Days 42-45 – Banff

Omg Banff. Banff is possibly the most breathtaking place I have ever been in my life. Driving and walking through the park I was constantly gasping and ooooohing to myself. This scenery is DRAMATIC. I mean look at this:

Banff 1

***This is a real picture I took!***

Stella and I arrived on Wednesday and spent the day getting our bearings, planning our hikes, and setting up camp. There were an abundance of squirrels which Stella was not mad about, but I was a little mad about because they are annoying!

stella squirrel

***Stella conversing with her tree bound furry friend***

The town of Banff is interesting. There are a ton of shops and nice restaurants and hordes of people everywhere! All this set against the extra dramatic mountains and turquoise glacier lakes. It felt like nature Disneyland, which was kinda bizarre.

We had an early chill night that night in preparation for our day of hiking tomorrow. We settled on Johnston Canyon Falls – a beautiful (dog friendly!) hike along a river to some serious cascading water. Check it out:

Stella on a grate

***Stella is afraid of grates and I was afraid we had reached the end of our hike when we came to this long grate portion. But she conquered her fear and we made it across! Go Stella!***

waterfall banff

***The falls***

me and stella by the river

***hikers***

One of the great joys of Banff is just driving along the parkways. It takes forever because you literally have to stop every 30 seconds to take pictures.

mountains!

***Bow Valley Parkway***

The other awesome thing about Banff is that there are oodles of beautiful things within a few miles of each other. On our way back from our amazing waterfall hike, we took a short detour to LAKE FRIGGIN LOUISE.

me and stella lake louise

***(that sound in your head like when light breaks through clouds in a movie and you hear a chorus singing ahhhh)***

After our outdoor adventuring, we headed back through the town of Banff and a few miles outside of it to go to the nearby hotsprings. Soaking in the water and watching the sunset over the mountains was a perfect end to a beautiful day.

Friday we headed out of Banff and towards our campground at Lac le Jeune that we had reserved for the weekend. I felt mixed about leaving Banff. There is SO MUCH beauty to see, but I was also reaching a point where I was full up on seeing beautiful things by myself. I was wanting someone to point things out to and exclaim together at how awesome they were! I was feeling my trip nearing a close and was ready to be with humans again. Hopefully I will make it back again some day with another human 🙂

We took the long way out of Banff via traveling north on the Icefield Parkway. The Icefield Parkway is described as the one of the worlds best drives and it’s easy to see why. It’s lined with glaciers and turquoise lakes and rivers and although it’s a well traveled route, the layout of the road makes you feel like you’re the only person for miles.

glaciers!

***Glacier… creepin***

We said goodbye to Banff at Peyto Lake Lookout, an amazing viewpoint at the top of a 20 minute trail through wildflowers. I highly recommend this to anyone headed to the area. The vista is hidden from view until you reach the very top which adds to the sense of awe when you finally reach this:

lake!!

***Stella couldn’t look away!***

I really hope to be back there someday. There are so many incredible ways to explore that gorgeous section of the world and Stella and I barely scratched the surface. To anyone reading this – go out! Get there! It’s worth a visit in your lifetime.

Next time: lounging at Lac le Jeune.

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