In our house things are not always going as we planned them. There’s often something that gets in a way of our grand plans for a day trip. It can be a laundry list of things that need to be done in the house or in the garden. Sometimes it's a simple thing of making a choice where to go - Banff? Kananaskis? Or maybe Waterton?
All that happens until you have a guest in your house who has only one day in the city. All of a the sudden all the travel plans got super clear and we decided to show her some iconic places in the Banff National Park.
Before we jump into the day trip story, let us introduce you to our "old" Ukrainian friend from Montreal - Anya (red haired gal in the pictures). She was attending a conference in UofC and we had only one free day in her busy schedule for this trip. She loves nature and Banff National Park visit was in her bucket list.
Here's what we planned for one day:
As you can see there are plenty of places in the list to visit. We made it to all of them, yay!
On our way to Banff National Park, we stopped for a short pitstop at Dead Man's Flats before we got to the Cascade Ponds. It's a nice gas station/diner/motel place where you can stretch your legs, get to the washroom, grab a cup of coffee and a sandwich before you continue your trip to the park. You can't miss it, there's a huge Canadian flag at the entrance.
After our short stop it was a nice ride to our first stop in the list - Cascade Ponds. We were lucky and this time Cascade Ponds were full of water (a rare thing for a last couple of years). Anya was having a great time running around and photographing ponds and surroundings.
Right after that we moved further the road towards Lake Minnewanka and found out that Johnson Lake was open for local traffic. Again, very rare event for those who live here. This lake was closed for local traffic for a couple of years due to some fish disease. We were happy to see road opened and we drove all the way to the parking lot at Johnson Lake. We spent some time taking photos on the bridge at the lake shore and decided to move forward to our next stop - Two Jack Lake.
The Two Jack Lake has a lot to offer for a photographer. We photographed a lot of happy couples here. After normal selfies and jumping on the rocks we were just looking at the mountains reflection in water, chilling and watching peddle boarders. It is such a great place to bring your family and have a day at the lake or a picnic.
After Two Jack Lake we drove to Lake Minnewanka. It was packed with tourist buses and tons of people walking on its shores. After a brief discussion, we decided to take all the pictures from the car while driving by and went to Town of Banff.
We love Town of Banff. Its cute streets and one-two story old buildings has its own vibe that is so unique for this town. It's always packed with tourists, so it wan't exception this time as well. We were walking the streets, doing some window shopping, taking in the spring sun and all the beauty surrounding us. We found a great lunch place with an awesome variety of artisan sandwiches and soups - Wild Flour Bakery. Their combo: soup and sandwich is to die for! Highly recommend them.
We stopped briefly at the Fairmont Banff Springs to take a picture of its castle-like building. On our way out from the town we stoped for another "must have photo" - a Town of Banff sign picture.
Our last stop was at Lake Louise. It was a sunny, warm day and the lake was only partially covered in ice (it’s end of May, just for the record lol). The turquoise color of the water was absolutely majestic and attracted a lot of tourists who planted themselves at the entrance to the lake.
We took our time sitting on a deck looking at the lake and ice field, admiring the view and taking pictures. Did I mention that it was a super warm and sunny day? Right. The views of the lake were absolutely gorgeous. We decided to take a short hike along the lake shore and to check out the blue ice up close. Well, close-ish. We all had tons of fun, photographing every turn of the path.
The day went fast and after a while, we got back to our car. We had some hot tea with snacks and got back to Calgary.
It's always fun to visit these places in the Banff National Park, but it's even more fun to share those great moments with your friends.
P.S. We had a hard time narrowing down all the pictures from this day trip. Here's a selection of them. Enjoy!