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Icefields Parkway, Jasper and Banff National Parks, Canada

Thursday, August 9, 2007

all seasons in one day 0 °F

It poured over night, but the rain has stopped this morning. We wake up early to get an early start to Lake Louise. Good plan, but we cannot get the trailer hitched when it’s time to leave. After about 20 minutes, we finally manage to get the hitch to close properly. We’re wondering if we bent it when we were trying to get it unhitched a few days ago. Anyway, we’re finally on our way.

It’s definitely colder today and apparently the rain last night was snow at higher elevations. The mountain tops have a thin layer of snow—very pretty.

We are traveling the Icefields Parkway today. A very scenic drive between Jasper and Banff, with lots and lots of glaciers that can be seen from the road.

We stop at the Columbia Icefields Center and decide to have a snack in the lodge before taking the bus to the glacier. Great view of the glacier from the window seat.

After our snack we get on the bus that will take us up to the Athabasca Glacier. The total tour takes about 90 minutes, with an 8 minute busride to get to the snow shuttles to ride on the glacier. The clouds have lifted and we get blue skies! Great views!

The bus ride to the glacier is fine, but the snow shuttle starts with an incredible steep drop down a hill. Several of us can’t believe that we’re actually going down this hill. Here is a picture that Joe took of a shuttle traveling down the incredibly steep hill. It’s blurry because of the very bumpy snow shuttle ride:

The tour guide tells us that it was 25 deg F last night and they had snow so the glacier is all white instead of blue at some parts.

We walk around the glacier and take lots of pictures.







We return on the bus to the lodge and take one last picture of the glacier:

And a picture of the lodge located across the street from the glacier, where we started our bus tour of the glacier:

The scenery after we leave the Athabasca Glacier area is also spectacular.


Unfortunately the clouds and rain settle in before we get to Lake Louise, so no more pretty pictures :-( Then when we arrive at the Lake Louise Campground around 3pm, they’re full. The good news is that they have an overflow area, so we drive there and drop off the trailer. Then we drive to the Lake Louise-Banff National Park Visitor Center and onto Chateau Lake Louise. It’s pouring rain by this time, so we spend close to an hour roaming around the Chateau, looking at the art and architecture.

The evening is spent watching TV in the parking lot overflow area and listening to the pouring rain.

Posted by jengelman 13:50 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel

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