Sunday evening we drove to Lake Louise Village in Baniff National Park and went into the Visitor Center. There we were informed that all campsites were taken but they do have an overflow camping area three miles from the Visitor Center. Overflow camping is free and is nothing to write home about but we parked way in the back and it was quiet which is what we wanted since we almost always camp late in the day and are out early in the morning.
Bought gas in the town of Jasper before we started sightseeing yesterday. Gas was $4.53/gal. regular.
Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls–
Spent a good part of the day Sunday at the Athabasca Falls. It was raining with thunder and lightening but we couldn’t resist and walked all around the area. The falls are beautiful and very powerful. There are easy paths that lead to the upper and lower part of the falls as well as across to the other side with lots of viewing platforms. The hard, mostly quartz rock has been thoroughly worn away forming a narrow canyon resulting in a spectacular, thundering of the river rushing down the canyon and crashing to the bottom. A sight we will long remember.
The Sunwapta Falls flow into a limestone gorge and here, too, the falls are a spectacle to see. The carved, smoothed rock of each of the canyons at both the Athabasca and Sunwapta Falls, with all the layers of rock exposed, is a visual treat.
Jasper National Park to Banff National Park–
The rest of the day was spent driving the Icefields Highway from Jasper National Park to Lake Louise Village in Banff National Park. I think we stopped at just about every view spot along the way. In the Icefields Area, there are easy to spot glaciers of various sizes. The largest is the Columbian Icefield that contains the Athabasca Glacier. With an area of about 122 square miles it is simply huge and is the largest in the Rocky Mountains. The glaciers, large and small can be seen from the road or view sites with some of the telltale blue color showing. Additionally, the rugged mountains are a beautiful sight and after the rain the sun was out intermittently for the rest of the day.