A Visual Journey Through the Rocky Mountains, Part 2

Last we spoke, I left you snuggled around a campfire with the wine glasses clinking. After a night laughing with family, we set off for my favorite adventure: Lake Louise. I can’t believe it’s taken me 24 years to get here but I already can’t wait to go back next summer – this time to hike to the teahouses. I don’t think there’s any better motivation for a sweaty hike than ending it with an unbelievable view and a nice cup of tea. This time we settled for a leisurely stroll around the lake while I went crazy on the photos.

lake louise (1)

Lake Louise (2)

Lake Louise (3)

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Lake Louise (5)

Lake Louise (6)

Lake Louise 2

Lake Louise

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I think I did an ok job of getting a photo at every possible angle, except for from above, don’t you think? We had the most crystal clear, sunshine filled day – I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon! But the adventure doesn’t stop there.

Just down the road from Lake Louise is yet another gorgeous stop-off point. Moraine Lake, though it doesn’t have the same turquoise waters as Lake Louise, sparkles brilliantly in the sun. Better yet, if you’re just itching to get up close and personal with the shimmering water, you can rent out a canoe for a paddle around the lake!

Moraine Lake (2)

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Moraine Lake

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The rest of our time was spent in good company, fits of laughter and warming up on the cool summer evenings by a campfire.

Have you visited the Rockies? What did you think?

For a more detailed itinerary, click here!

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A Visual Journey Through the Rocky Mountains, Part 1

If you’ve never been to Canada or don’t know much about the country then all of your knowledge might just come from the typical Canadian stereotypes. That we ride polar bears to work, that we have a pet moose in our backyard, that we live in Igloos and have an unstoppable need to apologize – even when we’ve done nothing wrong. While some of these are true (can you figure out which 3 are lies and which one is true?), Canada is a lot more than it’s stereotypes and a lot more than the East and West Coast that most travelers head to. Some of the most exceptional scenery and activity packed locations is Canada’s Rocky Mountains, located in the Southern part of Alberta.

We may be a prairie province with wheat fields as far as you can see but we also have hours upon hours of mountainous terrain – perfect for a road trip with family or friends. You can drive from Jasper National Park to Banff National Park (or the other way around!) and have breathtaking views at every turn, plenty of break spots and tourist points to take some of the very best pictures and partake in tons of activities from horseback riding and hiking to whitewater rafting or bungee jumping.

Whether you’re a summer sun-seeker or a winter nut searching for some of the best powder on the slopes the Rockies are perfect all year round. This summer we took a family road trip where we made our way from Jasper to Banff, camping out along the way and exploring some of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen.

We began our journey on the road, mountains on either side and passing by herds of elk and mountain goats. We had our fun of exploring Jasper town and checking out the trails through the wooded forest near our campsite. 

Jasper

Elk

Jasper

Sunset in Jasper National Park

Rocky Mountains

Jasper (6) Jasper (4)

By the second day we were suited up in our wetsuits and willingly let ourselves be taken by the river, propped up in raft. If you haven’t tried whitewater rafting, I highly recommend it! Be prepared to be drenched in ice cold mountain water – especially if you’ve been volunteered to sit right up in front! My cousin and I may have swallowed half of the river that afternoon.

If you took the icy plunge, as we did, follow our lead and go directly to Miette Hot Springs. Lucky for us, we were camping just up the road from the hot springs and got there just as the sun was setting, dipping into the hot water to thaw our chilled bones.

Jasper National Park sunset

sunset

After having our fill, we headed on to our first stop: Athabasca Falls.

Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls

And took our next stop along the Icefields Parkway, where I went snap happy and landed my favorite shot of the trip:

Icefields Parkway

Before long we had arrived in Banff National Park, setting up camp just outside of town and cozying up to a fire and some well deserved glasses of wine.

 

For a more detailed itinerary, click here and stay tuned for the rest of this adventure!

Sunday Snapshot: Moraine Lake

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“Keep close to Nature’s heart…and break clear away, once in awhile
and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
Wash your spirit clean.”
– John Muir

And so we did. Break clear away, I mean. Spending a week in the mountains. We took the car from Jasper to Banff, making stops at some of the world’s most beautiful lakes along the way. This one here, Moraine Lake, boasts sparkling blue water surrounded by Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and canoe rentals to go take a paddle if you just can’t help but get closer.

Sunday Snapshot: Lake Annette, Alberta

Lake Annette

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a sunday snapshot up on the blog and since I’ve been busy with final exams and summer is just around the corner (or so I’d like to believe), now is as good a time as any. This photo was taken at Lake Annette in Jasper National Park, AB in the summer of 2013.  With crystal clear water and the mountains in the background, the lake makes an excellent day trip if you’re in the area.

Bucket List: Whitewater Rafting, Check!

The musty smell of a boys’ locker room greeted us as soon as we stepped onto the big yellow school bus. It’s a smell that brings back childhood memories of spending the majority of my days in a hockey rink, whether for my ringette practices and games or for my brother and his hockey. But this wasn’t a rink, it was a yellow school bus in a parking lot surrounded by the mountains of Jasper National Park. The back was stocked with wet suits and water booties of all sizes and everyone had eager looks on their face. After spending the previous day lounging at Lake Annette, this yellow school bus was about to take us to the starting point of our whitewater rafting expedition.

The bus ride was full of ups, downs and windy turns before finally coming to a stop. It didn’t take long before everyone was decked out in wetsuits, life jackets and booties. A quick photo was taken and then we headed down to the rushing water of the Athabasca River.

Getting ourselves organized

We spent about an hour floating down 13km of water. We only did a Class II level as we had a few nervous nellies and my younger cousin on board and although there were a few long stretches of too-calm waters for my liking, there were a few rapids that had some of us laughing, some paddling frantically, and others screaming as the water rushed up and over us all.

Having a good time on the water.

Getting soaked!

We chose to go rafting with Jasper Rafting Adventures and everyone agreed that they had a fantastic experience. For $64.00 per person, you get a 3-hour round trip and one of the Jasper Rafting Adventures staff takes photos throughout the ride that you can choose to purchase. If you decide that you want to check out this company, you can check out their website here or go personally and find them on Connaught Drive in the town of Jasper.

Our guide, Andre, was born and raised in Jasper. Whatever question we shot at him, he had an answer. Funny, reassuring, and knowledgeable about the area, Andre made sure that everyone in the raft felt safe, comfortable, and provided us with interesting fun facts about everything that we were looking at. By the time our rafting adventure came to an end, we all agreed that we would do it again but next time we want rougher waters!

And here comes some more water

Somehow everyone but me knew when a photo was being taken