Friday, December 26, 2014

Banff National Park - 2008

Told you I was gonna dip into my photo archives!

Since I've been laid up for nearly two months, there's been zero opportunities to get outside and gather new material.  So I'm calling into action some old, never-before-blogged photographs.

 Banff National Park!

In July of 2008, my hubby and I spent a week at Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.  A full day and a half's drive from Portland, we arrived on the first afternoon with enough time for a quick tour of the park's most popular sites - Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.  

Lake Louise

The scenery here was calendar-worthy; steep, craggy peaks and emerald glacial lakes.  First, Roger and I stopped by Lake Louise.  This long, aqua-blue water body was located in one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spots on earth.  Jagged mountains rose straight up from it's surface, towering high above.  Glaciers clung precariously to their rocky walls.


Roger and I parked in a giant lot near the lake's fancy hotel, the Chateau Lake Louise, and joined the throngs of people out for a stroll.  We followed a path paralleling the lake's north shoreline.  Although mid-summer, I was able to spot a few late blooming wildflowers. 

Looking back towards Chateau Lake Louise

The farther we traveled from the parking lot, the fewer people we encountered on the trail.  By the time we reached the lake's opposite end, only a handful of hardy souls shared our path.  In such a crowded place, the solitude was wonderful.  We looked back towards the lake's other end, catching a nice view of the famous Chateau Lake Louise.

Looking towards the glaciers that carved this lake

At this end of the lake, we could get a much better view of the massive glaciers perched high upon the mountainsides.  They sat on such steep slopes, it appeared the ice could topple into the valley at any minute.  Millions of years ago, these glaciers were responsible for carving out this beautiful lake we were enjoying today.

At the lake's end, mountains rise up steeply

The mountains rose so quickly, they looked like massive rock walls.  Only a narrow valley separated the lake's inlet creek, created by water from the melting glaciers.  A trail continued through this valley, climbing until it reached the base of these vast ice sheets.  But, pressed for time, Roger and I decided to save this hike for another day, and turned around at the lake's far end.

Chateau Lake Louise - an amazing hotel!

Back at the parking area, Roger and I ventured into the famous Chateau Lake Louise.  A UNESCO World Heritage site, this hotel was originally built as a base for outdoor enthusiasts over 100 years ago.  It has since emerged as a luxury resort, catering to the well-heeled vacationer.  We gaped at the gorgeous interior, and peeped into the fancy dining room.  But there was no way in the world we could afford to eat, let alone stay, in such a place.

The hotel grounds were immaculately landscaped

So, after a quick tour of the fabulously landscaped hotel grounds, we decided to stop by Lake Louise's next-door neighbor, Moraine Lake. 

Moraine Lake

Probably the most famous mountain view in all of Canada, Moraine Lake and it's corresponding jagged peaks are jaw-dropping.  You've no doubt seen this view on a motivational poster somewhere.  The lake is situated in the picturesque Valley of the Ten Peaks.  Moraine Lake is also glacially formed, and it's brilliant blue color due to the refraction of light on the glacial rock flour continually deposited in the water.

Obligatory tourist photo

About the time Roger and I pulled into the parking lot, the skies opened up and doused us with a heavy shower.  We braved the elements anyway, and I attempted to take some shots of this magnificent view.  The cloudy skies and dark light didn't make for the best photos, but I made a valiant effort to capture some digital memories just the same.

Our reward after a rainy day

It rained for the remainder of the afternoon.  We'd reserved a site at a nearby park campground, but not wanting to set up in damp conditions, decided to first head into the city of Banff for some dinner.  As we rounded the last bend on the highway into town, the clouds parted, revealing a brilliant rainbow. Taking this as a sign of good things to come, I made Roger stop the car so I could capture it on my memory card.  

Mount Cascade view from the town of Banff

Our vacation was off to a great start!  The evening skies cleared, and Roger and I were treated to some lovely views of the mountain ranges encircling the town of Banff.

