trip report: Yoho National Park – Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit, August 2019

Lake O’Hara can seem so out of reach with limitations on the number of campsites and seats on the access buses. But that is just an illusion if you are willing to make the extra 7 mile road walk. That’s all it takes to bring you to the sharp peaks and emerald lakes of Lake O’Hara wonderland.

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This is the eleventh entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series covering our eleventh hike. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Banff National Park – Bow Summit Outlook & Peyto Lake, August 2019

Peak season on the Icefields Parkway can be incredibly busy and it’s understandable based on the world class views. The places you’ll feel the crowds the most are at the popular viewpoints, such as Peyto Lake and the Toe of Athabasca Glacier. It doesn’t help that these are also the stops the tour buses makes, especially the Chinese ones — I know how my people travel.

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However, this also means the crowds are gathered mostly at these outlooks and a short hike will take you to an equally impressive view without the traffic.

This is the tenth entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series covering our tenth hike. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Jasper National Park – Wilcox Pass, August 2019

Near the border of Jasper National Park and Banff National Park sits one of the crown attractions of the Icefields Parkway, Athabasca Glacier spewing off the Columbia Icefield.

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While many tourist pay to take the buses to walk on the glacier itself, the best view of the motif is across the valley at Wilcox Viewpoint.

This is the ninth entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series covering our ninth hike. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Jasper National Park – Skyline, August 2019

As foreshadowed by our hike the previous day up Bald Hill, we were in for more weather. Sometimes we get nice bluebird days, sometimes we get low clouds and gusting winds over the alpine ridge. It’s all part of the adventure on the Skyline trail.

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This is the eight entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series covering our eighth hike. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Jasper National Park – Bald Hills, August 2019

For the most of our trip into the Canadian Rockies, we were extremely lucky in regards to the weather. A sudden shift of strong winds and hail while we were scouting out the area for our next backpacking trip reminded us that we shouldn’t leave those extra layers behind.

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This is the seventh entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series covering our seventh hike. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Jasper National Park – Edith Cavell & Valley of the Five Lakes, August 2019

After hitting the trails hard to start our trip, we need a few easier days. Fortunately, part of the reason Jasper National Park is so popular and a favorite among roadtrippers is the ease to access the amazing scenery in the form of shorter day hikes.

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This is the six entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Mount Robson Provincial Park – Berg Lake & Snowbird Pass, August 2019

From an aesthetic standpoint, what makes a mountain spectacular? What makes it impressive? This is one of those questions that provides for some interesting discussion around the campfire and of course is subjective based on who you ask. For me, it’s typically not the mountain itself that makes it memorable, but the context you find them. Snow dusting, glaciers, expansive forests, teal lakes, turquoise rivers, thundering waterfalls, and big ice that contrasts the mountains providing for the perfect scenery. These features were everywhere we looked on our walk through the trails under Mount Robson (Texqakallt name: YexyexĂ©scen or striped rock), the highest point in the Canadian Rockies sitting at 12972 ft or 3954 m (wikipedia).

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This is the fifth entry and fourth hike of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Mount Assiniboine, August 2019

Mt. Assiniboine is the highest peak in the Southern Continental Range of the Canadian Rockies sitting at 11870 feet (3618 m). Its pointy pyramidal shape reminds many of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, giving it the nickname of the “Matterhorn of the Rockies.” While our previous hike of the Iceline was about the experience as a whole, this hike was the opposite. Mt. Assiniboine is well worth the end to the many miles of mediocre trails.

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This is the fourth entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Yoho National Park – Iceline & Celeste Lake loop, August 2019

Sometimes a trail is about the summit or endpoint, but the ones I’ve always enjoyed the most are the trails that’s about the whole experience. The Iceline in Yoho National Park is one of those hikes. The Iceline took us onto a bench sitting under the Presidential Range and Emerald Glacier. For there, we could see the peaks and glaciers of the Waputik Range the Yoho Valley below. Once we were off the Iceline, we were then treated with green lake and roaring waterfalls. Sure there were stretches of forest, but they served more as breaks than the main course.

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This is the third entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Kootenay National Park – The Rockwall, August 2019

Our first hike of our trip into the Canadian Rockies was The Rockwall in Kootenay National Park. If granite rock faces are your thing, you will have all you can handle on this hike and more.

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This is the second entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Canadian Rockies – decision, planning, & getting in, August 2019

Ah Lake Instagram, rather Reddit Lake, I mean Moraine Lake. The last time I visited this beautiful spot was in 2011 on a road trip, when a group of us checked out the mountains and breweries around the Pacific Northwest that eventually ended up here.

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Our joke for our drive through the Canadian Rockies was that they must sprayed LSD in the air because the colors were so unreal.

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Jared overlooking the teal Lake Louise back in 2011

I’ve meant to head back to properly explore the backcountry since then, but it seems like the rest of the world had the same idea. With the crowds, must come the permits to protect the beautiful landscape from being loved to death and effects of overcrowding. Since this current trip was planned rather last minute, the initial prospect looked like I’d have to wait to see the best and most popular spots. But with some flexibility and constant checking of the permit websites, I got to have my cake and eat it too… a big LSD filled cake.

This is the first entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series covering our pre-trip planning (1) and our travels to the Canadian Rockies (2). You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: French Polynesia – final impressions & budget, March 2019

Over the course of just over a week, we racked up a bill that rivals some of our longest trips and by far exceeded our cost per day than any we’ve done before. That’s not even counting the point redemptions used and the amount we save through the travel enthusiast game. In the end, we were indeed left with an unforgettable experience. Some of which I am good with not return to, such as the resorts on Bora Bora. While others I would love enjoy again, like the underwater wonderland at the passes on Fakarava.

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This is the conclusion of the French Polynesia trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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