The travel colors of the Rocky Mountains

The longing for the Rocky Mountains of Maple Leaf Country began 4 years ago. Friends around me popularized the shock of Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Park in the circle of friends, and then Xiao Lizi’s “Wild Hunter”. Once again I hooked my soul to the majestic Rocky Mountains.

A large number of scenes in the movie “Wild Hunter” are concentrated in a small village near the famous Canadian city of Calgary. Calgary is the fourth largest city in Canada. It belongs to the “foot mountain” area of ​​the Rocky Mountains. With the magnificent snow-capped mountains as the urban background, the weather here says that “you can experience the four seasons in one day” This is very consistent with the extreme weather in the film.

While introducing the scenic spots, the tour guide also reminds visitors that “bears come and go, please pay attention.”

Banff Town is centered on Banff Avenue. The town is small but has complete infrastructure. There are many hotels, restaurants, and shops. Both sides of the avenue still retain the architectural features of the 19th century.

With full of longing and anticipation, we embark on this dream journey. This way, accompanied by the drizzle in Calgary, we walked through the high mountains of Banff; wandered leisurely on the 93 Icefield Avenue to experience the lakes, mountains, mountains and rivers, and the wild bears, deer, and squirrels on the roadside. A chance encounter; walking for 3 hours on the Athabasca Glacier, the largest ice field site in the world except the Arctic Circle… Quiet, cold, and gorgeous, this is an unforgettable experience once in a lifetime.

Enter the world of Banff
“This place will never let you down.”

-“National Geographic” magazine is this evaluation of Banff National Park in Canada.

There is a direct flight from San Diego to Calgary. When the plane landed in Calgary, it rained heavily outside, making the already cold weather even more chilly. I entered the country smoothly. I submitted my passport and green card, and with a big stamp “click”, I stepped into the gate of Canada.

I picked up the car from the airport parking lot. The rain was still falling. The distance from Calgary to Banff National Park is one and a half hours. Although the hotel price is twice that of Calgary, in order to save time, I chose to go directly that night.

Banff National Park is the handle of the Rocky Mountains, 128 kilometers from Calgary. Here, the sunrise is around 5:30 and the sunset is around 22:00. Early in the morning, the sun was shining so that people couldn’t sleep at all. I simply let my husband and children sleep a little longer, so I went out for a stroll. According to the previous plan, first go to the Devil’s Rock Observation Deck.

The viewing platform is located near the parking lot of Tunnel Mountain Road. The Tunnel Mountain Road can lead to Surprise Point, where you can enjoy the karst landforms and the view of the Bow River Valley. There was almost no one on the road at 6 o’clock in the morning, but I was the only one shivering in the cold and shooting wildly at the distant mountains.

Continuing on is the Double Jack Lake and parking lot, just across the lake from the campsite. The staff at the entrance hadn’t gone to work, so I drove the car into the camp rashly. In the distance, there is a fairy-like mountain scenery, and there are camping firewood, cooking stoves, bathrooms, and sinks in the jungle. People began to wake up one after another, some of them had raised the fire and started cooking, some were washing, some were walking their dogs, so peaceful and beautiful. Not far away, I saw two elk grazing on the side of the road, and I saw me coming and running away.

At the Morant curve, you can always see tourists waiting for the train with their cameras.

Go back to the hotel and drag her husband and son up to find food in Banff town. When you come to Banff National Park, you usually choose to live in Banff Town. Surrounded by mountains, Cascade Mountain is always a faithful backdrop for the main street. In addition, Banff is still a small spa town, known as “Little Switzerland in North America”. It lies between Cascade Mountains, Sulphur Mountains, Norquay Mountains, and Ruther Mountains. Since the opening of the Pacific Railway in 1880, Banff Town has developed into the Rocky today with its superior geographical location and unique landscapes. The most important tourist town in the mountains is said to receive nearly 4 million tourists every year. Does this small town with only 10,000 inhabitants receive about 4 million tourists every year? Does it sound unbelievable?

