City of Banff and Lake Louise

Aug 7th – 11th ~ Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Red chairs near our campsite in Banff

RED CHAIR PROGRAM

Canada has strategically placed red chairs throughout their national parks. Tim spotted these two near our campground in Banff just in time to sit and enjoy a spectacular sunset.

“Visitors are encourage to seek out the ‘Red Chairs’ to enjoy these special places and to share their experience through social media and other communication channels.” ~ Parks Canada

We were ready to slow down once again, and simply veg for a few days. The drive from Calgary toward Banff, took us through more farming area where the fields were filled with freshly baled hay.

Hay all baled and ready to store for the winter

I managed to stay glued to my computer for an entire day and write several blog posts, then part of a day where we roamed around the small, but quaint town of Banff.

Banff, Alberta – The Town

The Banff sign draws a crowd for pictures

The town itself is located at the southern end of Banff National Park, and was the first town to incorporate inside of a Canadian national park. It is definitely a tourist destination which offers a wide variety of activities including multiple hiking trails, going skiing, taking a dip in the hot springs, staying at the regal Banff Springs Hotel and admiring the views from the Banff Gondola.

Downtown Banff

Things are pricey in this tourist hub! I spent a record (for me anyways) amount for a mani/pedi one afternoon, but thoroughly enjoyed visiting with my technician, Lucy, a delightful Australian living in Banff. With tip, the total came to $150 (CAD). That is triple what I would pay back home in Southern California. But I must admit that my feet felt butter soft, and I loved the information I learned about CND Shellac.

After three days on the outskirts of Banff, we drove Ellie Mae along the Trans-Canada Highway a bit further north toward Lake Louise.

The scenery is beautiful, dotted with rivers, lakes and mountains to inspire.

Just one of MANY bodies of water we passed along our drive

The air quality was fair/good on this day and better than we would see for the next several days

They even take extraordinary measures to protect their wildlife with massive arched bridges across the highway for the animals to cross from one side to the other.

Pretty cool bridge to protect the animals as they cross OVER the roadway

Our next campsite was along the Bow Valley Parkway at Protection Mountain. It was only a short drive from there to Lake Louise.

Ellie Mae and Jethro at Protection Mountain

LAKE LOUISE

Lake Louise

My parents honeymooned at Lake Louise back in 1949. I remember seeing old pictures and in my mind it has always seemed larger than life. I was excited to share this special place with Tim.

Unfortunately, we had two things going against us on this visit:

  1. British Columbia was being inundated with a record number of wildfires and the smoke from the fires not only covered BC, but had drifted into Alberta as well as neighboring Washington State. The fires had gotten so serious, that a State of Emergency had been declared, massive evacuations imposed, and roads closed. Visibility here varied from day-to-day, hour to hour, but was basically fair to poor.
  2. “Somehow” word has gotten out about just how amazingly beautiful this area is and it is now a HUGE draw for people from all over the world. If you don’t arrive early morning or late in the day, getting a parking place is extremely challenging. Tour busses arrived one after another. Frankly, I was shocked by the number of people lining the banks of the lake.

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Right on the shoreline is the stately Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise .

Chateau Lake Louise

The Chateau from across the lake. Notice the crowds on the shoreline.

Looking out at the lake from the gardens at Chateau Lake Louise

Another view of the lake with the mountains behind

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that I got to share a place that holds a special place in my heart with my hubby. My heart goes out to all of the people in British Columbia who were and are continuing to deal with the wildfires.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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37 Responses to City of Banff and Lake Louise

  1. rothpoetry says:

    Love the Canadian Rockies!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexis Rose says:

    My kids are going camping in Banff and staying at the Lake Louise campground.

    Like

  3. Camie says:

    The red chairs are such a neat idea! Love the land crossing bridge. Looks like a wonderful destination.

    Like

  4. mike alesko says:

    Banff and Lake Louise have long been high on my bucket list. Thanks for taking me there today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tippysmom2 says:

    I love the idea of the red chairs! The land crossing bridge reminds me of the blonde joke where the young blonde called her local authorities, wanting them to move the deer crossing sign because it was on such a busy stretch of the road. Surely, they could find a better place for the deer to cross the road. LOL You’re pictures are beautiful, as always. What lovely landscape you drove through and Lake Louise is awesome.

    Like

  6. Maxxtrails says:

    I’m surprised by all your pictures with blue sky, most of mine from around that time had smoke filled skies. Lake Louise is a very popular tourist destination and it is probably even busier this year because of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations which include the free access to all our national parks. The red chairs are all across Canada in National Parks, we enjoyed visiting several locations last year.

    And wow even for Canada that is a lot for a mani/pedi … glad you came out with buttery soft feet 🙂

    Like

    • We did get lucky and catch a few moments with blue skies here and there, but were so disappointed that we were unable to capture the beauty and majesty of the mountains, or catch reflections in the water. We are determined to return in the not too distant future for another visit.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. What a great spot to view sunset!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carolyn Page says:

    What a neat idea; the red chairs! It basically invites you to share, what comes across as, the majesty of the scenery. Your images certainly do it justice. The peace and calm are tangible; even though, as you wrote above, you could only catch ‘moments’. Well done; those moments are beautiful.

    Like

  9. joylennick says:

    What a great idea. Somewhere to reflect on the beauty all around us, and you’ve certainly seen plenty of that in your travels. Appreciate the many fabulous photographs which have brought what your eyes have seen into so many living rooms. Thank you…

    Like

  10. Bernadette says:

    Lake Louise is on my bucket list. Your photo was fabulous.

    Like

  11. Jim & Jane says:

    Great to see a post again, I thought there were more than enough Tim Hortons to keep you connected! Loved the pics, smoke haze is not too bad, not compared to what we had in Idaho and Oregon.

    Like

  12. Anabel Marsh says:

    I started blogging about Canada this week so I’m following in your footsteps now! We found a couple of sets of red chairs which will feature eventually. I liked the wildlife crossings too – I’m sure they are new since we last visited 10 years ago. And I’m convinced Lake Louise is much, much busier – maybe Canada 150 has boosted numbers this year? We stayed in LL Village so were able to hike to the lake itself without worrying about parking. Finally, your pics are brighter than ours, it was very smoky when we were there. I might have to resort to using pics from 10 years ago!

    Like

  13. $150 for a mani/pedi?!!! I am completely gob-smacked!
    Alison

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  14. Lake Louise is beautiful and draws crowds for a reason. Its crowds have been compared to flies on the Mona Lisa, or bumper cars along the lake shore… apt descriptions, unfortunately. But what many don’t realize is that there are so many perfect lakes in the mountains of this area. Some, admittedly, have a sweat-factor involved in getting to them, but others (like Bow Lake down the road or Lake Minnewanka closer to Banff) are pretty much drive-up-and-view lakes.

    It is neat, however, to revisit the site of your parents’ honeymoon… how incredible is that!?

    And as for those red chairs… I love that incentive that Parks Canada has built in across the country! There’s a pair of twin boys in Calgary who have made it their mission to photograph themselves with as many of them as they can find on their family’s adventures… they’re up to 70 or so now.

    Like

  15. You are so fortunate to make this trip!

    Like

  16. Pingback: Columbia Icefields, Athabasca Glacier and Glacier Skywalk | A Note From Abroad

  17. curvyroads says:

    I love the red chair idea, and this area is definitely on our bucket list! Sad to hear about the fires, it seems the whole of the Northwest was consumed this year. Your comments about the crowds will drive some research before we visit to hopefully avoid the worst of the tour buses. Ugh, what a way to ruin nature…

    Like

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