We drove only 83 miles to Lake Louise, AB but it was a very scenic trip through Kootenay and Banff National Parks. A ranger the day before had told us three places to stop on the route, but because of our size we could only stop at the first. We took many pictures at that first stop and here is a web page of the Kootenay Valley. We saw deer and elk on the side of the road but missed a bear someone else at the viewpoint saw.
Because of construction on Transcanada-1 (TC-1 or TCH) they put us further from the road than the last time we were here in August 2005, but we were still able to get on the internet. When we setup we didn't have a neighbor, but we did have one by evening and a different one each night:
We were glad they really were not that busy since the overflow camping area was taken over by the TC-1 construction crews and was closed to travelers.
After having lunch and getting settled we realized we had time to go see the other two places in Kootenay National Park that were recommended since they were closer to Lake Louise. We drove back through the construction on TC-1:
Then we took CA93 into Kootenay National Park until we stopped at the Paint Pots Trail.
We then drove back east to the Continental Divide which separates British Columbia (BC) and Alberta (AB) and also separates Kootenay and Banff National Parks. At the Continental Divide is the Fireweed Trail.
After coming back into Banff National Park we crossed to the Bow Valley Parkway and into Banff, here are pictures from that journey.
We looked around the City of Banff for dinner and kept finding ourselves looking at pub menus so we went back to the pub we know, Rose and Crown, which we again enjoyed. It was the first restaurant meal we had since the 28th, we had been eating in since leaving Pasco. We bought a few groceries since we had room for them and needed a few items before heading back to Lake Louise on TC-1. On the way back Bill thinks he saw a porcupine in a tree, but that was the only wildlife sighting. It was a busy day and we had more busy days coming.
On the 2nd we decided to see Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, which was recommended by a ranger during our last visit. We drove TC-1 west, back in to BC and into Yoho and past the visitors center onto the Emerald Lake Road. We noticed that the road to Takakkaw Falls was closed, so we were glad we saw it in 2005. The first stop on Emerald Lake Road was the Natural Bridge.
Then we went up the road to Emerald Lake itself.
It was now time to eat so we went into the town of Field and went to the Inn we had eaten at before, but found out they were not serving lunch. They directed us across the street to a cafe. Across the street the prices were quite high so we headed back to Lake Louise Village and tried the Mountain Restaurant, two star, and then fueled up trying not to think about how expensive the gas was.
Our plan is to drive north on the Icefields Parkway a ways with the car and see the sights. On Sunday we will drive the road with the motorhome, but we know that we can't stop at most pull offs with the motorhome. Here is our car journey on the Icefields, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
A while after getting back to the motorhome we decided to see if Lake Louise itself was very crowded, so we drove up and found it fairly quiet. Here are our pictures. Day 2 at Lake Louise was also a busy day.
On the 3rd we decided to not be so busy so we started out by going back to Moraine Lake.
Then we went down the Bow Valley Parkway to Banff to have lunch and see the sights of Banff. On the way we saw some bull elk, but they were spooked by too many cars, and some more bighorn sheep, probably the same ones from the 1st. This time we tried Earls Restaurant, a 3-star.
Then we toured the sights close to Banff. Here are our sights around Banff, Part 1 Part 2
We came back the Bow Valley Parkway. We saw one place where a bunch of cars were pulled over and people were looking down a bank, but we didn't stop. Later we saw some other cars and could see the elk through the trees, so we did stop. There is a stream between the elk and the people:
Since the elk wasn't bothered, Bill took a closer picture where you can see the velvet on the antlers:
There were patches of shooting stars in the woods:
It was a nice way to finish our exploring of the area again. We were happy to have come back and seen this area again.
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