As awestruck as I was in Banff (and thankful to don jeans verifying that cooler weather still exists in the world) I was not prepared for the splendor I’d experience in Lake Louise. Having done some research we learned taking a slightly different route from Banff to Lake Louise on Bow River Parkway adds barely any time but affords some spectacular scenery and better wildlife viewing opportunity. We did not see any wildlife but frankly the scenery was so mesmerizingly beautiful unless the animals jumped on our car I don’t think I would have noticed.
|En route to our lodging in Lake Louise we stopped to ride the Lake Louise Gondola. Much like the gondola in Banff it affords a loftier view of the entire area, including Lake Louise across the Bow River Valley, cradled below the glacier which feeds it. This is Grizzly bear country and we encountered several signs suggesting no feeding (my response: ‘no problem’) and to keep windows closed. At the top of the gondola are amazing vistas of the entire valley as well as an interpretive center educating on the area with focus on the Grizzly bear population, their demise and current attempts at repopulation.
Though we did not see any bears (some had been spotted earlier at the base of the gondola that morning), the stop was worth the view and education. One inspired endeavor we learned about is the animal-friendly overpass construction employed in the park. The design is exclusively to facilitate safe passage of the animals to the opposite side of the road, providing cars pass through the tunnel-like structures, the tops of which are planted with vegetation allowing animals to cross over instead of ‘across’ the road without hearing or seeing the road traffic. The design implementation has drastically cut down on car collision deaths for park animal residents.
Enjoy other Cocktails of the Canadian Rockies stops: