Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Banff National Park: Continental Divide to Lake Louise

Visita Lake
After leaving Kootenay National Park, I started looking for a camping site while taking pictures. The Canadian’s Parks do mark their campgrounds but I had trouble finding them.  My first stop was about 2 kilometers into Banff at Visita Lake Stop Viewpoint.  The lake is a beautiful greenish blue from the glacier's silt.  I shot many pictures of mountains with glaciers but I could not identify any of them.

Visita Lake Stop: View of the Mountains along the Continental Divide
I then drove on to Castle Junction, found a place to stop and take close up of Castle Mountain (I also saw them referenced as Castle Cliffs).  For a short period after World War II the Canadian government renamed Castle Mountain after General Eisenhower in honor of his service during the War.  The names was changed back but the first peak on the mountain is still named after General Eisenhower.

South end of Castle Mountain: Eisenhower Peak is to the left and named after General Eisenhower.
Castle Mountain peaks right to left: Eisenhower peak on right edge, Brewer Buttress peak, Base Buttress, Cairn Summit and the dip is called Descent Gully.
I kept moving north toward Lake Louis with no luck in finding a campsite.  Storm Mountain Viewpoint was the next stop. 

Storm Mountain and Bow River in the lower left corner.
Storm Mountain Outlook: Another beautiful view of more mountains with the Bow River in the foreground.
There was one campsite between Storm Mountain and Lake Louis but I must have missed the signed.  I stopped at Outlet Creek Viewpoint and admired the view.  If you are a railroad buff you can get a good view of Morant's Curve.  This S-shaped curve was made famous by Photographer Nicholas Morant for his pictures of trains on this curve.

Outlet Creek Outlook:  You can see a small section of Morant's Curve in the right corner.  Fairview Mountain on right edge.  Saddle Mountain is the closes.  Mount Whyte between Fairmount and Saddle.  Mount Arberdeen the large one in the center.  I am not sure about the mountain on the left, it might be Mount Temple.
After taking more pictures I was hoping to end my trip in Lake Louise campgrounds but was flagged down by people standing outside their cars watching a grizzly on the roadside.  I stop and got a very poor picture of the bear.  There was no way I was getting out of my car for a better shot. In an email I wrote my brother and sister about the bear and people below: 
  • I know you asked me to take pictures of the animals in the Park. So far I seen two eagles in a dead tree, a deer (I think), and a grizzly bear. The first two were scared away before I could take any pictures. I did get some grizzly bear shoots but none you want to paint. The real pictures I should have taken were of the people and how they behave when try to get a picture of the bear. People were getting out of their cars walking too close to the bear and the cars were blocking the highway so no one could get through. The bear was only interested in eating what he found in the grass and just wanted to put the fat on before winter. He finally reared up warning the people to back off. I am surprise no one got hurt since they were acting so stupid. Soon after that the car that was blocking me in moved so I could keep moving toward Lake Louis.

A Grizzly Bear: The large hump on its back identifies this bear as a grizzly.

Finally the people and cars moved out of my way so I could keep traveling to the campsite.  I turned into Lake Louise Village not long after seeing the bear and try to find the campsite.  I pasted the campsite entrance and ended up at the lake's parking lot and walked around thinking the campsite might be nearby.  The lake is very crowded late the evening.  I turn around heading back toward the village and then made a wrong turn in the Valley of the Ten Peak.  I found a section wide enough to make a u-turn but would not recommend anyone else doing it.  When I finally found the campground it was filled and needed to find a motel room for the night. 

3rd Floor view from my room at Lake Louise Inn.  Mountain names left to right: Mount Temple, Saddle Mountain, Sheol Mountain behind and to the right of Saddle, and Fairview Mountain.
Lake Louis Inn View
I pulled into a motel expecting to be told they were all filled up but I got lucky the person at the desk could not believe the 3rd floor in one of the buildings was empty.  That night I slay at Lake Louise Inn.  The building I slay in had no elevator but I was happy just to have a place to sleep.  The views from the 3rd floor were just something else and what a bonus.

Mount Hector from Lake Louise Inn

The next day, July 6, was a busy and wonderful day.  I made the decision that I was going to stop and hike some short trails.  I took way too many pictures of mountains, waterfalls and many different types of animals.  I only traveling from Lake Louise to Jasper and that will be the next adventure to write about.

Victoria Glacier from the 3rd floor of Lake Louise Inn

Closeup of Saddle Mountain (left), Sheol Mountain and Fairview Mountain (right edge) from Lake Louise Inn.

No comments:

Post a Comment