JOHNSTON CANYON BANFF

 

My blog entries on Banff are a bit scattered. One of the best hikes that we took while in Banff National Park was Johnston Canyon. It was an overcast day, but we were up for it. Judging by the parking lot, it is a popular hike.

You have a few choices on this hike, a 1.1 km hike to the lower falls, a 2.6 km hike to the upper falls or a rather rigorous 5.6 km hike to the Ink Pots. We chose to go all the way.

2010 07 Johnson Canyon  (35)

It is a beautiful climb.

2010 07 Johnson Canyon  (3)

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The inkpots at the end of the climb are not really that magnificent, but interesting. Seven mineral springs that bubble and swirl non-stop in big pools.

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But the view of the valley at the top is spectacular.

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Of course, the water is cold and the purest you can get.

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After leaving the canyon we happened upon a herd of sheep trotting down the road, unperturbed by the cars all around them.

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A great day out.

SULPHUR MOUNTAIN II – BANFF

 

At the top of the mountain you get a moments enjoyment. You look around and enjoy the spectacular views as it dawns upon you that you are not at the top yet.

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At the gondola exit is a tea house and various tourist booths. While we were there we were able to watch how they get supplies to the top of mountain.

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I am always amazed at where a tree can grow.

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Spectacular.

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The true top.

 2010 07 Sulphur Mtn Banff  (100 of 105)

SULPHUR MOUNTAIN: BANFF

 

As part of our Banff trip we hiked Sulphur Mountain. It is one of the Top 10 things to do in Banff. Most people take the gondola up, enjoy the view and take the gondola down. It is not for the faint of heart …. 6.1KM to the peak and a 2,292 ft (698m) vertical climb.

A few hours climbing with amazing views along the way. The sign at the bottom, near the hot springs lets you know what you are signing up for.

2010 07 Sulphur Mtn Banff  (3 of 105)

The path zig zags the way up to the summit. Of course, there are suggestions to stay on the trail. Especially in certain areas.

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Above .. and below .. are people enjoying the gondola ride up.

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It is a long way down ….

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Roughly half way up, off the trail is a small waterfall with the clearest, coldest and purest of water.

 

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This picture from the waterfall gives you an idea of how steep the climb is (we were climbing on the left).

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Neat to see snow in July, tucked into a corner, feeding the waterfall.

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And of course, there were others on the trail.

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These little critters are very smart. They know that tourists are just dying to give them a nut or two.

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And after a long climb, we crested the top …. and the view is worth the hike.

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BANFF – Part I

 

I am way behind on posting about our summer adventure to my home province, Alberta. It is interesting how living in a country sort of ‘numbs’ you to the wonder of that country or gives you that attitude of ‘I will get there eventually’. I remember my English friends saying ‘I think you have seen more of the UK than I have’.

Which is why we are trying to get out and see Canada. Montreal last year, Banff and Calgary this year.

You land in Calgary and it is a short drive into the Rockies and Banff. It has been a very long time since I have been there (20+ years) and I have to admit, driving into Banff National Park is awe inspiring. It is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.

2010 07 Sulphur Mtn Banff  (102 of 105)

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The rivers and lakes are the clearest, purest, most vibrant colors I have ever seen, straight from glaciers millions of years old.

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The town of Banff itself is nestled among the mountains with wildlife everywhere. A walk down the path is a lot different than one in the city. A few elk and deer were lazing around in the forest, simply watching the people go by ….

07 2010 Exploring Banff  (7)

Look carefully and you will see the most interesting of trees, with unique natural growth.

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At the center of town is the Banff park headquarters, a beautiful building built in the 1930’s. I was recently speaking with a fellow who spent many happy years working there. He mentioned that if you go into the archives, you will find journey books from years ago and notes from the park wardens, all carefully maintained. Only recently did they realize that there is a 4th floor in the building .. it had been boarded up. A few other notable highlights are mentioned here.

07 2010 Exploring Banff  (2)

A breathtakingly beautiful town.

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