Monday, May 16, 2016

Day One Banff – Where Does One Start?

Mount Rundle

Mount Rundle is a good place to start. It is due south from the RV Park, and we see it every time we go anywhere.  It could be called a small mountain range as the mountain extends for over 7 1/2 miles to the south-east.  What you see in this picture is the northern end of it. 

Mount Rundle      Mount Rundle

Here are two more views of Mount Rundle, the one on the left is from the Northwest side of the mountain.  The one on the right is from nearly due north.

Mount Rundle

But this one from the northeast shows just how massive this mountain is.  Yes, it indeed looks like a mountain range, but it is considered one large 7 mile long mountain.

Mount Rundle

It is this northwest view that to me shows this giant mountain’s character.  When we first saw it on Sunday coming in I told Marcia, “Look, it is as if someone took huge bites out of that mountain.”

Lake Minnewanka

Our day started early…before 6 am for me when the dogs wanted their morning walk, which is always followed by a morning “Arnie Treat” as we call it.  By 7:30 we were out the door to visit Lake Minnewanka, the largest lake in the mountain parks of the Canadian Rockies, enlarge due to a power dam, but the lake itself has been around for a long time.  Due to the Southeast sun, we did not get good pictures, so we went back later during our afternoon outing, which the picture above is from.

Big Horn Sheep at Lake Minnewanka

Glad we returned because we saw the highlight of our wildlife sightings for the day when this group of Big Horn Sheep were standing along the damn beside the road.  Had we not gone back, we would not have seen them and Marcia would not have got these…



Big Horn Sheep at Lake Minnewanka      Big Horn Sheep at Lake Minnewanka

Two Jack Lake

Johnson LakeAnother lake along the Lake Minnewanka Scenic Route is Two Jack Lake (above).  We were the only ones here in the morning…but later there were so many people there that it was hard to get any shots without half naked bodies running through your picture.  In the afternoon we also visited Johnson Lake (right), and it had a lot of people there too.  Both of these little lakes are popular.



Vermilion Lakes

Another scenic drive we took was down Vermilion Lakes Road, which parallels the main highway north of Banff along the Vermilion Lakes.  This route gives one an excellent opportunity to capture Mount Rundle and other mountains with views of the lakes, but it is a popular bike and walking area, so you have to be careful.  A nice calm morning would probably produce some great mirror shots.

Vermilion Lakes

I did get this panoramic shot, which gives you an idea of the number of mountains you pick from.

Baniff view from Norquay Road

Finally we went up to Norquay Ski Resort to get some views of Banff to the south.

Norquay Ski Resort

Norquay has been in operation for over 90 years.  Like many resorts in popular summer areas, they too offer summer activities including chair lift rides, and guided mountain tours.  Of course, the Banff Sightseeing Gondola is very popular, but we were not interested in that “high” whatsoever. 

 Views around Banff, Mount Rundel       Views around Banff, Cascade Mountain
Views around Banff, Cascade Mountain

The one thing about Banff is that everywhere you look, there is a scenic picture.  The make up of the rock in these mountains is different than the Rockies down in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, where there is so much granite.  These have a lot of different types of limestone, which is more easily carved by the wind, by the water, and by the ice.  It gives these Rocky Mountains a face of their own.

4d

So far we have only seen this one Waterfall, Cascade Falls, which is how Cascade Mountain got its name.  Cascade mountain is in the picture just before the one above of the falls.  It is on the north side of Banff, and like Mount Rundle, it is hard to miss.

Magpie & Stump Restaurant

After we dropped the dogs back off at the motorhome, we ventured into Banff to find a restaurant.  Parking is an issue in the town when we need to be able to park real close to door.  Sharp-eyed Marcia saw a spot in front of Magpie & Stump Restaurant, and after traveling around the block, thank goodness a spot was still open.  Magpie & Stump Restaurant is a Mexican Bar and Grill, and we found it to be a delightful place with pretty good food.  Tomorrow, we are headed north to the Lake Louise area…hope to get out on the road before 7 am, we will have to see how that goes.

11 comments:

  1. We liked Moraine Lake, near Lake Louise, better. both are so beautiful. There is a nice paved walking path along Moraine. Nice for leisure stroll to see the beautiful turquoise water. We stayed at Whistler's campground in Jasper. It is worth the ride up there. And the ride is so beautiful.

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    1. Unfortunately, this is a 3-day holiday weekend here in Canada, and we cannot get a spot with electricity past Friday night here or in Jasper.

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    2. We did not have electric at Whistlers for the first night. That is when we had Elk walking and bugling right next to our moho. We stayed way out in the back. Loved it there. Also did laundry in Jasper...4 bucks a load to wash and 4 bucks a load to dry.

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  2. Keep an eye out for grizz at Louise. They were parked right outside the front door, eating dandelions, their favorite breakfast food!!

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  3. It is amazing how many beautiful lakes there are in the area. I love the colors with the glacier silt. I was always saying "stop" for a photo. Hope you got to Lake Louise before the crowds:)

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    1. Way before the crowds! :) Pretty place...just got back from it.

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  4. Yup, those sheep always think they own the road.

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    1. Sure made a good picture with lake and mountains in the background though

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  5. I'm so happy for you! Enjoy! Blessings, Lynn

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    1. This is one special place you all have here in Canada Lynn. Very special.

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