2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, July 2

July 2, Canmore, Alberta

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Today was our first day really exploring the Canadian Rockies. We drove from Canmore, Alberta to Lake Louise, Alberta on the Trans Canada highway. Lake Louise is one of the major not to be missed sites within Banff National Park. Along the highway within the park, Parks Canada has built several, very wide overpasses designed solely to allow wildlife to cross over the highway without being killed.

Both Lake Louise and Moraine lake have similar color characteristics. They are fed by runoff from the mountains which carries rock dust into the lake. Depending on the season, the time of day, wind and other factors, the color of the water can change from a deep blue to an emerald green.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise


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Lake Louise was still being fed by rock dust. You can see it from the streams feeding the lake and the dust floating on top of the water. In some areas, particularly the rivers, it looks almost whitish green. Today’s color of Lake Louise was more of the emerald green. As the summer progresses,more of the dust settles to the bottom and the color becomes more blue.

We were at the lake relatively early and parking was easy. We walked to the far end of the lake. Buses drop people off by the beginning of the lake, close to the fancy hotel. By the end of the lake, the number of people walking is relatively small. At the end of the lake, though, you can see the creeks feeding the lake with the rock dust in the water.

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake


Snow pack around Moraine Lake

Snow pack around Moraine Lake

Our second walk was at Moraine lake. By this time, crowds were developing and parking was alongside the road, not in the small parking lot.

Moraine Lake was more spectacular today than Lake Louise. The color was more brilliant and the surrounding mountains had more snow. Moraine Lake is at a higher elevation than Lake Louise, contributing to the snow retention. The crowds observing the lake were very amazed at the color.

Chris was busy taking pictures of couples on their cameras at numerous spots around the lake. People are very appreciative of the opportunity to have both people in the photo opportunity. As you can see from the picture above, we took advantage of this mutual picture taking to have our joint photo taken.

We walked to the end of Moraine, having lunch watching the lake and surroundings. The day was hot, possibly in the high 80s, but Moraine Lake had more shade than Lake Louise.

Bow Valley Parkway

Bow Valley Parkway

Our third activity of the day was driving the Bow Valley Parkway. Part of the Parkway is still undergoing construction after the floods of June 20. We stopped at Johnston Canyon. Our third hike of the day was to the lower falls there.

Walking on the catwalk bridge along Johnston canyon

Walking on the catwalk bridge along Johnston canyon


Lower falls at Johnston Canyon

Lower falls at Johnston Canyon

We arrived back at Canmore around 7 PM. It was a busy day with plenty of exercise and numerous beautiful views of the Canadian Rockies.

Ed and Chris July 2 10 pm

Categories: road trip, travel | Leave a comment

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