Week 7 Lake Louise to Banff
25th of June till 29th of June.
Normally our blog is from Sunday till Saturday but as we started the GDR on a Saturday we will include that Saturday in our next Blog.
Lake Louise, is it impressive? Turquoise coloured, 7 mountains which feed the lake, impressive hotel, souring peaks surrounding the lake. Yes it is impressive! https://www.banfflakelouise.com/lake-louise
As we only had the possibility to stay for one night in the overflow camping at village Lake Louise and we already did ¾ of the road from Lake Louise the day before, we decided to take the shuttle from the village to the lake. This gave us time to hike to the look-out, leaving most of the tourists at the viewpoint at the parking area of the lake. What a tourist madhouse this is! Overflow parking is already full at 12:00, now they have started a free shuttle from Banff as they hope it will reduce the number of tourists driving up to the lake themselves.
Happy we have seen and done it, maybe afterwards we should also have done Lake Moraine (11 km out of Lake Louise village and steep up hill), but you need to make choices and as we wanted to find a new camping in the direction of Banff we needed to get going again around noon. Hotels are crazy expensive as the National Day of 150 year independence is getting closer. Also there are more tourists as due to the 150 year celebration all National Parks are for free.
Did you know the campsite at Lake Louise has an electrical fence around it? Do you know why?
On the 1A, the old highway, now the scenic route, it is a joy to ride, as most is downhill. At one of our Kodak stops a group of speed bikers stops to talk with us on what we are doing, where we are going and look at our gear. Can you imagine in the Netherlands or Belgium that speed bikers would talk with tourist bikers? Here bikers (no matter what type) say hello and wave to each other.
We find a small, basic campground BUT with hot running water and some good toilets. Lake Louise campground even had showers but for them you had to bike 10 minutes from your tent….
This small campground gives us the opportunity to explore the area between Lake Louise and Banff more. So hiked up to the look-out of Castle Mountain where, after a hike of 4 km and 550 m ascend you have a magnificent view of Bow Valley. These fire look-outs were used until mid-1970s.
After two nights we move only 7km further to the campsite of Johnston Canyon (pre-arranged, and hot showers!) Giving us the possibility to have a great lunch: hamburger and French fries at the lodge and the possibility to hike the Canyon and the Ink pots after the big crowds have left.
It seems that more than 1 million tourist visit these canyons every year, all within 6 months, since the rest of the year it is too cold/slippery, so you can imagine that we were happy that during the whole hike we maybe saw 30 people.
OK I know we are also tourists but it is more fun if you can arrange your visits at a less hectic time or go to more remote areas.
Alberta and BC are really a chain of beautifull National and Provincial parks where we could have spend even more time. Parks supported by great people like Tesa providing info at the front desk but let’s not forget the people that make staying at the campsite a pleasure like Roger (taking care of removing liquid waste), David (taking care of electricity), and thousands of others who make a difference! Thanks for all your good work!
And then, finally, after 5 ½ weeks and 1.500+ km we arrive at our starting point of the Great Divide Route. Will the 1.500 km have been sufficient as training?
Banff is even more of a concentration of tourists and as a result hotels are $350+ per night. We are lucky that we still could arrange two nights at the National Park Campground. With showers 😊but the weekend was full! As it was raining the toast on reaching Banff and 1.500 was in the tent 🙂
So the 2 ½ days were racing days as we wanted to wash everything, ensure sufficient grocery shopping of the next 4 days, as the first part of the GDR does not allow for any shopping, visit Nicole & Chris, send some more stuff back home as Frank’s load is still too heavy, but most important: EAT! Frank now probably weighs less than 63 kg….
As Canmore was another 20 km further and we had so much on our to-do list, we took the opportunity of using local transport for the side trip to Nicole. We were able to visit her at her studio and see her in full action. Seeing the creation of fluid glass changing into a piece of art, with joy and dedication is a pleasure to see. Nicole we admire you for what you create and how you have arranged everything. Pity Chris was ill, hope to see him in Colorado.
And then it really was the day we started the GDMR. Are we strong enough, is it harder than what we did till now? Stay with us and find out…
Wildlife seighting of week 7: deer.
Ps did you see we have a new page with Sunday Selfies? (menu and last page)
PS 2 theme week 7: shadow photo’s