Stay tuned - I'll be posting more photos from this trip throughout the next couple of weeks.  And, as per tradition, be sure and stop by on December 31st for my "2014 in Photos" annual review.


  1. Holy wow... Great post from the past!
    I really need to visit Banff.. and I'm like a whole hour closer to it!
    Have a great day, my friend.

  2. Linda, I am so glad you dipped into your photo archives...these are gorgeous!

  3. Dip away, Linda! I love your photos and I don't care when they were taken.

  4. Thanks for sharing!! I'm impressed you can remember such vivid details from a trip that long ago. I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast! Banff is gorgeous, I need to visit there soon.

  5. Looking forward to your Banff posts! We had a wonderful family holiday there in 1986, and went on to Vancouver for Expo '86. Walked around the north shore of lake Louise and climbed up to lake Agnes, our 6 and 9 year olds pushing their little sister in her stroller! Had tea in the chateau for $55.00, while chipmunks ran in and out the door of the restaurant!

  6. I'm impressed you remember so much as well, this is one of the reasons I take so many photos I have a terrible memory. I'd forget what I had for breakfast as well except I have the same thing almost every day. My trainer asked me what I ate on my trip in Kentucky right after I came back and I drew a total blank except for toast and trail mix! Haven't been to Banff, it will be interesting to see what you think of it compared to your lovely state.

  7. What stunning vistas! I have never been that far north...just as far as Waterton Lakes in Canada and I thought that was fantastic. I am looking forward to your photo trip!

  8. Linda, these are gorgeous photos from your Banff trip. It is a place on my wish list, I always wanted to visit..The lakes and mountain scenery is just amazing and jaw-dropping.. Awesome photos.. Enjoy your weekend!

  9. Wow... you are digging deep into your goody bag of photos. It was worth it!

  10. Hi! Nice captures.The scene is very beautiful. When I was young I stayed Chateau Lake Louise and Banff Springs Hotel. It was very nice memory for me. I enjoyed your post very much. Thanks for sharing.

  11. My favourite place to visit and not just because my son lives in Banff, but for all the reasons captured in your photography. Looking forward to more.

  12. Very nice series of pics- spectacular place

  13. Wonderful pictures! I'm always looking for that perfect rainbow shot, this one comes real close! Glad to know I'll get to visit Banff with your look back, Linda. I sure enjoyed looking at these. :-)

  14. You really made me want to visit---will definitely put this on my list of Places to Visit!

  15. Hope you are well on the road to recovery. Wonderful photos and that rainbow must have been worth the soaking.

  16. Absolutely gorgeous - I love digging into old photos. I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!

  17. Isn't it fun to go back through vacation pictures? It lets you relive the experiences all over again. Thanks for sharing these views of one of my favorite places!

  18. Thanks for sharing these! I remember Chateau Lake Louise -- it is an amazing place! Looking at your photos makes me wish I had walked the lake when we were there...beautiful!
    Blessings, Aimee

  19. Linda, I never tire of the gorgeous photos you share from your adventures! I hope to get up into the mountains more in 2015! Wishing you a happy New Year!

  20. It's so beautiful there, Linda. When I was there I wasn't yet into photography so I have no photos. Oh well, now I'll have to go back, won't I? :))

  21. Gorgeous views of the lakes and the mountains. I always enjoy seeing mountains because Finland is a very flat country and we don't have anything very high here.

  22. WOW what scenery! Fireweed is so lovely. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  23. Thanks for the tour. I visited back in 1980-something when I was a student, and would love to go back. The green colour of the water is astounding.

  24. I've been wondering how your recovery is going, Linda! Glad to be back to catch up, I've been away too much this past month or two. Your blog has a bit of a new look!
    I am in LOVE with BANFF. I've never been there, but a Canadian friend goes there with her family annually (they are there there right now.) I'm always in awe of photos of this scenic place. It's on my bucket list. :)

  25. Fantastic! I've been to Banff National Park although it was 40 years ago but your photo's brought back some great memories.


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