Only 1 1/2 hrs from Mt Robson Provincial Park, BC we arrive at the Hinton KOA in Hinton, Alberta. Here we will spend 7 nights to explore the town of Jasper, Jasper National Park, Hinton and the area.
We stop in downtown Hinton for some grocery shopping, and I get mani/pedi. In the evening we head back to Hinton to the Beaver Boardwalk, pretty cool to see.
Very hazy and smoky day today from the wildfires burning in British Columbia. We can’t even see the mountains, but off we go. First we stop at the beautiful Jasper Lodge Resort- (would love to stay here)
then we head into downtown Jasper to do some shopping. You will need a National Park Pass each time you enter Jasper National Park, Icefield Parkway and Banff National Park, so we purchase the one year family pass (good for 7 people in vehicle) for $136.00 (CAD). It’s a dollar more for family Pass than for 2 people and good for a year if we enter Canada with other family members.
After some shopping we head to what is suppose to be beautiful Pyramid Lake (about 5 miles from downtown), but so smoky can barely see. We suck it up and enjoy and have a picnic anyway 🐜.
You can also fish here and rent 🛶 canoes.
Yeah finally a pretty clear day so we drive 1 hour down Maligne Lake Road to beautiful Maligne Lake.
We took the Classic Cruise which was $79.00 for 1 1/2 hour boat ride to Spirit Island- one of the most photographed in the Rockies🏔.
Driving back we also stop at Medicine Lake (disappearing lake) .
Maligne Lake Road is a very pretty drive and we saw some Elk.
Highway 16, which is what you take from Hinton to Jasper has lots of wildlife and pretty scenery
Today we drive back to Maligne Lake Road to go to Maligne Canyon.
It is about a 2 hour hike. We hiked to bridge # 5. You can make it as long or short hike as you want. It was a beautiful hike and canyon.
Afterwards we drove to Talbot Lake for Bob to do some 🎣 fishing.
If fishing within the National Park you need a fishing permit for there.
That evening we drove 1/2 hour from campground to Miette Hot Springs along Miette Rd.
Cost was $7.05 (CAD) per adult. It has hot pools and cool pools. It was just okay. Enjoyed Liard Hot Springs in British Columbia more, but pretty drive also.
We took the 🐶 dogs for a ride today and headed down the Icefield Parkway in the Jeep to do just a short portion till we leave in the RV because we weren’t sure about parking. Here are the stops:
Athabasca Falls- one of the most powerful in Canadian Rockies, can walk to viewing platforms.
Tangle Falls-very pretty roadside falls
Sunwapta Falls-short walk to footbridge for views
Then we stopped back in Jasper town for some KFC 🍗 and had a picnic.
Leaving Jasper for the Icefield Parkway (said to be one of the prettiest drives on the planet) towards Banff. Unfortunately super smoky and hazy again. We have 2 days before we have to be in Banff. So first night we stop at the Icefield Center and spend the night $15.70 CAD in parking lot, dry camping. We do the Icefield Glacier Adventure,
this was fun,
unfortunately very smoky and hazy.
The cost for this was $109.00 (CAD) and includes the Glacier Skywalk. The Ice Explorer takes you to the glacier and you get to walk on the glacier. Bring a water bottle and you can fill it with glacier water. This was fun. Then they take you about 10 minutes away to the Glacier Skywalk.
You can buy tickets ahead of time to save 15-20% if done in advance, but due to wildfires we didn’t want to commit ahead of time.
From Icefield Center we stopped at the Crossing Resort , halfway to Banff. They have a gas station here but super expensive, also propane, groceries, gift shop and cafe. You can also overnight here for free, but can’t arrive till after 3:00 pm. We drove another 15 minutes to find the hidden gem of Silverhorn Creek Campground.
Lots of spots for large RVs, also pull thrus and great views. $15.70 (CAD) for dry camping ⛺️ with picnic table and fire ring.
Highly recommend. My milepost book says it’s a overflow area, clearly is was not. I assume it has been recently redone. Great place, also has the red chairs here.
It has been rain and thunderstorms all day but surrounded by the mountains it was all good. Only a few other RVs here.
Heading now towards Banff, and again super smoky and hazy we stop at Bow Summit
and hike 15 minutes to Peyto Lake.
I’ve had a picture of this lake (so beautiful) and was so sad how it looked today with the Wildfire smoke. This was the same outcome down the road at Bow Lake.
