Friday, October 17, 2014

Another Season of Banff Awesomeness! #mybanff

We've always loved playing and exploring in Banff, but oddly enough, we had never camped much in this national park until this year.   We spent four weekends camping in Banff this summer and fall which is the most time we've ever spent camping in the same spot in one season.

June Camping at Two Jack Lakeside

Add a couple other day trips, a weekend at a wilderness hostel and another weekend spent in a backcountry lodge, and we spent a LOT of time in Banff this summer and fall season!! 15 days total I think between May and October.

Biking the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail in Banff

Our Favourite Campgrounds in Banff

Two Jack Lakeside has become our favourite lakeside campground and we grew pretty fond of Tunnel Mountain over the summer too.  We plan to spend lots of time at both again next year.

Paddling on Two Jack Lake in Banff

We loved paddling on Two Jack Lake and enjoyed our comfort camping experience in an o'TENTik.  Meanwhile, Tunnel Mountain offers prime real estate for mountain bikers and we can't wait to plan another spring biking weekend next year.

Mountain Biking on Tunnel Mountain

For more information on the campgrounds we've camped at in Banff, read my story:  The Banff Campground Review - The Good, the Bad, and the Awesome!.

And to read about our comfort camping experience at Two Jack Lakeside, check out this story:  Comfort Camping in Banff National Park - The Experience

Comfort Camping in Banff


Our Favourite Bike Rides in Banff

I can't even begin to choose our fav. trail from this summer because we spent the whole summer trying to ride every easy trail in Banff. And we liked them all!  To read about our adventures, check out these stories:

Biking the Fenland Trail in Banff

The Best Summer Adventure in Banff - Hands Down!

This one is easy!  The award for best summer adventure goes to Mount Norquay's new Via Ferrata Tour which was the highlight of my entire 2014 year so far (and that's from January!!)

On top of Mt. Norquay - after climbing my way up the Via Ferrata system

To read the full story of my experience, check out the story:  My First Via Ferrata Tour - And it was Awesome!!

Crossing the Mt. Norquay Suspension Bridge

Our Best Hike in Banff National Park this Summer/Fall Season

This one is a tie between Gibbon Pass and Parker Ridge.  We spent a weekend in September at the Hilda Creek Hostel on the Icefields Parkway and enjoyed the most fabulous day hiking across Parker Ridge to the Hilda Glacier. 

Hiking Parker Ridge on the Icefields Parkway

Later in September, we hiked into Shadow Lake Lodge for a weekend and hiked up to Gibbon Pass.  From the Pass, we climbed up to a summit on Copper Mountain.  The photo below says it all.  I mean, how many 5 year olds get to stand on a mountain like this after hiking for two days to reach the summit??

Copper Mountain above Gibbon Pass and Shadow Lake, Banff National Park

To read about our adventures at Hilda Creek, check out the story:  Moving on to Big Adventures - and the Kids Get to Come Along 

Hiking Parker Ridge above the Hilda Creek Hostel

To read about our weekend at Shadow Lake Lodge and our hike to Gibbon Pass and Copper Mountain, check out these stories:  Magical Autumn Hiking on the Bow Valley Highline Trail  and Family Backpacking in Banff National Park - No Tent Required  

Larch Trees at Gibbon Pass above Shadow Lake Lodge

The Easiest Little Adventure in Banff

We try to make it up to Sunshine Meadows at least once a year and it had been a couple years since Noah's last fall hike up here.   Time to remedy that so we spent a lovely day up at the meadows in late September and hiked around the three lakes near the Continental Divide.

Rock Isle Lake, Sunshine Meadows

This hike was quite a bit easier than some of the other crazy stuff we'd done this summer and I recommended it to many friends as an easy way to see the golden larch trees.  If you didn't get up there this year, add it to your list for next fall. And to read the full story, find it here at Sunshine Meadows - One of Canada's Top Hikes.

Hiking Across the Continental Divide at Sunshine Village

Winter is coming and we already have 8 days marked down on the calendar for Banff adventures over the next season.  Can't wait!!  Now we just need the snow to hold off and the lakes to freeze for skating season.  Freeze lakes, freeze.  Pretty please!

Another month and this will be Banff in November.

Did you spend time in Banff this summer? Leave a comment with your favourite trip, campground or experience.  We'll add it to our list for next summer.

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