Up on the Ridge
On Wednesday, we packed things up and headed to Banff. On our way we saw many wonderful sights, beginning with a black bear in the woods on the way to Athabasca Falls. Athabasca is a huge, raging waterfall, and we spent at least a half hour there taking pictures and just marveling at it.
Making our way down the road, we stopped a couple of times to check out a scenic vista or take pictures of smaller waterfalls. Eventually, we made it to the visitor center for the Columbia Icefields. We decided not to take the hike or pay the price to ride in a big snow machine out onto the icefields, as our B&B host (Doug) had discouraged it, and instead recommended several great hikes around that area. He suggested hiking "Wilcox Pass," "Nigel Pass," and "Parker Ridge." We didn't have the time (or energy) to do them all, so we opted for Parker Ridge.
The hike up to Parker Ridge was probably our favorite hike of the whole trip. It was 5K long, traversing back and forth up the side of a mountain. The trail was nice, the wildflowers and trees beautiful, and the view over the ridge at the top...OH MY!! Breathtaking. Words can't describe. Other areas along that stretch of highway which were recommended, but which we never made it to were the "Bow Summit" area, including Bow Lake, Bow Glacier, and Bow Glacier Falls. We'll have to save those for our next Canadian Rockies vacation.
We arrived in Banff and checked into the Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast. It was a nice place and very conveniently located right in town. That evening, we walked into town and found a decent pizza place (Athena Pizza and Spaghetti House) for supper.