Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls is the third largest waterfall in British Columbia, Canada.

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Shannon Falls is located in the Shannon Falls Provincial Park, and is named after early settler William Shannon.

The waterfall has a height of 335 metres (1,099 feet).

There is a kiosk located at the trail entrance, which has snacks, souvenirs, and park information. There are also a flush toilet block.

The Shannon Falls Provincial Park is located 58 kilometres (36 miles) north from Vancouver and 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) south of Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway.

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Athabasca Falls

Athabasca Falls is a waterfall off the Athabasca River in Jasper National Park.

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The waterfall has a drop of 24 metres (80 feet) and a width of 18 metres (60 feet). While not the largest waterfall in the Canadian Rockies it is the most powerful due to the volume of water passes over the waterfall.

Athabasca River runs 1231 kilometres (765 miles) from the Columbia Icefield to Lake Athabasca. Athabasca means ‘there are plants after one another’ in Woods Cree.

It is important to stay to the designated paths. There are several memorials to people who have their lives.

Athabasca Falls is approximately 30 kilometres south of Jasper township. There is a parking lot on Highway 93A.

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Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake is a lake in Jasper National Park at the foot of Pyramid Mountain.

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The kidney-shaped lake, which covers an area of 1.2 square kilometres, flows into the Athabasca River via 2 kilometre long Pyramid Creek.

Pyramid Lake Resort is located on the southeast point of the lake. I stayed here for two nights back in July.

The resort offers canoe, kayak, paddleboat hire during the summer season.

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Jasper Skytram

Jasper Skytram is an aerial tramway that travels to Whistler’s Mountain in Jasper, Alberta.

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Jasper Skytram is the highest and longest aerial tramway in Canada. It travels up to an elevation of 2277 metres (7472 feet) above sea level.

The tram ride takes approximately 7 minutes. A tram operator will point out various landmarks on the way up. Each car can carry up to 30 passengers.

At the upper terminal there is a gift shop and the Summit Restaurant.

The views from the upper terminal are spectacular, but are even better at the summit of Whistler’s Mountain. The 1.4 km trail to the summit starts at the end of the upper terminal boardwalk.

Whistler’s Mountain is also the place to see the Hoary marmot. These ground squirrels are everywhere.

Jasper Skytram is approximately 8 kilometres from Jasper. The tram operates from mid March to late October.

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Glacier Skywalk Columbia Icefields

The Glacier Skywalk is a glass floored observation platform overlooking the Sunwapta Canyon in Jasper National Park.

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The glass floored observation platform is 280 metres (918 feet) above the Sunwapta Valley. The glass is 3.81 cm thick, if that reassures anyone.

The skywalk took three years to construct and cost CAD$21 million.

I should be clear that the term ‘glacier skywalk’ is not exactly accurate. It is a walk over the Sunwapta Valley, rather than a glacier.

Visitors catch a shuttle bus from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre. Shuttle buses leave every 15 minutes during operating hours, and it is approximately a five minute trip.

There is an audio guide available. Although one of the staff did tell me that what was  covered on the audio guide is on the interpretive signs. The signs or audio guide have information on the landscape and wildlife in the area.

The Columbia Icefields Discovery Centre is on Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North), approximately 1 hour south of Jasper or 2.5 hours north of Banff.

It is usually open mid April/May till October.

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Parker Ridge Trail

The Parker Ridge Trail provides amazing views of the Saskatchewan Glacier.

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The full hike to the end of the trail is 5 kilometres (3 miles) return. I did observe that not all hikers walk right to the end of the trail.

There is a turquoise lake at the foot of Saskatchewan Glacier. Parker Ridge only provides a view of part of the glacier. The glacier is approximately 13 km (8.1 miles) in length and covers an area of approximately 30 square km (11.5 miles).

Parker Ridge is named after surveyor Herschel Clifford Parker.

The Parker Ridge Trail is located on the Icefields Parkway in northern Banff National Park. There is a parking area on the west side of Icefields Parkway at the 117 km mark or 4 km south of the boundary between Banff and Jasper parks.

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Lake Agnes Tea house

The Lake Agnes Tea house is an mountaintop tea house overlooking Lake Agnes, which serves over 100 varies of tea and other delicious goodies.

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The trail begins near Fairmont Chateau on the eastern shore of Lake Louise. It is a 3.6 kilometre (2.2 mile) hike to the teahouse. It takes most visitors between an hour and an hour and half to reach the tea house.

The forested trail will pass Mirror Lake (with the Big Beehive as its backdrop) and a small waterfall before reaching Lake Agnes and the tea house.

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Lake Agnes is named after the first prime minister of Canada’s second wife Lady Susan Agnes Macdonald.

The tea house, which has no electricity or running water, was built by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1901. It began serving tea in 1905. The original log building was replaced in 1981 and used the original windows in its design.

The tea house serves over 100 different varieties of tea. They also serve a selection of sandwiches, salads, soups, and baked goods (baked in the tea house’s propane oven).

It is open from early June to October (Canada Thanksgiving). Bring cash (US and Canadian dollars accepted).

From the tea house it is downhill to return to Lake Louise. For those wishing to go for a longer walk it is approximately 1 km to Little Beehive and 1.6 km to Big Beehive.

There is a second tea house – Plain of Six Glacier’s Tea House. This is approximately 5 kms from Lake Agnes. It is a full day hike to see both tea houses. The entire trip is around 14.5 km.

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