Road trips are one of the best past times of mine. They can give that feeling of spontaneity and adventure that our souls yearn for. Being in Calgary at the moment, and so close to Yoho & Banff National parks, it only makes sense to get out there and enjoy them as much as possible. Both parks offer unparalleled beauty. With lush forests, you have plenty of opportunity to see wildlife, while also enjoying the mountains, and stunning scenic views all around you. When you stop outside of your vehicle you get the intoxicating aroma of pure nature. It’s all nothing less than absolutely wonderful. Of course I prefer taking my time on my adventures, but sometimes you just ain’t got it.
Fortunately, if you only have a day to drive through the Yoho & Banff National parks, you can see a few sights that will be hard to compare to, and in a leisurely fashion. It is also quite easy to keep it inexpensive. You will need your park pass for the day, which is about $10 per person, gas in your car, and snacks if you don’t want to eat out. Fancy a picnic surrounded by raw nature?! Well here is your chance. Just be sure to clean up after yourself so you don’t attract or harm animals and their delicate eco-systems. Being out in nature is my happy place. That’s for darn sure.
So if you are taking a day to cruise through these stunning parks, and want to see some incredible sights, then here are my top 3 picks.
1 – Emerald Lake
It’s surrounded by some of the most impressive peaks that the Rockies have on offer.
When the sun is shining, the lake lights up and becomes a bright emerald green(hence the name). Here you can canoe, hike, cross country ski, camp, picnic, or stay in a lodge and enjoy the pristine surroundings with that special someone if you want a romantic getaway. It is a great place to spot wildlife, and if your partial to a cold dip, then a chilly swim may be right up your alley.
You can even just sit and lose yourself while taking it all in.
There is a restaurant with a great little patio, and all the rental amenities that you could need.
There is no cell service so the pay phone really does come in handy. It’s great and refreshing to disconnect from the world sometimes.
2. Takakkaw Falls
Having a free fall of 254 meters(same height as the bungy jump I did in South Africa), they stand to be one of the highest waterfalls in Canada.
You can walk right up close to them, and feel the powerful energy, and super wet mist. Something about waterfalls is so majestic. They feel so raw, and fierce. Especially waterfalls of this measure. When you get so close to them, you can truly feel their power. There is also a campground right in the area if you fancy a sleepover. What ever the case may be, if you want to be pounding of the falls hitting the earth, and get drenched in mist, then this is a must see.
While you are in the area, I highly recommend to stop and hug a tree. Trust me, it’s good for you.
3. Peyto Lake
Located on the Alberta side in Banff National Park near to Lake Louise, about 25 kms towards Jasper, and not a far drive away at all from the Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls, you will find one of the most magical places I have ever seen in my life. Peyto Lake.
I had no idea what to expect when I first got there, I just knew I was told I had to go. With a short hike up the snowy peaks to the Bow summit where you get the best view, there she was, in all her glory.
Due to the large amounts of glacier rock flour that flow into the lake, it is the suspended rock particles that give the lake its bright turquoise color. With that and the surrounding mountain peaks, it is a grand feast for the eyes. I could sit there all darn day and just bask in it.
Each one of these places are so unbelievably amazing, they will continue to blow you away one by one. If you want a day of epic proportion, and you just need break away from it all and feel mother nature at her absolute finest, or perhaps your only in the area for a very short period of time, then be sure to check each of these destinations off your bucket list. After appreciating these three enchanting places you will feel on a natural high, that will ignite that fire deep inside yours soul.