Yes! This is the charm of Rocky Mountain.

The Sulphur Mountain Cable Car Station, which is only 10 minutes away from Banff Town, is also a must for travelers. There are 4 people in the cable car. From the cable car, you can see the glaciers and snowy peaks. There are 3 outdoor observation decks on the top of Sulphur Mountain. From the main observation deck, you can see the majesty of the Rocky Mountains, or stroll along the path to have a breathtaking view of the breathtaking scenery. When you stand on a wide viewing platform, it is as if you are standing on top of the world.

From the floor-to-ceiling glass windows of the Fairmont Hotel, you can see the lake and mountains outside.

Maligne Lake is world-famous for its color and central island, and is rated as one of the most photogenic lakes in the world.

In addition to the cable car, it is said that you can also choose to climb to the top of the mountain on foot. It takes about 2 hours. When you reach the top of the mountain, you can enjoy the 360° beautiful scenery without dead ends, and you can also see the Bow River from a distance. But for players like me who plan to stick to the last day of the trip and don’t want to get tired, it is absolutely impossible to feel this way of exercise.

After continuing to set off, the car kept driving on the mountain road. Suddenly a brown bear was found in front of him, walking on the road like no one else, oh! What a wonderful first impression of Banff. I took a picture of Big Brother Xiong, said “hello”, and continued to drive towards Lake Minnewanka. It was about 5 minutes or so.

A large group of teenagers were playing in the cold lake, full of energy.

The Columbia Ice Sheet is the largest ice sheet in the Rocky Mountains and one of the most accessible glaciers in North America. Because its main accumulation area is located in the continental divide, it is called the mother of rivers.

Lake Minnewanka is the largest and deepest lake in Banff National Park. It is located in a beautiful valley. The name of the lake comes from the Indian Stoney tribe, which means “water spirit”. There are also piers and some water sports facilities on the lakeside. Because the shape of the lake is very long and narrow, you can only see a small part of it on the shore, and you can’t feel its size. The best way to understand it in depth is to take a sightseeing boat. The lake in the early morning is stunningly beautiful, and the calm lake surface is set off by the snow-covered mountains in the distance.

Lake Minnesota is also home to many wild animals. Cute little squirrels are everywhere, as well as bears and elk that appear from time to time. This may be the most attractive place in Banff. Everything is very original. There is a scene in the movie “Wild Hunter” from Lake Minnwanka covered in snow. The little plum in the movie is tortured. The most memorable scene is that this character walks alone in the vast snow, the towering pine trees are speechless, the continuous icebergs are silent, the sun only cares for a short time, and the rest is endless long nights .

Run towards Jasper
Some people have been watching the valley for generations, and some have been rushing to see the world. I saw mountains, rivers, forests and valleys, snow-capped mountains and pastures in Jasper. Follow Highway 1A towards Jasper and pass Castle Hill. It is an impressive signpost in the Canadian Rockies. It is located on the famous mountain between Banff Town and Lake Louise. Pass by it.

It is estimated that people who come to Banff come to see the lake, but there should not be many people like me who deliberately run to the Morant corner. The famous “Canadian” luxury train passing the bend observation deck is the favorite angle of many photographers. This section of the railway is part of the Canadian Pacific Railway and is also a scenic tourist route. The name of this curve comes from Nicholas Morant, a full-time photographer of the Pacific Railroad Company. Many people check the train timetable in advance and come to see the train.

The lake water of Lake Louise contains minerals from the glacier flow, and it is clear blue-green under the sun, which is as magnificent as sapphire, so it is known as the “sapphire of the Rocky Mountains”.

I parked the car and saw that several people holding “long guns and short cannons” had set up their tripods and were ready to go, just waiting for the train to come. I realized that I was here to join in the fun, holding a small micro-slip in my hand, and I couldn’t use a tripod, let alone any length of exposure. Fortunately, after waiting for less than 10 minutes, the train came “whooping” and I was so excited that I quickly raised my small camera.

