June 2019 – Banff and Jasper National Parks

An easy drive from Okotoks to Banff, directly north, then CA1 west. When we drove into the park, paying appeared optional, one lane to buy a pass and the other to drive through, we chose the latter.

We had picked 3 options for camping, the first down a road that was parallel to the main thoroughfare, 93A was closed, but we went to check anyway

So glad we did, this was our first bear sighting!!

There were actually 2 of them, and we were just standing there watching them, bear spray in the coach down the road

Nice drive through the park which is very well sign posted and beautiful views

As it was getting late we decided to jump to option 3 at the Lake Louise Overflow parking, which is 1 mile away from Lake Louise town. It’s just a parking lot, but it works

So many people have class c’s and rentals, so they have to come in when they’ve finishing touring around, unlike us, who can park and then take the car. 75% of the vehicles here were rentals

So we drove over to see the stunning Lake Louise. We were hoping to see the view from the other side of the lake which captures The Fairmont Hotel but that would have been a  hike, no roads go round the lake

Lake Louise

  Next stop, which was only a 10 mile drive away was Lake Moraine and it’s aqua blue water

June and it snowed.

Woke up the following morning to this

Our neighbor Jerry borrowed out ladder and squeegee to clean the snow off his slide toppers and then he did ours also. We tried to stop him, but he insisted.

We started out the next day and 5 miles up the road we entered Jasper National Park. (where we paid the fee)

We started the day with our first bear sighting. When you see a few cars stopped in the middle of the road, you know there’s something to see. This was a grizzly with her cub

And look how close we were again, and bear spray still back in the coach.

20 minutes later, another “bear jam” and this one is up a tree

When we turned the corner and saw this amazing sight we both gasped 

Bridal Falls

The Saskatchewan River Valley and the road we were driving

Incredible scenery with every turn

Then the glacier. The Columbia Ice field Discovery Center offer tours onto the glacier either on foot or a bus

We arrived in Jasper after a spectacular day only to find all the campgrounds full. Thankfully accommodations are provided by the park to provide overflow parking, again.

But just before we set off, we came across a mama and her 2 cubs who were frolicking around

This little one was fascinated by the tire

Before the day was over, we drove over to Athabasca Falls. Beautiful

Our overflow camping spot

And a majestic elk right outside the campground

This elk was hanging out by the campground

The days have become so long now, it’s still daylight at 10pm, and as we head further north, we won’t have much darkness at all.