I recently posted our Favorite Alaska Memories so now it is time to post our favorite memories of traveling through Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory. We spent 23 nights in Canada and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, and friendly Canadian people.
We started our travels in Canada by spending almost a week in Alberta in Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.
Elk by the side of the road in Banff National Park
Elk on the Bow Valley Parkway
Peyto Lake is a much deeper turquoise than the other lakes along the parkway
Elk near our campsite in Jasper
We saw lots of wildlife as we drove through British Columbia on the Alaska Highway before arriving in Alaska for the first time.
Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway! in Dawson Creek, BC
Stone Sheep on the Alaska Highway
Caribou on the Alaska Highway
Moose on the Alaska Highway
Bison herd with calves near Liard River Hotsprings
After a week in Alaska we drove through Canada to Dawson City, Yukon and across the Top of the World Highway before returning to Alaska.
Black Bear beside the road in British Columbia
Panning for gold in Dawson City, Yukon
View on the Top of the World Highway
Our journey back to the lower 48 took us along the Cassier Highway through British Columbia.
Sunrise at Burwash Landing, Yukon Territory
Salmon Glacier in British Columbia about 17 miles past Hyder, Alaska
Bear Glacier near Stewart, BC
For a map of our entire journey be sure to check out Our Route. And for a list of all the campgrounds where we stayed check out our Campground List.
Blondie and I were surprised to find an elk next to the dumpster in the campground as we made our morning walk! I didn’t even see her until we were very close to her. What a great way to start the day!
The rain started coming down as we were ready to go out and explore the area. The town of Jasper has a few blocks of restaurants and shops. We enjoyed a nice breakfast at LuLu’s Cafe and did a little shopping at an outdoor outfitters shop. We had the same idea as many other people and went to the Visitor’s Center to check email. The place was packed with many people checking their phones, computers, and tablets for news from home. The connection was slow so we gave up and decided to go on a drive recommended by the clerk at the outdoor store.
Bear are frequently sighted on the Marmot Basin drive so off we went in search of bear. The narrow road climbs to a ski area which is closed for the season. It winds beside rivers and lakes with views of the mountains. There were no bears but it was fun looking.
We didn’t find any bears but we had some beautiful scenery on the Marmot Basin Drive
Indian Paintbrush grew beside the road
There were two loons in a lake along the Marmot Basin Drive
At the end of the road we came to Athabasca Falls. There are easy walking trails for exploring both sides of the falls.
Henry and Blondie enjoyed the falls
We stopped to look at Athabasca Falls
Four elk awaited us at the entrance to our camping loop when we returned. They were resting in the grass around two empty campsites. Such a great way to end the day!
We were greeted by elk in our camping loop as we returned from the drive.
The elk were enjoying the grass in two empty campsites
I am posting this on Day 30 of our journey from an RV park in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory. We finally have a good internet connection so I will try to catch up a little. The trip has been amazing, with LOTS of wildlife. We traveled through British Columbia and are now in the Yukon.
These pictures are from our drive along the Icefields Parkway from Banff National Park to Jasper National Park. Enjoy!
Our first two stops were at Crowfoot Glacier and Bow Lake
Our first stop on the Icefields Parkway was at the Crowfoot Glacier
Bow Lake was still covered with a lot of ice
Beth at Bow Lake
Can anyone identify this bush we saw growing on the banks of Bow Lake?
Next stop, a hike to see Peyto Lake. Henry learned that topsiders are not a good choice for hiking uphill through patches of slippery ice. He slipped on his way down and it’s the first time he slipped on ice and fell in June!
Snow covered the ground between the parking lot and the trail head for the Peyto Lake Hike
The paved trail was mostly clear on the way up to the overlook at Peyto Lake. Slippery snow was still on portions of the trail.
Spectacular Peyto Lake
Peyto Lake is a much deeper turquoise than the other lakes along the parkway
At Peyto Lake
Magnificent views of the mountains from the overlook at Peyto Lake
We talked to fellow travelers to Alaska at the overlook for Bridal Veil Falls.
Looking down on the Icefields Parkway from Bridal Veil Falls overlook. The overlook is at the end of a steep upward climb.
