|Bow Lake: Solitude found on the Icefields Parkway North of Lake Louise|
Our Retreat on the Icefields Parkway
Fortunately, solitude can easily be found only half an hour away on the remote Icefields Parkway, north of Lake Louise. Based out of Hostelling International's Mosquito Creek Hostel, we spent two nights in a beautiful wilderness location far away from the craziness that is Lake Louise.
|Paradise at Mosquito Creek|
I've written lots about the Mosquito Creek hostel on this blog because I honestly believe it's one of the best places to stay as a family in the Rockies. Forget the fancy hotels, staying at a wilderness hostel is a real mountain experience, and the Mosquito Creek hostel allows you some extra privacy you won't find at many other hostels. A private cabin on site accommodates two families nicely with two bedrooms (5 beds per room), and your own kitchen/living area. Unlike most hostels, you aren't sharing cooking facilities or common space with other hostel users, and it doesn't matter how crowded the hostel gets; You can use the fireside room in the main hostel or just retreat back to your own cabin any time you want.
|Dinner in the Private Cabin at Mosquito Creek|
|The Mosquito Creek Hostel|
|Sunset over Mosquito Creek|
|Staying at Mosquito Creek is Snow Awesome!|
Day Trip to Bow Lake
It's a 15 to 20 minute drive from the hostel to reach beautiful Bow Lake. We retreated here when we grew tired of the crowds at Lake Louise and found what we were looking for - solitude, peace, and a winter wonderland all to ourselves.
|Winter Hiking at Bow Lake|
|Enjoying Winter at Bow Lake|
|Bow Lake is a great place to hike with a sled|
Playing at the Mosquito Creek Campground
The other magical thing we discovered during our stay at the Mosquito Creek Hostel was found right next door at the summer campground. A group of Scouts had been staying there overnight and built a village of snow quincies for us to play in. Thank you! We had so much fun!
|No better place to play!|
|These were some pretty sweet quincies!|
|The kids could have played in the campground ALL day.|
|Who needs a playground?!|
|We may have almost toppled this one.|
We also had fun hiking along the creek in the campground, and what child doesn't like being pulled through soft powder in a sled?
|Hiking through the Mosquito Creek Campground|
|Hiking over the frozen creek on a snow bridge|
We had the best weather we've ever had for our annual trip to Mosquito Creek and it guarantees we'll be back for more adventures next year. Lake Louise is a great place to visit, but the real magic begins on the Icefields Parkway!
|Snow Angels on Bow Lake|