We arrive at beautiful Banff
and check into Tunnel Mountain
We will stay a week and have a electric only site for $187.00 US for the week stay. It is nice with free dump, free potable water stations, free showers. Also some cute little visitors
There is a IGA grocery store in town. From the campground (just a few miles from downtown Banff) you can take a free shuttle to town and then $2.00 to come back.
We drive to downtown and shop, and have lunch at Melissa’s Missteak, pretty good.
Of course we need dessert so we stop at Wild Flour Bakery, good. Next we go to Cave and Basin National Historic Site, this is the birthplace of Canada’s National Parks.
If you have the annual park pass it’s free, or $3.90 (CAD). From here we stop at Bow Falls Viewpoint, very pretty and would be a nice place to have a picnic and people watch.
Off to Surprise Corner, a scenic overlook of the Banff Springs Hotel.
Still haven’t gotten enough of the beauty we head to Lake Minnewanka (largest lake in Banff National Park)
can also rent canoes and boats here,
and do the 15 mile scenic loop drive
with a stop also at Johnson Lake.
Well today is a doggie 🐶 day out since it will be a long day. We start with a 50 minute drive to beautiful Yoho National Park in British Columbia and here’s what we did :
Spiral Tunnels- main viewing platform and if you time it right you will see train exiting from top of tunnel while final cars are still entering at bottom. Pretty cool to see. There is no train schedule so just lucky to be there when one went by.
Town of Field- not much here , but there is a cute restaurant
Natural Bridge- on Emerald Lake Rd, very pretty
Emerald Lake- on Emerald Lake Rd, about 6 miles to very busy parking area. It is a breathtaking lake,
which again you can rent canoes, also gift shop.
DO NOT take RV here, switchback road.
Takakkaw Falls- off Yoho Valley Rd, short walk to 1260 ft tall falls.
We have waited days for good weather, but so much smoke or haze or clouds and not much time left here in Banff, so we head towards my 30 year bucket list of Lake Louise at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
We got lucky and got a parking spot (when lot is full you have to park few miles away at overflow area and take shuttle)
Although not best weather, Lake Louise gave me chills, I’ve waited so long.
We walked the Lakeshore Trail and was in awe.
We then walked around the beautiful hotel and shopped and got some coffee ☕️. Going back to Banff we did the
Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A), highly recommend.
and gorgeous Bow River.
Yet again another cloudy day we drive to the beautiful Banff Springs Hotel and walk around. You can have lunch out back on patio with stunning views.
Then to the town of Canmore, about 1/2 hr away. Lots of cute shops and restaurants here.
We ate lunch at The Range, delicious sandwiches and salad.
We go back on the Bow Valley Parkway to hike Johnston Canyon (dogs allowed).
It’s about 45- 1 hour RT hike to the lower falls.
We didn’t hike to the upper falls.
They have a gift shops and coffee here also.
I really wanted to see Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in better weather so we try again, this time with the dogs.
Wouldn’t you know it starts ☔️ raining.
We leave Lake Louise to try and get to Moraine Lake.
Moraine Lake is so popular, you need to be on the road to the lake by 5:30 am, they close the road at 6:00 am, and open it as cars leave, 10 cars out then let 10 cars in.
The parking area is small so once filled road is closed. You can go to Lake Louise overflow area and take shuttle. As we leave Lake Louise we get lucky and they let some cars go. Now it’s raining harder, but oh my goodness, it is stunning even in the rain. We hike to the Rockpile Viewpoint, with the Valley of 10 peaks in the background (which you can’t even see because of the weather).
This is the view that was on the Canadian 20.00 bill for years.
Also known as one of the prettiest lakes in the world, and even in pouring rain I agree. Breathtaking is all I can say. Rain let’s up a little so we walk the Shoreline Trail.
You can also rent canoes here,
and they have a gift shop, lodge and restaurants (reservations needed).
Even with crappy weather bucket list ✅✅.
I guess the weather is just telling me I have to come back😀❤️
Hungry now we head back to Banff and stop at Bruno’s Cafe for a yummy greasy spoon breakfast .
Our last day in Banff we drive few minutes from campground to HooDoos
(rock formations) Viewpoint ,
Tunnel Mountain Drive back to Surprise Corner for better picture and coffee by the Bow River.
Goodbye beautiful Banff ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Leaving beautiful Alberta , after 4 months we head back to the Lower 48.