Canadian Rockies: Lake Louise

Lake Louise in Banff National Park has beautiful views, but gets insanely crowded with tourists. I would recommend going super early in the morning when there are less people. If you get there early enough, renting a kayak or canoe is a great way to explore the lake more and get some exercise! There are also trails taking off from Lake Louise, such as Mirror Lake, Fairview Lookout, Lake Agnes, and many more. There’s no hike to get to Lake Louise, so it is a great place to stop by and relax for a little while. As I mentioned in my last blog post, this was during wildfire season, so the glacier behind the lake wasn’t coming too clearly in pictures, but I was still able to capture the vibrance of the lake water!

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Canadian Rockies: Mount Rundle

Mount Rundle is a lone mountain in Banff National Park that has been the subject of many legendary pictures, and of course I wanted to get in on it. So I went to this spot near the Vermillion Lakes where I had a perfect view of the mountain. Unfortunately, it was right in the middle of the infamous 2017 fire season of British Columbia. At the time, there were about 100 wildfires burning in the province. Because of the fires, there was a lot of smoke and haze that can be seen in many of my pictures. But it was still an unforgettable experience. Here are some pictures of Mount Rundle from a Vermillion Lakes viewpoint that I got around sunset time!

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Canadian Rockies: Johnston Canyon

Next up is Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park! This hike goes alongside a clear, blue creek and there are a few different side-paths with additional viewpoints that I highly recommend. The hike to the lower Johnston Falls is pretty short and there is a little cave you can go through to get closer to the falls. And the hike to the upper falls is uphill, so it’s a little bit harder, but it is worth it to see the vibrant blue waterfall. Overall, it’s a fairly straightforward trail and there are great photo-ops everywhere! If you’re lucky, you can even see some cute golden-mantled ground squirrels scurrying around and basically posing for pictures. Enjoy!

This blogger made a great post about one of the side-paths, if you want to know more: http://blog.buzzbishop.com/travel/alberta-2/banff/secret-trail-upper-falls-johnston-canyon/

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This squirrel really wanted its picture taken

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Result of one of the “secret” side-paths

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Canadian Rockies: Horseback riding

Banff is a cute little town that is busting with tourists from all over the world. It’s fun to go souvenir shopping and eat at the yummy restaurants in the center of all the busyness, but it’s even more fun to go explore the more scenic part of town and try other activities. I have always loved horses so any chance I get, I have to indulge in some horseback riding. There’s a great place in Banff I went to called Banff Trail Riders where I went on a trail ride around the park with a large group. The guide was super friendly and told me all about her history with horses. It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for being outside. So if you don’t mind being a little sore afterward, I highly recommend going horseback riding if you’re ever in Banff! It’s a great way to switch it up a little and also see the beautiful park at the same time.

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Canadian Rockies: Takakkaw Falls

Another site worth seeing in Yoho National Park is Takakkaw Falls. These towering falls are a great experience. You can hike right up to the falls, but be prepared to get drenched with cold water! The roaring sound of the waterfall paired with the strong mist make for a fun mini-adventure. Something I loved is that these falls truly emulate their name (Takakkaw means magnificent in the Cree language).

A little background info: The Takakkaw Falls stem from streams that come from the Daly and Niles Glaciers and fall through a slot canyon. So that explains the immensity of this waterfall. The glaciers are incredible because they are huge but look so small when you see them from a distance. (If you want more details about the Rocky Mountain glaciers I’ll be releasing a post about the Columbia Icefield Glacier soon.) Enjoy the pictures!

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Canadian Rockies: Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake. Doesn’t it sound like some mystical place you would hear about in a fairytale? Well lemme tell you, it definitely comes close to that. The moment you step into the area, it seems like you have been transported to another world. You can trek all around the perimeter of the lake, getting a new perspective from each side and admiring the flowers on the sides. I only wish I had a chance to go kayaking on this beautiful lake!

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Canadian Rockies: Kicking Horse River

While exploring Yoho National Park, I made a stop at the Natural Bridge lookout, which spans over the Kicking Horse River. The structure of the bridge is so cool! You can climb on top of it and get right near the rapidly moving water. When I visited, there were a lot of people so I had to watch my step on the slippery rock. But even with the loud roaring of the waterfall and the many voices overlapping,  I was left in awe at how peaceful the environment and scenery was. There were many different viewpoints to observe from and even a small hiking trail a little ways down the river. The trail part was quiet and empty, unlike near the Natural Bridge, so it was a great place to sit and relax for a bit.

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Canadian Rockies: Yoho National Park

I’m very excited to come to you all with this new series about Canada. Specifically, the Canadian Rockies. It has been a long time coming, but it’s finally here! Starting with this post, you will see pictures of Banff, Yoho National Park, and Waterton Lakes National Park as well as some beautiful scenery from Icefields Parkway. So I would love for you to follow along with me as I reminisce about some of the wonders of Canada.

I thought I would start with an introduction to Yoho National Park. The first thing I noticed driving into Yoho was the bright, greenish-blue color of the water. This was at the beginning of my trip, so I hadn’t realized I would be seeing a lot of that strange, crystal-clear water. Even the drive through the park was spectacular. The pictures below were taken at stops along the side of the road. As you can see, there were already a lot of great photo opportunities.

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more posts coming soon about the attractions in Yoho National Park!

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The lively Cummins Falls

If you are in the area and you’re an adventurous person who doesn’t mind getting wet once in a while, visiting Cummins Falls is a great choice. This multi-tiered waterfall is located a few hours west of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Make sure you choose your timing wisely. Especially on a hot summer day, the trail to Cummins Falls tends to be crowded with people and their dogs since it is a fairly easy hike. You won’t see any people in the pictures below (although you might spot the top of someone’s head) because I tried hard to crop everyone out to capture only the falls and scenery! A majority of the trail is through water, so wear shoes with good traction to make sure you don’t slip and fall. The falls themselves are bigger than expected and I recommend making a splash in them!

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NEXT UP: CANADA!!!! Are you ready for it?