Banff in the Sunshine

Last week, I was so upset on Tuesday night that it had been raining that I could not sleep. My anxiety about not being able to see ALL THE THINGS in ALL THE SUNSHINE was overwhelming. It was still beautiful in the rain, but I knew in my heart that I was likely seeing less than 1/3 of the mountains. I was UPSET. Thankfully, as the day progressed on Wednesday, the clouds burned off and we got to enjoy Banff in all her glory. As we rode the bus back from the Glacier Walk, our driver suggested we take the hike up to Parker’s Ridge. She said it didn’t look like much on the way up, but the other side was spectacular. We did not have specific plans for the day, so we had lunch in the parking lot, then started the hike. I thought the hike up was quite pretty, and would have totally been pleased just by those views.

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It took us about 45 minutes to get to the top of the ridge, and what a view it was on the other side! There was an entire glacial valley with a glacier at the end. It was breathtaking.

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After Parker’s Ridge, we also took the short walk to Bow Summit to see Peyto Lake. It was stunning. The variation in the glacial waters in Banff was unreal.

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We had intended to stay in the Lake Louise campground for our entire time in Banff, but after the first night waking up in a pool in our tents from the rain (old tents), we decided to get hotel rooms. It was a beautiful campground and I am bummed it didn’t work out. Next time! We went back to the campground and packed up our stuff (we had left the tents and bedding out hoping it would dry out some while we were in Jasper). My mom really wanted to do the gondola ride in Banff, so we drove down and got on around 7 pm. It was stupid expensive, but I was so happy to see so much since the clouds had cleared.

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PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. The number of people who give animals food or wash dishes in campground bathroom sinks directly next to a sign asking them not to do those things specifically is simply amazing.

Moving on. I was desperate to see Lake Louise without the clouds, and we worked our way up there just before 10 pm. I was deeply concerned that it would be too dark, but it ended up being totally spectacular. And there were maybe only 10 other people there. Win!

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I still cannot believe I got to see something so beautiful. I hope to go back soon so I can do some actual hiking there! Three days was not nearly enough and I was in a MOOD when we had to leave.

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