From the Morant bend, I took the national highway No. 93. This highway is also called “Icefield Avenue”. The total length of the highway is 232 kilometers. It was completed in 1940. The name of the road comes from the spectacular ice fields on the way, including the famous Columbia Ice Field. It is one of the ten most undisputed roads in the world, and National Geographic praised it as “the most beautiful road in the world.”

Along Icefield Boulevard, the most beautiful scenic road, the first stop is Hecht Lake, and the Ravenclaw Glacier is not far from it. These two stops are very close, and the scenery is similar. The lake in the distance can be seen from a distance, but the view is not very real, so the recommendation index is not very high, but it can be used as a short stay for a few minutes.

Continue toward Jasper, almost all stops are on the left hand side of the road. Bow Lake is a recommended stop on the “left hand side”. The magnificent mountains and fresh blue-green lakes are deep and shallow, and the beauty cannot be described in words.

In fact, Bow Lake is not mentioned much in the national park. It is not too conspicuous among the many top lakes in the Rocky Mountains, and it is by no means as famous as Moraine Lake and Emerald Lake, but its charm is not inferior at all. Stop the car on the side of the road and walk down a small slope to get close to Bow Lake. Although the weather is not so cold, there are still large blocks of ice in the lake, which is very spectacular. The surrounding snow-capped mountains are clearly reflected in the lake. Although it is backlit, it has a special charm, and the beauty seems to be a bit magical.

It is said that the reflection reflected from the Bow Lake looks like a bow, but it is a pity that the lake is still covered with thin ice, so the complete bow is not visible.

In addition to this, there is also a very recommended stop-Lake Peto, a glacial lake in the Canadian Rockies. From Icefield Avenue, you can turn left and drive into the deepest part of the slip road. There is parking space, and then take the trail to the view. Viewing platform. The photos taken on this viewing platform are very famous and often appear in various travel magazines and postcards. Although it is not yet winter, most of the paths on both sides are covered with snow, beautiful mountains, small clouds, and the lake is a kind of milky blue, which makes people feel a little unreal. The blue water lake nourished by glaciers is the art of nature.

Enjoying the lake view all the way, we arrived at the accommodation-Fairmont Jasper Resort. The price of 2 nights at this famous hotel is US$711. The poor facilities and the price do not match, making people feel unbalanced. But the only comfort is that you can see the lake view outside from the window of the room. The lake that can be seen from the room is Lake Beauvais, which is not big, but it is amazing. It lies quietly on the grass covered with tassels, with snow-capped mountain views, very beautiful. People can walk or ride horses by the lake, or go boating leisurely on the lake. There is also a golf course by the lake, with the breeze blowing from the lake, it must be very pleasant to play here.

It was 5 a.m. again, and I was out alone, walking deep and shallow across the grass to the lake. The surface of the lake in the early morning was very peaceful. I walked half a circle along the edge of the lake, and came across little squirrels, wild ducks, and the quiet and wonderful time. If the snowy mountains and lakes of the Rocky Mountains are the most anticipated highlights before coming, this has been in my expectation, then the small animals appearing abruptly on the side of the road are really amazing, definitely in my expectation. In addition, it also made me feel satisfied with the harvest of this trip.

Lodge on Emerald Lake.

As the sun rose, we packed up and continued to set off. Maligne Lake is 40 kilometers away from Jasper by car and is a must-see for visiting Jasper Park. It is the second largest glacial lake in the world and the largest glacial lake in the Rocky Mountains. I heard that there is a famous Elf Island in Maligne Lake, so the most popular activity is of course the 90-minute boat ride. But after I got on the island enthusiastically, I discovered that the island was only “slap-sized” and the boat stayed for 10 minutes, that is, 10 minutes for you to take pictures. Well, in the face of the gift of nature, I am happy to accept everything. So I returned to the lake, bought coffee and snacks at the visitor center, and enjoyed the perfect breakfast in the sun.

