It is a gorgeous warm day when my son, the dog and me hop in the car for our outing to the Takakkaw Falls in Yoho Park, British Columbia. There is so much to explore in this part of the Rocky Mountains, that we make several stops on the way. We take the Hwy 1A, on the Bow Valley Parkway, towards Lake Louise. This road is a pleasure to drive, with picnic areas along rivers and streams and the beautiful view on Castle Mountain Rock.
At Lake Louise we make a short stop. It is crowded with people and a problem to park your car, but my inventive son finds a way to get his enormous truck parked at the Fairmont hotel and from here it is a quick walk to the stunning lake. One and half-year ago, I have seen the lake covered with ice and surrounded by impressive ice sculptures. This time it is a totally different scenery, with people boating on the calm waters, but still with the sight of the Victoria Glacier at the far end of the lake and the contrast of the white mountain with the intensive blue of the waters is dramatic.
In February we were with a handful of people admiring the lake, but now in September, the amount of tourists is a bit overwhelming. I think I preferred the winter time, with the stillness of the surroundings.
We try to visit Lake Moraine, situated 15 km from Lake Louise and also known as the Jewel of the Rockies, but due to too many visitors we are not allowed to drive our own car. The road is closed and people have to take the shuttle bus for a visit to the lake. We decide to visit another time, earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon.
From Lake Louise we follow the Trans Canada Highway to the Kicking Horse Pass, where we make a stop to have a look at the Spiral Tunnels. This is a historic site, where you can see how the train track is lingering like a snake through the tunnels on different levels of the mountains. In the course of the years, they had to change the track, as the elevation was first too much to keep the train steady on the rails. We are lucky that just at this moment a train is passing by and you can see the front disappearing in one of the tunnels, while the end of the train is still down the mountain track.
Soon we arrive at Yoho Park and follow a small road with an extremely sharp bend (my son has to go back and forwards to get his truck around the corner!) until we reach the Takakkaw Falls. The landscape is amazing, so beautiful! It is a short hike from the parking place to the Falls and the dog is having a great time, standing with its feet in the (ice-cold) river. There are more waterfalls on walking distance, but we have to get back to Banff on time. Ah well, there is always a next time!