A Drive Through The Canadian Rockies

Traveling through the Canadian Rockies by car has to be one of the most awe inspiring drives in North America. From the front seat of your Mercedes you can view spectacular peaks, glaciers and rivers up close and personal.

The Icefields Parkway begins in Jasper and ends in Banff and is 144 miles of mind blowing scenery.

Being from Alaska this is very hard for me to admit.  Surely there is similar or even more awesome scenery in my state but the difference is most of it is very remote and cannot be seen from any road.

In Canada there are many roads and railroads that bisect these mountains that make for easy access and great viewing.  Train travel at the turn of the century must have really been something with several grand hotels situated in spectacular locations throughout the range.

Mosquito Creek Campground View
Mosquito Creek Campground View

At the turn of the century the well healed and VIP’s were allowed to ride through the mountain passes holding onto the cow catcher at the front of the steam engine. Oh what fun that ride must have been especially going down the 4.5% grade at Kicking Horse Pass.

Lady Agnes and Friend Ride The Cow Catcher 1897
Lady Agnes and Friend Ride The Cow Catcher 1897
I am A Sucker For Historic Railroad Art
I am A Sucker For Historic Railroad Posters

I first traveled this road in 1973 on my way to Alaska then again in the fall of 1974 Denise and I drove it on our way to Mexico in our 1958 VW van. Now 41 years later we travel it again driving in a little more luxurious mode of transport.

The Zefyr And The Cabose
The Zefyr And The Cabose
Denise Enjoys Athabaska Falls In 1974
Denise Enjoys Athabaska Falls In 1974
Athabaska Falls 2015
Athabaska Falls 2015

Since Jasper we continue bumping into our friends Elwood and Beth or maybe we are just following their good ideas. We end up crossing the divide at Kicking Horse Pass and then drive down to Radium Hot Springs where we camp with them again.

Local Pot Garden In The Woods
Local Garden Hidden In The Woods Near Radium Hot Springs
Storm Along The Icefeild Parkway
Storm Along The Icefeild Parkway

IMG_5642

We spend several nights along the parkway including one at Mosquito Creek Campground situated along the Bow River. We were the only campers there as it closed the next night….Just the way we like it! The pups ran free that evening and picked up the scent trails of many types of wildlife.

Bernese Mt. Dog Paw Print Set Into Black Bear Paw Print
Bernese Mt. Dog Paw Print Set Into A Fresh Black Bear Paw Print At Mosquito Creek Campground

The Red Chairs:

The red chairs are strategically placed in special locations within the Canadian National Parks. They are about taking time to connect with nature and with each other.

Some are easy to find, while others provide more of a challenge to get to. All of them offer a place to rest, relax, and reflect on the location you’ve discovered and the journey you took to get there.

http://www.pc.gc.ca/voyage-travel/serapprocher-connect-twitter.aspx

Marble Canyon View
Marble Canyon Red Chair View
Tim And The Pups Enjoy A Red Chair View At Marbe Canyon Kooteneys
Tim And The Pups Enjoy A Red Chair View At Marbe Canyon Kooteneys

In Banff we spent a couple of nights at the Tunnel Mt. campground perched on top of a ridge overlooking the stunning local mountains.

Again spending our evenings with Beth and Elwood, eating at an Irish pub and wine tasting at camp in the evenings was great fun.

Downtown Banff was very busy with lots of big spenders and young adventure seekers roaming the streets. I followed a mauve colored convertible Bentley plying the streets but our 1969 VW bug also garnered lots of waves and thumbs up.

Beth and Elwood In Banff
Beth and Elwood In Banff
Back Door Of Historic Banff Springs Hotel
Sneaking In To The Back Door Of Historic Banff Springs Hotel
Early Morning Light Banff Campground
Early Morning Light Banff Campground
The Taylor Family At Lake Louise
The Taylor Family At Lake Louise

And so ends our fabulous trip down the Icefields Parkway. We truly enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Canadian wilderness, hiking its mountain trails and especially traveling during its off season. 

But the real highlight was hanging with Beth and Elwood….not only were they great fun but they always had the best wine!

Don’t miss our newest video    On The Road To….

Next stop south to Waterton Lakes NP and beyond….

Keep You Posted!

6 thoughts on “A Drive Through The Canadian Rockies

  1. Hi Tim and Denise – thanks again for the great pictures and videos! I am jealous of a all the fine country you are experiencing and I am home just working and playing with my cars. That little VW must be about worn out pushing that nice MB Motorhome around – Haha!!! Gert and Joyce

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