Through the small town of Jasper, I arrived at Pyramid Lake in the north of the town. It is called the Pyramid Mountain because the mountain is triangular and symmetrical. In addition, the rocks on the mountain contain pyrite, showing a weathered pink and orange color, like a layer of gold. Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake are adjacent to each other. It is a good place for canoe fishing and picnics in summer. There were almost no people by the lake, only our family of three lonely throwing pebbles.

The next stop is the famous Marlene Canyon, which is the longest, deepest and most peculiar canyon in the Rocky Mountains. It was originally a waterfall, but after more than 10,000 years of erosion and erosion by the rapids of the Meilin River, the limestone rock bed formed a gorge with a length of 2 kilometers and a wall depth of 5.5 kilometers. The hiking trail will pass 6 bridges across the canyon, approximately 3.7 kilometers. Between No. 1 Bridge and No. 2 Bridge is the best viewing point, where you can enjoy the most spectacular view of Maligne Gorge. Among them, Bridge No. 2 is 5.5 kilometers away from the depth of the canyon. It is the deepest and narrowest part of the canyon, so that small animals can often be seen jumping from side to side of the canyon. Standing on the bridge overlooking the gorge cut by the turbulence, and experiencing the magic of the glacier hundreds of millions of years ago, walking through the green woods accompanied by the sound of the waterfall, it feels great.

There is another magical place-Witch Medicine Lake, which is a disappearing lake in Jasper National Park. The lake water disappears once a year. The lake’s water is affected by underground drainage, which is high and sometimes low, and it is the drainage outlet at the northwest end of the lake. In autumn, the snow water on the mountain began to freeze, and the melting snow was greatly reduced, so the lake water began to drop and even dried up. When the snow melts in summer, the lake water will slowly start to appear again. Therefore, the Indians believed that the quiet lake would have changes in water level and that there must be gods living in it, so it was named “Witch Medicine Lake”. There are also many wild animals “walking” by the lake. Almost all the bears and antelopes on the journey were photographed nearby. Perhaps this is also a smart place!

Columbia Icefield Adventure
Woke up early in the morning and went to the Columbia Ice Field to participate in an ice hike. This is also the most anticipated project of our trip.

Starting from Jasper, it takes about an hour and a half to drive to the Columbia Ice Field Discovery Center. Those who take part in the Skywalk and Icefield Expeditions must park their cars in the parking lot of the Discovery Center. Tickets can be purchased directly here. If you want to avoid the peak, you can choose the time period of 10-11 or 15-17.

In the Columbia Ice Field, there are 3 key projects:

Glacier Sky Trail. It is the glass bridge we call. Walking on the edge of the cliff, there is an arc-shaped glass trail that extends out of the rock wall and hangs in the air 280 meters. The trail and guardrail are all glass, giving a bird’s eye view of the canyon.

Icefield adventure. Ride on the huge-wheeled icefield “Explorer” to the 6-kilometer-long Athabasca Glacier. You have 30 minutes of free time on the ice. In addition to walking on the ice, you can also get a bottle of iceberg meltwater. Of course, you need to bring your own empty bottles in advance. This activity is only available from April to October every year if the weather permits, and a team departs every 15 minutes.

Walking on the ice. This project is held every day, the activity lasts about 3 hours and the whole journey is about 4 kilometers, which is relatively easy. Usually gather at 9:40 and depart at 10:00. Although the adult price of $95 is very expensive, it is definitely the highlight of this trip.

The entire trip must follow the command of the team leader, because in addition to the ice field, there are also ice caves covered with snow, and you may fall into the cave as soon as you step down, which is very dangerous. The tour guide will also recommend that you wear suitable clothes and shoes. If you don’t have a jacket and hiking shoes suitable for walking on ice, they will provide extra jackets and hiking shoes of various sizes.

Among the about 30 tourists in the 3 teams that day, our family is the only Asian face, which means that the road ahead is not easy and easy, because foreigners like to challenge and excitement, and some even use life “Playing”, this makes people feel a little nervous. Before getting on the ice, everyone puts on a non-slip cover with “nails” on their shoes, otherwise they can’t stand on the ice and can’t walk. The leader is a “very man” woman, with a group of people from all over the world who love nature, and started to climb step by step. The most unique experience of this trip began.

