Vancouver

Train trip to Jasper

Jasper Park

Along the Icefields Parkway

Athabasca Glacier

Dawn at Lake Louise

Banff Tour and Gondola Ride

Banff Flower Gardens

Exploring the Canadian Rockies

August 2011

In August 2011, Kathy and I along with 3 other couples took a train and bus tour of the Canadian Rockies. The other travelers were Don and Lois Porter, Mac and Dava McWhorter, Tim and Martha O'Connell. We started in Vancouver (seen below from a hill across Burrard Inlet), took the train overnight (and most of the next day) to Jasper, then a bus along the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise. Next we went to Banff, and finally we flew home from Calgary.

   Vancouver

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We flew to Vancouver the night before the train trip. We spent the next day touring Vancouver. We drove by the cruise ship docks and Canada Place. Then we wandered through Stanley Park; we had lunch at Prospect Point in the Park. We took pictures of the geese in the park and then of a lawn bowling match just outside the park. After crossing the Lion's Head bridge (picture below) we drove up into the hills to get a panoramic view of Vancouver (picture above). We did some shopping on Granville Island before boarding the train at 8:00 PM. Here are some other pictures from Vancouver.

   Lion's Head Bridge

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The next day we woke up on the train with the Canadian Rockies outside our window. Here are some pictures from the train trip.

By mid-afternoon the train arrived in Jasper. We disembarked and were driven out to the Jasper Park Lodge (pictures below).

Jasper Park Lodge
Jasper Park Lodge

Jasper Park Lodge

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The next day we explored the canyons, rivers and lakes around Jasper. And on the way back we saw an elk. Here are pictures from Jasper Park.

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The next morning we headed out for one of our best sightseeing days - we took a bus along the Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Lake Louise. The mountains were spectacular even though it was difficult taking pictures from the bus (see below). But we stopped to see waterfalls and lakes and to photograph the local wildlife.

   Icefields Parkway

Here are some pictures from the Icefields Parkway stops.

By mid-morning we arrived at the Athabasca Glacier which comes down from the Columbia Icefield. One of the highlights of the day was taking an Ice Explorer ride out onto the glacier.

   Group at the Glacier    Kathy and Dava at the Ice Explorer

Here are some more pictures from the glacier.

Before getting to Lake Louise, we stopped to see Peyto Lake, the prettiest lake that we had seen up until then (see the pictures from Kathy's iPhone below).

Peyto Lake
Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake

In the afternoon we arrived at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

That night at Lake Louise, I took some timed exposures of the flowers and the lake.

   Flowers at Lake Louise    Lake Louise at Dusk

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The next morning I got up at 5:00 AM and got better pictures of the lake. Here are some of those pictures. The first one was taken at 5:29 AM and is comprised of multiple exposures with the longest one being 15 seconds. The last one was taken at 6:02 AM and the longest exposure was 1/4 second.

In the afternoon we headed for Banff, but along the way we stopped to see Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. This was one of the most scenic places of the trip.

   Moraine Lake    Kathy at Moraine Lake

We got to Banff in late afternoon and checked in to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. We went into town for dinner.

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The next day we took a tour of the Banff area including a gondola ride to get a view of the entire valley. In the afternoon we explored the flower gardens around the park administration offices. That night we all got together for a farewell dinner. The next day we took the bus to Calgary and flew home.

It had been a week filled with spectacular scenery and good fellowship.


C. Brandon Jones
email: Brandon "at" cbjones.info
updated September 27, 2011