Our Trip to Alaska travel blog

Flathead Lake

Glacier Campground

Fern on tree in Glacier NP

Trail of the ceders in Glacier NP

A stop along the road in Glacier NP

Into Canada and Banff

A wonderful dinner

Johnston Falls

Lake Louise

Majestic Rockies

Glacier face

Rocky cliff

Riannon & Trish - the women in distress we saved

Athabasca Glacier

New growth at Jonas Creek Campground

We arrived at Glacier Campground, in a beautiful, secluded mountain setting. The next day (Saturday) we explored Glacier Park. Logan Pass (the Going-to-the-Sun Highway) was closed because there was 30 feet of snow in this pass and avalanches were still a danger. We drove as far as Avalanche Lake where there were many people using their mountain bikes to travel the 5 miles still open to this type of vehicle. It began to rain off and on around lunch time and more steadily during the afternoon.

We rose early and drove across the border to Canada at Roosville (the smallest border crossing we have ever seen). We drove north along the west side of the Rockies to Banff which is a more scenic route. The final leg was though the Kottenay Mountains. As we entered the Banff National Park on Route 93, the gigantic, close, sheer cliffs of the Rocky Mountains that surrounded us were overwhelming.

After setting up camp at the Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court, we took a bus to town and walked around the main street. There were many gift shops and restaurants and lots of tourists since this was Victoria Day weekend. We found an elegant Canadian-French restaurant (Beaujolais) where the service and the food was spectacular. Anne had Pacific salmon wrapped in puff pastry and Tom had Elk steak. After saving room for dessert, we returned to the campsite by bus.

The next day (Monday) we took the scenic Bow Parkway to Lake Louise, stopping at Johnston Canyon Falls. Camping was at Lake Louise Trailer Court and after supper (leftovers from the Beaujolais meal last night), we drove the short distance to Lake Louise itself. This lake, named after Queen Victoria's daughter, is breathtaking. After catching our breath, we walked up and down along the shore and found even more excitement in the thawing ice that covered most of the lake.

Our pace has slowed with only a little over a hundred miles a day with many stops to soak in the beauty and majesty of the Rockies. We drove up the Icefields Parkway stopping often to take in and photograph the magnificent scenery and glaciers. As we neared the summit of Sunwapta Pass (the border between Banff and Jasper National Parks), we pulled off at a turnout to capture a photograph of the vast expanse of mountain peaks. There was a older convertible here also with its hood up and two young women looking quite distressed. There was a puddle of transmission fluid flowing on the ground under their car. One of them said that it had smoked all the way up the steep mountain pass and she was afraid she had ruined the car. Since their car could not be driven and there was no cellphone service available in this remote location, we took compassion on them and drove them to the next outpost of civilization, the Icefields Center where they could call for help. They were nice young women from further up north in Canada. They were so happy that we had stopped to offer assistance.

From the Icefields Center, the Columbia Icefields were visible and we drove to the foot of the Athabasca Glacier which has receded in the past 100 years from a point on the other side of the highway. We continued on to the small, primitive Jonas Creek Campground in a remote wilderness setting.

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