Skip to main content

Most Beautiful Road in the World

On our second day in Alberta, we traveled to Banff. We had seen beautiful pictures of the impossibly turquoise Lake Louise and of the surrounding area and so we had set our hopes pretty high for the day.

So, um, nobody told us that the lake freezes over in winter.

Our plans for a long hike around the lake shattered*, we stopped into the Chateau and perused the info pamphlets.

Oh, look, this one proclaims that The Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper is "The Most Beautiful Road in the World." Sure, why not, let's give it a spin...

Ho... ly...  Wow....

These Canadian Rockies just dwarf their US counterparts. And they go on for miles and miles. We traveled nearly two hours north from Banff and still hadn't reached their end.

I tried finding ways to visually capture the scale of these mountains. Take a look at the two-lane road going through the first panoramic shot or maybe try to find the skiers paths on the left side of the second one.

Maybe a video will help. 

Video Link

Nope. I took nearly a dozen of these windshield-cam shots, but none of them do the mountains justice.

After driving to the visitor center... sorry...  centre... near Columbia Ice Field, we learned a bit more about the mountains and glaciers in the area. Here comes the science. Just a little. It won't hurt.

The ice field towards the top of this picture is really, really deep. Three Calgary Towers (or Statues of Liberty) could fit underneath. It feeds six major glaciers around it, including Athabasca, pictured here.

If your travel budget allows (ours did not), you can take one of these bad boys out onto the glacier itself.

While at the Centre, we hugged a Mountie and asked a helpful ranger for a nearby hike suggestion.

The ranger recommended Stanley Falls. Perfect.

Video Link

We finally got our beautiful turquoise water.

Moral of the Story: Sometimes unexpected turns lead you to the most memorable places.

* The avalanche warnings didn't help either.


  1. Amazing scenery.

    I'm not sure if you two are fans of Tim Ferris but I thought of you while reading this post...

  2. Jay - thanks for the link! We do indeed like Tim Ferris and Rolf Potts as well, both of whom influenced our current situation. That post reminded me of a TED talk (that I am pretty sure I'm going to do a post about) that talks about happiness. Super interesting:

  3. Beautiful, but I'm disappointed that Jon did go brown bear on Stanley Falls and take a dip.

  4. I know, I know... I'm going to have to be more daring. My audience demands it!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I spy...

I was looking for directions on Google Maps today when I realized that Google had just added "birds-eye" views for Fort Collins. So, of course, I went to see what our home looks like. Much to my surprise, I found that Google just happened to catch us on the morning of March 29, 2012. Our moving day! So, you better think twice before deciding to run around naked in your back yard. You never know when the aerial photography plane is going to fly by!

Chickens Are Scarier Than Crows, Didn't You Know?

The garden is in!  If our Scarechicken does its job, we will soon have a nice crop of heirloom tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, green beans, basil, parsley and thyme! Huge thanks to my parents for their help getting the area ready. It was a jungle!


Yesterday, the Curious Souls decided to take the dog for a walk. We were looking for somewhere that we had not yet been before, so we chose the  Pawnee National Grassland.  There were two very short trails in the western part of the grassland near Crow Valley Recreation Area. We hiked them both in under an hour (I said very short, right?) and were left wanting more. So, eastward we went on our way to  Pawnee Buttes . Along the way, we discovered the  Cedar Creek Wind Farm  and plenty of wide open space. After the Buttes, we looked at the map and discovered that we were only about 20 miles south of Nebraska. And, to seal the deal, we noticed that just over the border was also the highest point in the state. Here we are at the aptly named Panorama Point.  While only 5,424 feet in elevation it did have some lovely, long, expansive views into the seemingly infinite plains around us. As far as either of us could remember, this is the first time we actually visited the highest