Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Best Places To See in Banff and Jasper


There is beauty all around rockies and vista points are every few miles. You can review comprehensive itinerary here, however, if you have limited time, I recommend you to cover places listed in this blog. I have indicated time you approximately need to see these places. As most places have many trails, it's up-to-you how much time you would like to spend. My estimates will help you in planning but nature will ultimately decide it's own course as you go. You could see things beyond imagination. Just relax and enjoy what comes in your way. 

Scenic Highways 

Drives are very scenic on all these highways and wild life will keep appearing on the way. It is common to see people stopover on highway to capture scenic beauty and wild animals. Sometimes this could also cause jams. Drive safe and be ready for WOW moments.

1. Bow Valley Parkway a.k.a Hwy 1A
2. Icefileds Parkway a.k.a. Hwy 93
3. Parkway 93A (7 km From Jasper): An alternate route between Jasper town site and Athabasca Falls, following the old highway. Several scenic picnic areas with names like Otto’s Cache and Meeting of the Waters are found along the way. The Mt. Edith Cave ll road be gins at km 2.5 . Wabasso Campground is located at km 4.5. Access the Moab Lake fire road at km 10.


1. Lake Minnewanka: Lake Minnewanka is a glacial lake located in the eastern area of Banff National Park in Canada, about five kilometres (3.1 miles) northeast of the Banff townsite. The lake is 21 km (13 mi) long and 142 m (466 ft) deep, making it the longest lake in the mountain parks of the Canadian Rockies.

The lake is fed by the Cascade River, flowing east of Cascade Mountain, and runs south through Stewart Canyon as it empties into the western end of the lake. Numerous streams flowing down from Mount Inglismaldie, Mount Girouard and Mount Peechee on the south side of the lake also feed the lake.
Time Required: 2-6 hours
Things to Do: Boat Cruise (book in advance), Boating, Trails  

2. Lake Louise: One of the most photographed scenes in the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise in Banff National Park. Famous for its stunning turquoise lake, and beautiful chateau, the town is surrounded by some of the best hikes in Banff National Park and has a world class ski hill on the doorstep. As a visitor to Lake Louise you really do feel closer to nature.

The town itself is a charming resort town with a small shopping centre containing everything you’ll need, and a handful of top notch restaurants. It’s the perfect base for skiing, hiking and water sports; and, as the southernmost point of the Icefields Parkway, it is the starting point for adventure tours to the Athabasca Glacier, and the exciting Glacier Skywalk.
Time Required: 2-8 hours  
Things to Do: Boat Cruise, Gondola, Boating (will be an amazing experience), Trails

3. Moraine LakeMoraine Lake is only half the size of its nearby neighbour Lake Louise, but perhaps even more scenic. It’s a glacier-fed lake situated in the beautiful Valley Of The Ten Peaks in Banff National Park.
Time Required: 2-6 hours 
Things to Do: Boating, Trails - Rockville trail is must-do

4. Bow Lake and Num-ti-jah Lodge 
Time Required: 1-3 hours  
Things to Do: Boating, Trails 
5. Peyto LakePeyto Lake is a glacier-fed lake located in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The lake itself is easily accessed from the Icefields Parkway.
Time Required: 2-4 hours 
Things to Do: Boating, Trails 

6. Pyramid Lake and Patricia Lake in Jasper Down town
Time Required: 2-8 hours 
Things to Do: Horse Riding, Trails 

7. Medicine LakeA most peculiar lake. The Maligne River flows in but there is no surface outlet. Instead, the water flows underground for many kilometres, emerging in such places as Maligne Canyon and Lac Beauvert. Look for an interpretive plaque describing this phenomenon at the first lakeshore viewpoint on your way up the Maligne Valley.
Time Required: 30 min - 2 hours 
Things to Do: Trails 
8. Maligne LakeLargest Jasper lake (22 km long) and the deepest (97 m). Renowned for its scenery and its fishing, the area also offers exceptional hiking opportunities. A concession provides cruises on the lake, rowboat rentals, fish guiding and restaurant service. 
Time Required: 2 hours - 8 hours 
Things to Do: Boat Cruise (book in advance), Boating, Trails 

Mountain Drive/Hikes:

1. Mount Norquay in Banff

2. Sulphur Mountain in Banff

3. Bow Summit (close to Peyto lake): Bow Summit is the highest point on the parkway, at 2088 m above sea level. You are near treeline here, surrounded by alpine meadow. A short walk from the parking area leads to a viewpoint overlooking the blue-green Peyto Lake and, in July and August, an astonishing array of alpine flowers. 

4. Athabasca Glacier:  Take a tour from the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre: This once-in-a-lifetime excursion will leave you feeling exhilarated and inspired, with an amazing ride on a massive Ice Explorer to trek onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier. Then, take a jaw-dropping walk along the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk at the cliff’s edge.

5. Mount Edith Cavell (29 km from Jasper): Edith Cavell was a heroine of World War I. A switchback road (no vehicles >7m) climbs 14.5 km to a picnic area under the mountain’s spectacular north face. Exce llent views of the Angel Glacier and a self-guidi ng trail. A busy place with limited parking, try to visit before 10 am or after Road is open June 25 to October 15 (snow dependent).

Falls and Canyons

1. Maligne Canyon: The Maligne River plunges 23 m into a steep-walled gorge of limestone bedrock. A self-guiding trail takes you over six different footbridges, providing spectacular views of the canyon en route. teahouse is located adjacent to the parking area.

2. Athabasca Falls (30 km from Jasper): The Athabasca River pours into a narrow canyon cut in a very hard, quartz-rich rock. A thundering spectacle with a bridge and platforms at the better vantage points. Picnicking. Junction with parkway 93A.

3. Sunwapta Falls (55 km from Jasper) : A short access road next to the motel takes you to the parking area. The falls tumble into a limestone gorge rather like Maligne Canyon. open May to October.