Rocky Mountains of Canada: Itinerary and Master Guide [Work In Progress]
Editor’s note: This currently unfinished article is the launch of a new series of itinerary and master guide articles which will contain links to separate articles pertaining to a particular destination as part of an effort to better organize The Gate. They will also double as an impetus for the remainder of unwritten articles to be written. Each itinerary and master guide article is a work in progress and will be completed once all of the articles have been written and posted.
Park at the Rockbound Lake trail head parking lot off Highway 1A before Castle Junction — seven minutes west of Johnston Canyon — a short distance SE of the Castle Junction highway intersection 31 kms west of Banff. Banff National Park. View of Castle Mountain by gas station.
West of Banff between Mount Norquay to the north and Cave and Basin National Historic Site to the south. View of Mount Rundle 1 and Mount Inglismaldie off in the distance.
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
South of Mount Norquay — end of the day? Trains.
DID NOT GO ON Lantern tour at 7:00 or 8:00 in the evening — 40 minutes, $10.80 per person.
Discovery Boardwalk Trail Walk along the 0.4 km Discovery Boardwalk Trail above the bathing pavilion to see the cave vent and the location of the former Hotel. View the two smaller springs bubbling from the mountainside and the pools filled with pink bacteria, white and green algae, small fish, and insects.
Marsh Boardwalk Trail (?) Explore the 0.5 km Marsh Boardwalk Trail below the building to find out more about the natural history of this area. Look for the fish and bird life that live in the wetlands below.
Sundance Trail DID NOT DO 7.4 km round trip. Enjoy a safe walk along these trails by watching for wildlife and giving them the space they need.
Marsh Loop DID NOT DO This 2.5 km Marsh Loop provides brilliant views of the mountains, and good winter birding opportunities. A series of boardwalk trails allow you to explore the unique environment of the thermal springs.
In Yoho National Park near town of Field in British Columbia 38.8 kilometers and 36 minutes from lake Louise on Trans Canada Highway 1 and right on Emerald Lake Road. Canoe rental: $45 per hour. Natural Bridge is on the way.
Quick stop at border between provinces.
Drive 1.5 hours and 14 kilometers each way from Lake Louise.
Drive 21 minutes and 21.2 kilometers from the Rockbound Lake trail head off Highway 1A; or drive two hours and 188 kilometers from Hampton Inn & Suites By Hilton Calgary- University Northwest on Trans Canada Highway.
Drive 58 minutes and 37.8 kilometers southeast on Maligne Lake Road. Medicine Lake is along the way.
Drive 21 minutes and 18.5 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway; then right on Trans Canada Highway 16 or Yellowhead Highway north for six kilometers; then right on Maligne Lake Road. The Poboktan Creek Trail may be decommissioned. View of Jasper.
Drive 17 minutes and 8.2 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway. Best to visit before 1:00 in the afternoon or after 3:00 in the afternoon. $32 per person. Book in advance: $28.80 per person. Free guided morning tours with ticket purchase at 10:15 or 10:45 in the morning.
Bighorn sheep. Bus driver mentioned mountain goats.
Drive 35 minutes and 41.9 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway.
Goat and Glaciers
Return to Columbia Icefield — Athabasca Glacier
Return to Calgary. Hinton to Calgary is five hours and 15 minutes to the Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Airport via Highways 16, 22, 624, 20, 11 and 2; or ten hours and six minutes through Icefields Parkway.
Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Airport
Highway 2 to McKnight Boulevard exit 261 — east 2.5 kilometers to McCall Way, left turn one block to Pegasus Road — right to hotel.
DID NOT DO Drive 12 minutes and 11 kilometers northwest on Icefields Parkway — including left turn on Whistlers Road for four kilometers up the mountain. $44.95 per person plus five percent GST equals $141.59 total. Open 9:00 in the morning through 8:00 in the evening. Allow two hours. Shuttle service available four times per day from Mount Robson.
Portal Lake and Yellowhead Pass
DID NOT DO In British Columbia on the way to Mount Robson. Portal Lake is on the north side of Yellowhead Highway; Yellowhead Pass is on the south side 850 meters west.