Pg. 911 Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks
I have to agree with Patricia Schultz that the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper in the Canadian province of Alberta is “One of the world’s most scenic roadways.” From the town of Banff on the south end, visit the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel for a look at the incomparable Lake Louise, and then head north along the Icefields Parkway. Take the time to stop at the Columbia Icefield and hike up to a glacier where you can see how quickly it has receded over the past several decades. Though the snow is white, the glacier is turquoise, a chemical phenomenon I don’t quite understand, but it certainly makes for beautifully colored lakes all around this area.
My favorite spot in the Candaian Rockies is Jasper and its surrounding area. Much more laid back than the commercial resort of Banff, Jasper is a small town with lots of good restaurants and places to stay. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is a great place to hike around a lake and play golf, and to treat yourself to tea at the lodge. Glacier-fed Moraine Lake was as smooth as glass on the day we were there, and the quietest place I have ever been. We spoke in whispers and wished we had our moccasins.
Driving around on the well-kept park roads, especially early in the morning, you are likely to see elk, caribou, or brown bear. If the traffic is backed up to a standstill, you’ll know there has been an animal sighting, and everyone has jumped out of cars to take photos.