Jasper, Alberta – Canadian Rockies 2

Jasper, Alberta – Canadian Rockies 2

We headed out from Vancouver, our first time across the interior of British Colombia, on our way to Alberta. The BC interior is very big, quite mountainous, without a lot of people or towns. Lots of logging. Quite beautiful, but not pristine. Scary signs about sudden changes of weather, chaining up, avalanche zones, falling rocks, beware of bears…. Fortunately, we were traveling on bright sunny 80 degree day and proceeded without a hitch. We spent the night in Tete Jaune, BC at a lovely little motel on the Fraser River, whose owner supplied us with free pizza because the only nearby restaurant had closed for the season.

Next morning, we were off to Jasper, Alberta, a small town in the heart of Jasper National Park, where Scott purchased a polarizing filter that he had forgotten to pack – an expensive mistake but pretty much a necessity for this kind of photography.  Our first stop was Lake Maligne, a beautiful glacier-fed lake about thirty miles away through thick wilderness.  Like most  mountain lakes in the Rockies, this one is stunningly blue or green, because of the “glacial till” in the water – basically flour-sized particles of rock that have been pulverized by the glaciers that feed the lake. We took a boat ride around the lake, including the world-famous view of Spirit Island you see at the top of the page. We just missed seeing a mama bear and three of her cubs at a pond next to the road on our drive back into town.

We stayed at an inexpensive B&B in Jasper — hotel prices, even in mid-September, are very high, so this was a lucky break. Some really excellent restaurants in town – we especially liked Raven Bistro, an innovate, mid-priced bistro right downtown.

Next morning we went on a strenuous (for us, anyways) 12km hike to Cavell Meadows & Angel Glacier. Yet another chance to be gobsmacked – soaring mountains, hanging glaciers, hoary marmots, chirping little pikas, glacial terminal moraines, babbling mountain streams, you get the idea. See the slide show below for our favorite views from the hike.

Despite our exhaustion after the hike, we immediately headed south to Athabasca Falls, a thundering waterfall that has dug its only little mini-canyon.

 

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