Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer in Banff National Park - Sunshine Meadow and drive up to Peyto Lake

The following day we headed out to Sunshine Meadows.  It's a ski resort in the winter (and I'd love to come back to ski it some day), but it's a great hiking trail in the summer.  We took a bus up part of the way (saving us about 1 1/2 hrs of steep uneventful hiking) and then hiked for about 5 hours.  They claim it's the largest alpine meadow in the Canadian Rockies.  Three weeks before our arrival, they were still snow shoeing in the meadow!!  In 3 short weeks, all the snow melted and the delicate little wild flowers were bursting up everywhere!  It was a spectacular hike!!!
The start of the hike was a slow and steady incline and then it leveled off with snow capped mountain peaks in the distance

Crossing the continental divide.  It was all uphill until we got to this point and then downhill for a good long while.  It was nice to see the sign on the return since it meant all downhill from this point out!

We were loving all the green!

The first of 3 lakes on our hike ... Rock Island Lake reminded us of a mini Lake Bled (Slovenia) with a little island in the middle of the lake with snow capped mountains all around.

Rock Island Lake

A little brook along the hike...

The 2nd lake ... I was in love with all the bright greens!

Silly tree looks like a face with a great big nose...

Look out point ... stunning and I loved the little pine tree covered in pine cones!!!

Third and final lake of our hike

After the stroll around the three lakes we make a long climb up to a lookout point ... this is right at the top ... we were beat!

But it was so worth it!  You can see all three lakes we hiked around...

Absolutely stunning!

Ken enjoyed playing with our new camera on this hike.  I think it was his excuse to stop and catch his breath when he started to get tired.  We came home with tons of pictures of the wild flowers ... these are a few of my favorites.  Don't ask me what they are ...


On our way out, we passed these scraggly mountain goats along the road.  We didn't see bears, but we saw loads of chipmunks and this sweet mountain goat family that was clearly molting its winter coat.
After our ~5hr hike in Sunshine Meadows we decided to give our feet a rest and we took a drive up to Peyto Lake.  We weren't expecting all the beautiful scenery right off the road!!
View from the road

Glacier along the road ... looks like a bird's foot with 3 claws.  unfortunately the lowest portion is almost completely melted away. 

Little mountain stream along the road

Beautiful lake along the road ... we couldn't resist a stop

I mean really ... SO pretty!

We really ought to live near some mountains ... I can't get enough of them!

The color of the water and the color of the sky ... spectacular!

We finally arrived at Peyto lake and took a short hike up in order to look down on the lake which is shaped like a wolf's head.  Can you see it in the picture? 
Peyto Lake

No comments:

Post a Comment