Bridal Veil Falls
We stopped for lunch at the huge parking lot for the Columbia Icefield where we had great views of the glacier.
View of the Columbia Icefields from the parking lot across the street
When we were here in 2007, we road one of these buses onto the icefield and walked around on the glacier
A nice place to stop for lunch
After a fantastic day, we arrived at Whistler’s Campground in Jasper National Park. The warden told us to watch out for elk. It is calving season and the mother’s are very protective of their young. Just as we entered the campground we saw some adult elk with their calves. I wasn’t able to get pictures but what a great way to start our stay!
At the end of the drive we arrived in Jasper, Alberta
Our campsite at Whistler’s Campground. We passed by elk with calves on the way to our site.
Stay tuned for more of Jasper, British Columbia and Yukon Territory.
Day 22: Thursday, June 6, 2013. Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court in Banff to Whistler’s Campground in Jasper National Park via the Icefields Parkway. Site 63H. About 180 miles traveled.
I am posting this from an RV park in Dawson Creek, BC. Unfortunately, the internet connection is slow so I won’t be able to post pictures. To see the route we have taken from Georgia to here, click here to check out our updated map
Another WOW day in the Canadian Rockies and another beautiful drive. The Icefields Parkway takes you beside turquoise glacial lakes, glaciers, and snow covered mountains. There are scenic turnouts along the way where the views are jaw dropping.
Stopping at Crowfoot Glacier and ice covered Bow Lake, and walking on the trail to dark blue-green Peyto Lake, were just a few highlights of the day. After lunch at the Columbia Icefield, we arrived at the campground to see elk in the campground. It is calving season and we were cautioned to keep our distance from the elk as the mothers are very protective of their young.
I will post pictures when I can. I’m now 4 days behind in the posts…
WOW! Everywhere we looked we had another WOW moment. Blondie and I didn’t have to go far before we had our first wildlife sighting of the day. A group of five mule deer were grazing on the plants around some of the empty campsites.
The clear sky opened up the views to the mountains all around us.After breakfast Henry, Blondie and I hiked on the Hoodoos Trail. The trail winds atop the mountain with views of the Bow River Valley below and mountains above. The sounds of the Chickadees had us searching the tree tops. Ravens flew above and perched in the trees.
Mule Deer in the campground
Blondie and I spotted these mule deer in the campground
Our view as we walked along the Hoodoos Trail
Hoodoos beside the Bow River
Wildflowers along the trail
Bow River Valley
Two park employees worked on planting grass seed along the trail. They gave us a great recommendation on where to look for wildlife. We took their advice to drive along the Lake Minnewanka Loop. Minnewanka rhymes with Willy Wonka.
I packed a picnic lunch and off we went in search of Big Horn Sheep. We stopped at the Cascades picnic area at the beginning of the drive where we were serenaded by the sounds of the ground squirrels as we ate and enjoyed the spectacular mountain views all around.
At one of the overlooks we saw what is left of an old coal mine. There was once a village where the workers lived. When the coal mine was shut down they moved the entire town! Some of the buildings are now in the town of Banff.
The beautiful turquoise Lake Minnewanka is a popular recreational area with a swimming area, boat docks, and a boat ramp. Surrounded by the craggy Canadian Rockies it is a beautiful place and many people were out enjoying the nice day.
After a stop to enjoy the lake we continued our drive which took us across the dam. With the lake to our left and rocky cliffs to our right we stopped at a few more overlooks. In hopes of finding Big Horn Sheep I looked up the cliffs as we drove along. As I was looking up Henry spotted a herd of Mountain Goats in the road. They quickly disappeared down the embankment but not before Henry stuck the camera out the window and got a few photos.
Two Jack Lake was our last stopping place along the drive. It is a smaller lake with a hiking trail.
Lake Minnewanka boat docks
Mountain Goats on the Lake Minnewanka Loop
This mountain goat was in the road before he headed down the mountain
Our last stop was the town of Banff to visit the post office for post card stamps and a bank to convert some US currency to Canadian. Banff is a picturesque village with it’s main street lined with shops and restaurants and of course, magnificent views of the rocky mountains.