We took a full day to explore Banff area and we LOVED it! We were a bit limited on activities because we had the dogs with us but we still got to see quite a bit.
We didn’t want to miss out on the famed Lake Louise while visiting Banff, so we headed out mid-day to explore it. As we approached our destination, lit road signs announced the parking lot at Lake Louise was full. We drove on, regardless. When the chateau appeared in sight, we were waved around and out of there by park employees. Bummer.
We drove to the ski area where the gondola station was and David asked outside the lodge about the best ways to get to see Lake Louise, especially with dogs. A kind soul told him the secret: go really early in the morning or around 8 pm, when people generally want to go have dinner elsewhere.
We drove off and decided to take Bow Valley Parkway instead of Canada 1 back to Banff. Great decision! The road meandered gently, offering beautiful views of the river down below, and even a glimpse of a black bear.
In Banff, we stopped at the grocery store to purchase some supplies. I’ve had my mind set on having a bison stake, so that’s what we had for dinner. For a healthy side, I prepared an arugula salad with fresh apples, shaved Parmesan, and a light dressing of mild Laconiko olive oil and pear balsamic vinegar. Yum!
Even if it was tempting to just stay put, we followed through with our plan and headed out to see Lake Louise. Sure enough, we found a parking spot, unloaded the dogs and proceeded to walk toward the lake. We asked two lovely young ladies about the best views and they advised us to walk around the lake and away from the crowds. But for the best views, Lake Moraine was not to be missed.
Lake Louise was surely pretty, with its calm seafoam blue water and an icy mountain marking the background. Blue and orange canoes floated gently on its surface, while posh people enjoyed a fancy drink by the fire in the beautiful garden of the chateau. After the mandatory photos were taken, we walked briskly to our car so we could make it in time to see Lake Moraine. I knew that the sun set later but I still wanted to have the best light for photos (which turns out to be around 8:30 to 9pm).
Our fellow travelers were right: Lake Moraine should NOT be missed! The cold rain pouring down might have scared many away but had a feeling that it wouldn’t last. The lake didn’t disappoint. I’ve never seen a lake so blue! I was mesmerized. We walked along its wooded bank, gawking at the pristine water, impressed by the greatness of the massive rock walls jutting from the water, admiring the glacier mountain in the distance. The rain stopped and the photos poured.
We walked up a steep incline to the top of rocks overlooking the lake only to take in once again the blue splendor of the view.
As we descended, daylight finally starting to fade, we saw a critter stirring among the rocks near the path. A cute local mouse-like creature (a pika) busied about, gathering grass to fluff its nest, unbothered by us, humans. What a treat to see it and what a lovely ending of our visit to Lake Moraine!
I absolutely loved this day! The lakes were magnificent and a reminder of nature’s power and beauty!