It doesn’t take long to be out of the shadows of the skyscrapers and into the farmland that surrounds Calgary. Be warned, you must buy a park pass just to drive into the park. The pass is calculated on a daily or annual basis. We are going to be in the park for a total of 16 days…Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff…so an annual pass it is.
We are climbing, the engine kicks into a lower gear and my nose is pressed against the glass. The pine tree forest on either side of the road is thinning to reveal bare, grey/blue granite walls rising thousands of feet skyward casting their shadows over the road in front of us. We are ascending into the mountain range and a new tableau is revealed. Declaring, “OMG” doesn’t begin to capture the scenery. The words magnificent, grandeur, spectacular, striking, glorious, superb, awesome, awe-inspiring, breathtaking, imposing, dazzling, stately and monumental begin to describe the Canadian Rockies.
Victoria Glacier will dominate your view until you round a corner and then its Mt. Temples’ turn…round another corner and you see Crowfoot Glacier, Mt. Thompson and Bow Glacier. The next amazing beauty is the Columbia Icefield, which is actually 8 glaciers and encompasses an area of 325 square kilometers. It is the largest ice mass south of the Arctic Circle.
Glacier Skywalk is soon sighted. We are driving on the eve of a national holiday. There are literally hundreds of tourists crawling over the glacier and skywalk…we will visit both on our way from Jasper to Lake Louise.
If you have never driven through these glorious mountains, put it on your bucket list. We have driven from Vancouver, Whistler, Lake Louise to Banff on our honeymoon fifteen years ago this month. This trip, we are driving from Calgary to Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper. The drive is decidedly different.