Sunday, September 29, 2019

Exploring Banff - Part III

Our last day spent in Banff was incredible. For the first time since arriving, we had truly perfect weather. It was sunny and seventy degrees, which was just what we needed. Not only that, but we saw one of the most photographed places in Banff and it did not disappoint. All the details of our day spent on Lake Moraine are below.

(If you missed the fun from our first three days, click here and here.)


OUR DAY 4 ITINERARY

LAKE MORAINE
Look at this water! The turquoise color was incredible! We joked that it looked like a giant pool of blue Gatorade.

CANOEING ON THE LAKE
Something I constantly saw photos of was canoeing on the lake. We knew it was something we wanted to do and it was just as magical as it looked. We had the rental for a little over an hour, which was enough time to canoe the length of the lake, plus sit and enjoy our surroundings.

ROCKPILE TRAIL
Our first hike after lunch had the best view of the lake. It was a short trail up to the top of natural rock formations, leading to a lookout. We took in the view (and had a mini photoshoot).

CONSOLATION LAKES TRAIL
This hike was recommended to us by a worker at our lunch spot. It involved a lot of climbing up and over rocks, which was challenging and required a lot of balance. It was tricky, but worth it. Before heading back, we sat on one of the bigger rocks with our feet in the water.

NIGHT OUT IN DOWNTOWN BANFF
To celebrate our last true night altogether, we decided to go out. We started with mojitos and dinner at Eddie Burger, then decided to go to High Rollers. Our initial plan was to go in for a couple drinks, but I convinced them to play a round of bowling. It ended up being so much fun that we kept playing for many hours. Our night ended dancing at the bowling alley to some of our favorite songs.

My Banff trip was one of my favorites I've ever been on. I've never seen beauty like that. I'll always remember the true turquoise color of the water, the snow-capped mountains, and unique hiking trails. Not only that, but I had such a wonderful time with my friends. It was the last trip the four of us would take together before two of them moved out of state. It was a perfect way to send our best friends into new seasons of life. I can't wait to plan more trips and explore this beautiful world we live in.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Exploring Banff - Part II

I am officially back from my trip to New England and can't wait to continue sharing my Banff adventure with you. Our third day was jam-packed with activities. We completed a ten-mile hike, soared over the national park, and had a fabulous dinner. See below for all the details.

(If you missed what we did on days one and two, click here.)


OUR DAY 3 ITINERARY

JOHNSTON CANYONS
When planning our trip, I read that this was the best time of year to visit Johnston Canyons, as the water was in its most colorful state. We woke up nice and early to avoid the crowds, which I would highly recommend. The first part of our hike was filled with beautiful scenery. We were surrounded by hundreds of trees, canyon rocks, and blue creeks.

UPPER FALLS
We decided to see the Upper Falls first, with plans of hitting the Lower Falls on our way back. Pro tip: don't do that. ;) By the time we were hiking down, the line to see to Lower Falls was insane. We ended up not seeing it, which was a real bummer. Thankfully, the Upper Falls were amazing. The water had hints of aqua that you could see from their two lookout points.

INK POTS
The hike to the Upper Falls didn't take as long as we expected, so decided to add the Ink Pots to our itinerary. We hiked through so much mud to get up there! When we arrived, we were a little confused. Our Google search led us to believe we'd end up inside a cave, looking at vibrant water. What we saw instead were seven small pools of aqua-green mineral springs. While it wasn't what we were expecting, it was still beautiful. It was also a lot longer than we thought - round trip we hiked ten miles!

BANFF GONDOLA
To get to our dinner location, we needed to take the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain. We were in the clouds, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. It was a quick trip up to the top, filled with incredible views.

GONDOLA SUMMIT
At the end of the gondola is Sulphur Mountain's Summit, which has 360-degree views of Banff National Park. I would highly recommend spending time at the top - you really can't beat these views.

SKY BISTRO
What an amazing place to have dinner. The restaurant is floor-to-cieling windows, giving you the perfect dinner backdrop. Not only did Sky Bistro have a great view, it also had phenomenal food. We were all thoroughly impressed with our meals, as well as our espresso martinis. 

Our third night was one of my favorites. The girls and I spent hours just talking and laughing, enjoying quality time together. 

Our last day in Banff was spend at Lake Morraine - one of the most beautiful bodies of water I've ever seen. Check back in a couple days to see for yourself.