Jasper National Park, in Jasper, from where we commenced our coach tour after getting off “The CANADIAN” train, is home to the highest mountain in Alberta that was established in 1930.
The “Trembling Aspen” trees seen around Jasper produce a natural sunblock. They are so named for the way their small leaves shimmer and shake in the wind, but it is their white trunk and branches that are really curious. Rub them and you’ll find a powdery film, which used on your skin provides a natural sunblock from UV rays!
Other places worth visiting in Jasper are Columbia Icefield to experience the Ice Explorer, float trip on the Athabasca River, Maligne Lake (cruise to much-photographed Spirit Island), Miligne Canyon, an opportunity to watch wildlife, and Sulphur Mountain for a Gondola ride with panoramic views of the stunning scenry and a stop at sparkling Bow Falls.
There are grocery shops in the town, where ready-made food is available at reasonable prices beside other required items. The town has restaurants, pizza shop, snack shops, chemist store and much more. Not all hotels have ironing and international multi-plug facilities, therefore, it is advisable to carry such amenities such as a iron and an international multi-plug.
Lake Louise, Banff’s National Park – A gorgeous azure and sparkling alpine lake that stretches along the snow peak mountains for 2.5 kilometres. Kayaking or paddling are some of the most popular activities in summer, while the same lake is one of the most spectacular skating rinks in the country! Lake Louise, named Lake of the Little Fishes by the Stoney Nakota First Nations people, is a glacial lake within Banff National Park in Alberta. The emerald colour of the water comes from the rock flour carried into the lake by melt-water from the glaciers that overlook the lake. The lake has a surface of 0.8 km2 and is drained through the 3 km long Louise Creek into the Bow River.
Helicopter rides give you a bird’s eye view of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The journey explores new heights, flying along the high mountain ranges, lush valleys, alpine meadows and pristine lakes. An extraordinary scenic adventure not to be missed. Flying past the Three Sisters Peaks, then escaping to the Spray Valley and the magnificent Goat Range, you can observe the radiant aqua blue/green colours of the Spray Lakes. You can enjoy the views of the Bow River on your return flight as it meanders back towards the Town of Canmore.
Drive over Kitchen Horse Pass on the Continental Divide and the YOHO NATIONAL PARK, where pre-Cambrian fossils were discovered, and GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, where recreational mountain climbing was introduced to North America a century ago were awesome as the scenery is exotic.
The cattle-ranching centre, Kamloops, a Shuswap Indian word for “meeting of the water”, in this case referring to the flowing together of the North and South Thompson rivers, is a city located in the dramatic setting of mountains, river valleys, deserts and grassland.
Kamloops is a central hub with its south central geographic location in the province connecting to Calgary, Vancouver, and the northern Cariboo-Chilcotin regions, and is easily accessible via ground transportation. The Gold Rush brought wealth and a large influx of people searching for a better life. Spring (March to May) is moderately cool with a mix of sunshine, wind and rain. Summer (June to mid-September) can reach temperatures 30+ degrees (Celsius) with the odd rainstorm and relatively low humidity. Fall (mid-September to mid-November) has beautiful warm sunny days, but colder nights and a cooler wind. Winter (December to February) is snowy and cold, yet days are mainly sunny and sometimes windy. As we travelled through the Coast Mountain Range to its majestic Pacific coastline, the vegetation changes from desert landscape to lush alpine forests.
To be continued in Part V…….