia seemed quite close, after being so much further norther. So we agreed we'd come back here another time, and stay longer.

We took a last look around, got back in the car and headed home. Only 1200 miles to go!

Panorama of Peyto Lake in Banff NP

Here's a map of our route for this leg of the trip, from McBride, BC to Banff.

View Larger Map

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