The weather was very cold, and there was a thick sweater inside the jacket. It shivered at first, and slowly warmed up as it crawled. In the process of climbing, I saw a large wheeled car passing by in the distance, and I felt that walking on the ice might be more suitable for me. This is a physical and intellectual journey-when we hiked, we learned about the formation of different glaciers and global warming, and everyone present was shocked by the rapid melting of the glaciers.

The Columbia Ice Sheet is the world’s largest ice relic outside the Arctic Circle. Due to the high density of ice in the glacier, sunlight cannot be refracted, and it will present a crystal clear blue light, which is very magnificent under a clear sky. From this, the snowmelt flows to the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Arctic Sea. It is a natural treasure formed after four ice ages. Because of the squeeze of gravity, a snow track that slides from the bottom of the ice sheet to the slope, it carries heavy materials such as ice, snow and rocks, so the flow rate is very slow.

For this hike, I learned a lot about the history of the glacier, as well as scientific data and photos. Glaciers are not just flat ice fields. They have their own topography, rivers, and fissures. Because of melting and movement, nothing can stay the same for long.

This ice walk completely exceeded our expectations. Because there are only 3 hours, we can’t go too far. Fortunately, there is a good team leader. In addition to explaining the formation of the glacier in detail, he also answered all our questions and reminded us to keep up with the team to ensure everyone’s safety. We saw the stunning ice cave entrance, surprisingly blue! There is also flowing water, too blue to believe it! The tour guide asked us to observe the characteristics of the glacier up close and took out some ice sledges to pry off some ice blocks, so that everyone could feel the glacier in their hands. The feeling was really amazing and made me love the ice sheet even more. , I want to do my best to protect it!

Check in each lake area on the return journey
After the 3-hour hike, we returned to the service center, and the hot pizza was lunch. Then on the way back, it started to rain again.

Lake Louise is a must-see. It was still raining, and I was lucky to find a parking space in the small parking lot, so I repeatedly suggested: Go out early. Lake Louise has become the most visited attraction in Banff due to the echoes of mountains, glaciers, lakes and hotels. This is also the most popular photography location for photographers. The rainy Lake Louise braved its fairy air, and it was as clear as a pearl surrounded by dense forests, icy muscles and bones, super dusty and refined. In the distance is the beautiful and graceful Mount Victoria, surrounded by clouds and mist, forming a perfect landscape photo.

Lake Louise is derived from the Victoria Glacier, the lake is green and clear, and it looks like an emerald inlaid in the Rocky Mountains from a distance. The lake is extremely cold, boating on it, and looking at the snow and ice of Mount Victoria, it is magnificent. After walking along the lake for a while, I walked to the service counter of the boating center and looked at the price list. The price of 95 Canadian dollars/half hour and 105 Canadian dollars/hour made me discouraged. There is also accommodation. Right next to the lake is the most famous Fairmont Hotel. I wanted to book a night a few times before I left, but the price of more than $600 made me feel uncomfortable, so I can only look at it with regret.

Moraine Lake is located in the famous Ten Peaks Valley. Moraine Lake, formed by the melting water of glaciers, is recognized as the most photographed lake in the world. The surface of the lake is sapphire blue, like a bright pearl. The bottom of the lake is full of mineral-rich gravel, and the turquoise blue water of the lake is formed over the years of deposition. Standing by the lake, you can see the Rocky Mountains in the distance.

Grassi Lake is something I haven’t seen in other people’s travel notes, and I haven’t found some detailed information about this lake in the guide, but a friend came to this lake 2 years ago and highly recommended it here. Small but very beautiful. Follow the route given by the GPS to a simple parking lot with a “bear infestation” notice on the side. The family risked being pounced by the “blind bear” and began to climb up the mountain road.

