By far, I think that one of the most beautiful places in the world is the Village of Lake Louise, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies. It has so much to offer … landscapes with mountains, glaciers, streams & lakes … wildlife sightings of bear, mule deer, and perhaps elk … solitude, yes, solitude in a touristy town, now that’s quite the feat!
When you visit the Canadian Rockies in the very early summer and you want to take some “just prior to sunrise shots”, you’ve got to be prepared to get up very early! LOL. We stayed in the northern end of Lake Louise and had about a 30-minute drive to our first destination, so it was early!
Moraine Lake is a glacially-fed lake within Banff National Park, just outside the boundaries of the Village of Lake Louise. When the snow melt reaches it peak, in about mid to late June, the lake turns a magnificent blue … due to the refraction of light on the rock flour suspended in the lake, much like at Peyto Lake in the earlier blog. If this view looks vaguely familiar … it should for it is hailed as one of the diamonds of Canada. In the backdrop of the actual itself is what’s called The Valley of the Ten Peaks (the mountain peaks that is). This view has been honored to be on their $20 bills in the past. It’s absolutely breathtaking!
There are several trails from the area offering different views of the beauty. The one below is from the Rockpile Trail – a short hike with a climb up onto literally a pile of rocks which offers the viewer some elevation.
There’s also another trail off to the left called the Consolation Lakes Trail. It’s much longer and a higher elevation climb and offers incredible views as well. We’ve done it in the past, but not this year. See, Moraine Lake is known for its concentration of bears and Banff NP takes bears quite seriously. Often trails are closed due to higher bear activity. Even more often precautions are in place, which include restrictions to hiking in the area. Hikers may only venture out in parties of at least four, carry bear sprays, and be no more than something like 3 feet from each other. They say … Prepare (bear spray & education) … Be Aware (watch for signs of bear activity) … Let Bears Know That You’re There (make noise to avoid a surprise). Funny, the bears are one of the reasons I’m there! LOL So we didn’t take it this year, but we did make our way around the lakeshore trail a bit. Can you imagine canoeing anywhere else??? Beauty beyond any belief!
Now in the Village of Lake Louise, there’s actually a Lake Louise. That’s where the famous hotel is located. It’s very beautiful as well, but to me, I much prefer Moraine Lake.
Just outside of that area is probably my favorite place of all … Herbert Lake. It’s incredibly beautiful, much less crowded, and a little slice of heaven on earth to me. Every, and I do mean every, time that we drove by the area, I absolutely make Tom stop there, so I could absorb in all of that beauty.
It’s not just the mountain reflections that are beautiful there … even the trees all lined up on the shore offer beauty and awe.
I literally could just stay here all day and get variations of the magnificent place. Speaking of wildlife, we saw lots of traces of bear activity there, though never ran into “Yogi” or “BooBoo”. Good thing … we were just two and had no spray … which is something we personally never carry anyway. Seriously, I don’t think that this area was part of the restriction anyway. I wouldn’t go breaking their rules anyway … I have a feeling that they’re pretty serious about it.
Not too far along the Icefields Parkway is another cool place … Crowfoot Glacier. I’m pretty sure that it’s a bit smaller than 3 years ago when I was last here. Kind of sad.
Bow Lake is also an amazing place to see. It also offers amazing reflection opportunities early in the morning or when the wind is absent.
Num-Ti-Jah Lodge is a resort nestled on the shore of Bow Lake. Quite an interesting place which offers fabulous views right outside your door. As you can see, it’s also quite isolated, which to us is a major plus!
Tom loves to play around with his macro lens and shoot some of the wildflowers we find along the way. These are a few that we saw on a hike in the wilderness, right after lunch one day.
Before we headed back to our “home away from home”, we decided to check out Peyto Lake again. Big mistake … it was so crowded with hoards of tourists all trying to get that selfie shot with the lake and mountains in the background. Ugh! Once I found my opportunity, I took my landscape shot and made a run for it. LOL. It may have been crowded, but it sure was beautiful either way.
Of course, as I mentioned earlier, I had to stop one last time at Herbert Lake … breathe, exhale, breathe, exhale, breathe, exhale … and onward back to our lodge for dinner…. and a glass of wine. 🙂
Next on tap … The Bow Valley Parkway in Banff NP. Stay tuned!
© 2014 Debbie Tubridy / http://www.tnwaphotography.com