Bow Summit & Peyto Lake

The Bow Summit Lookout provides amazing views of the turquoise coloured Peyto Lake.

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At 2070 metres above sea level the Bow Summit is the highest point on the Icefields Parkway.

It is approximately 10 to 15 minutes walk from the carpark to a viewing platform overlooking Peyto Lake.

Peyto Lake gets its a strong turquoise colour from the glacier rock flour that flows into it during the summer months. The lake is named after William ‘Wild Bill’ Peyto, an early park warden of the Banff National Park.

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Consolation Lakes

Consolation Lakes are 3 kilometres southeast of Moraine Lake.

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This walk from Moraine Lake to Consolation Lakes begins at Moraine Lake carpark, near the Rockpile Trail. Click here to read my post on Moraine Lake and the Rockpile Trail.

At the beginning of the trail you will need to cross a rockpile at the bottom of the Tower of Babel. So sturdy footwear is needed. Also due to bear activity in the area hikers are required to travel in at least a group of four and close together.

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After this majority of the trail is in a forested area that follows the Babel Creek. When I walked in the summer there was some snow / icy sludge to cross between the rockpile and the start of the track in the forest.

Just before the Lower Consolation Lake the tracks opens to a large meadow and wetland area. Beyond this is a massive boulder field below Mount Babel. You will need to climb over the boulders to get a proper view of the lake

I turned around at the Lower Lake after climbing over the massive boulders. To reach the Upper Lake you will need to cross the Babel Creek and follow the eastern shoreline.

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Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is a glacial lake in Banff National Park.

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The vehicle road to Lake Moraine has closed for the winter season and will reopen mid to late May 2018. This post is based around my visit during summer 2017.

The lake is 14 kilometres (8.7 miles) outside Lake Louise Village and located in the Valley on Ten Peaks.

Its famous blue-green colour is a result of light refracting off the fine particles of rock from the glacier run off, which flows into the lake. This vibrant colour usually peaks in late June.

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One of the walks I did was the Moraine Lakeshore Trail begins near the canoe docks. It is a relatively flat hike that follows the western edge of the lake through a forested area crossing several streams.

There is a boardwalk at the southern end of the lake where a stream flows from the Wenkchemna Glacier.

It is approximately 1.2 km one way and you return back the way you came.

The more popular and shorter walk is the Rockpile Trail, which provides amazing views over the lake. The track is approximately 300 metres.

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Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka is a glacial lake in Banff National Park.

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The lake, which is approximately 5 km (3 miles) from Banff township is 21 km (13 miles) long and 142 metres (466 feet) deep.

It is the longest lake in the Canadian Rockies region. The lake’s main fed is from Cascade Mountain via the Cascade River. There is also fed from Mount Inglismaldie, Mount Girouard and Mount Peechee.

The Stony Nakoda people called the lake Mini-Waka (Water of Spirits) after the spirits that reside in the lake. The early European settlers named it Devil’s Lake.

The area is popular for picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, scuba diving, and boating. It is the only lake in the Banff National Park that allows use of motorized boats.

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Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon is a tributary of the Bow River in Banff National Park.

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The canyon has been formed by erosion over thousands of years. The Johnston Creek, which empties into the Bow River, has cut through limestone rock creating the canyon.

Catwalks are attached to the limestone walls allowing visitors to follow the Johnston Creek through the canyon.

It is 1.1 km (1/2 mile) one way the the Lower Falls and 2.2 km (1 1/2 miles) one way to the Upper Falls. Allow 2 to 2/12 hours for a return trip to both the Lower and Upper Falls.

For a longer hike continue on 3 kms from the Upper Falls to the Ink Pots, a series of green coloured mineral pools.

At the lower falls you can cross a bridge and climb through a tunnel to see the waterfall up close. Expect to feel the spray from the waterfall and during busy periods you may have to wait to enter.

 

At the base of the trail is the Johnston Canyon Resort. There is a restaurant, gift shop and ice cream stand. The resort offers cabin and cottage accommodation.

Johnston Canyon is 25 km from Banff and 33 km from Lake Louise on the Bow Valley Parkway.

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Cascade Gardens Banff

Cascade Gardens is a small public landscaped garden located in downtown Banff in Alberta, Canada.

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The garden is a series of terraced gardens built into the hillside. It includes many colourful flower beds, rock gardens, trees, shrubs, winding pathways, stone steps, and water features.

The gardens are located behind the Parks Canada Administration building. This historic stone building was built in 1935.

The Brett Sanatorium and Hotel stood on this site from the 1880s until it burnt down in 1930. Parks Canada took over the 12 acre land and architect Walter Beckett designed the administration building and surrounding gardens.

The gardens are free to visit as is the Parks Canada building.

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