The journey is divided into “difficult” and “easy” routes. Undoubtedly, we chose “easy”. Visitors from the mountain told us that it takes about 15 minutes to walk, but because it keeps rising, the small gravel road is bumpy and the road conditions are constantly changing, so counting the time, it takes about 25 minutes to climb to the top of the mountain. Some squirrels and birds passed by us along the road. My husband asked us to speak loudly and give the blind bears a reminder-the bear will walk far when hearing a sound and will not actively attack humans. If there is a bear, it will hit a rock And shouted with all his strength. This scared me to tremble along the way.

Finally climbed to the top of the mountain without incident. It was already 7 o’clock in the afternoon, and the sun began to set slowly. Standing on the top of the mountain, I could see the small town in the distance. As my friend said, the lake is small but beautiful. The upper and lower lakes are about the same size. In the afterglow of the setting sun, the colorful lakes are reminiscent of Wucai Lake in Jiuzhaigou. There are a total of seven or eight people on the lake. Because the lake is very small and has no other facilities, everyone throws pebbles by the lake and enjoys the tranquility here, as if it is a paradise.

The most unique scenery in Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park was built in 1886 and covers an area of ​​1310 square kilometers. It is located on the right wing of the Rocky Mountains. The park has Canada’s highest waterfall wonders, world-class fossil sites and stunning natural terrain landscapes, as well as Banff and Jass. Pertong is listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. This park may be less famous, but it provides camping, skiing, mountain climbing, fishing and other wild activities, but it is a great choice for people to escape the civilized jungle. “YOHO” is the amazement of the Indians. The rising gables and rushing waterfalls in Yoho National Park are so impressive that the park was named.

The formation process of the famous natural bridge is also really amazing: the galloping Kiima River flows here and encounters limestone. The water originally flowed through the stone block and crossed the instant waterfall, but the waterfall washed the stone below a hole, and now the river water After all flowed through this hole, the waterfall disappeared, and the exposed stone crossed the river like a bridge. After the river crossed the bridge, it immediately became calm. The natural bridge is the only way to enter and exit the Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake is also called Emerald Lake, and it can definitely stand up to this resounding name. The lake water looks like a powder blue mixed with milk under the sun, and it gives people a very cool feeling. The snow-capped mountains and forests on the shore are like a fairyland, and the beauty is breathtaking.

Emerald Lake is the largest lake in Yoho National Park. The bottom of this lake is made of glacial stones. It covers an area of ​​slightly more than 1 square kilometer and the depth of water is only 28 meters. Compared with Lake Louise and Lake Maligne, Emerald Lake seems more poetic. Boats can be rented in summer and sleds can be rented in winter. Different seasons have different beauty. At least the price of boating is 60 Canadian dollars per hour, which is much more cost-effective compared to Lake Louise.

Rafting on the emerald lake, looking from a distance, the lake level is as quiet as an emerald mirror, and it is unreal green. Tall trees are reflected on both sides of the lake, and the emerald green water and forest surrounding the lake reflect each other, fascinated by the silence and unique beauty. The wooden bridge by the lake leads to the hotel and cafe. The reflection of the wooden bridge is clearly visible. Although it is rainy and cloudy, it is still charming. The picturesque lake is filled with mysterious emerald green, which is intoxicating.

Reluctant to leave, want to get drunk in this emerald green.

There must be a lot of people like me. Maybe because of a photo, an article, or a movie, the impulse to leave is sprouted. Maybe after experiencing the joy of expectation, reality and ideals are different, but When you look back, every step is a worthwhile trip that you have taken seriously. The first time I hiked on a glacier, the first time I saw a brown bear strolling along the side of the road, and the first time I was rowing a boat in such a green lake… It seemed ordinary, but it had a different meaning to me.

The roads I have walked, the scenery I have seen, the people I have met, and the emerald green of Emerald Lake are all collected into memories, bringing brilliant brilliance to life, so that the past time is not wasted, and it also inspires the rest. This is the color of travel.

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