Lake Louise, Yoho and Banff

So, I eventually did leave Jasper and head south towards Lake Louise and Banff. And yes, everyone in Jasper was right when they told me that Jasper is way better than Banff, especially the kind of crowd that hangs out there. However, the Rockies in Banff and Yoho National Parks offer some excellent hiking. That's how I spent the last week: hiking, hiking and hiking. In snow (sometimes knee deep), in mud, in rain and sunshine and mostly up a mountain or another. And I loved every minute of it!

I especially enjoyed hiking in the more remote Yoho National Park. There's only one road leading into the Yoho valley and most people just drive it to see the Takakkaw Falls. I only met five other hikers on the day I took on the Iceline Trail so it was extremely quiet. The trail itself was long and challenging (with a ton of snow) but the views simply blew me away. But see for yourself...

Takakkaw Falls from the Iceline Trail, Yoho
breaky on the Iceline Trail
keeping warm on the Iceline Trail

Lake Louise is indeed very touristy. My "luck" was that I was there during a week with not such great weather and lots of snow. I call it "luck" because it meant that trails were a lot less crowded and the snow just added to the adventure. :) The Larch trees in the valley were just starting to turn golden... beautiful!

Larch Valley, Lake Louise
Mt. Fairview, Lake Louise
Mt. Fairview, Lake Louise
Saddlebag Pass, Lake Louise
I spent two nights in Banff. I honestly didn't see much of the town because both nights I arrived tired at the hostel, showered, got some work done and then went to sleep. :) The trail I chose for Banff was the Cory Pass Edith Pass Circuit. It's a 15km hike with approx. 900m elevation gain around Mt. Edith - totally worth the tired legs!

looking up to Cory Pass
Cory Pass
Cory Pass
view of Mt. Edith from Cory Pass
hiking down from Cory Pass towards Edith Pass
refueling after a long day
On Friday I made use of the good weather (sunshine and blue skies) and decided to go for a peak. Because I got up late I had to give up Lady MacDonald and do Ha Ling Peak instead. This peak is also called Chinaman Peak and the trailhead starts just a short drive from Canmore. I rounded off the day with a sunset from Castle Mountain Lookout.

on Ha Ling Peak 
Castle Mountain Lookout


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