Jasper National Park | 08.04-05.17

The morning after we drove the Parkway, we woke up and headed to Maligne Canyon, and Medicine and Maligne Lakes. Maligne Canyon is deceptively long- I think it would be awesome to go back with two vehicles and do the entire thing from top to bottom. Like everything else in Jasper, it is absolutely incredible. I was itching to get into that slot and do some rappelling!

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This canyon gets DEEP.

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I’m obsessed with the color of that water.

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This waterfall is absolutely massive. I stood in this spot for a good 10-15 minutes just ogling at it. It’s just gigantic.

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Next on the itinerary was Medicine Lake. It was a bit of a gloomy day, but wow, the clouds gave the mountains this moody quality that I was dying over. There was lots of humming of “The Misty Mountains,” which probably drove Brady crazy, but he knew who he married.

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MAJESTIC AF

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All of the “heart eyes” emojis.
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Yes, I dragged that flag all the way from Utah to take photos with. Judge away.

After that, we headed to Maligne Lake. Oh, goodness, how I wish we could have multiple days here. We’re definitely coming back and spending a couple of nights in the boat-accessed backcountry campsites. I couldn’t stop dreaming and scheming while there.

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Panorama overload.
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I legitimately do not know how people get badass road trip photos on normal roads without a] drones or b] being run over.

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This place was incredible- this contrast was not bumped up. It was really this stark and intense. There was a fire here in 2013, and it was crazy to see how much less growth has happened here than has happened in Glacier in half the time. It goes to show what a huge difference in climates there is between the two (which are about 450 miles apart).

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The next morning we slept in a bit, took showers, and headed out. We were a little disappointed to learn that the highway through Kootenay National Park was still closed (there was an enormous fire that had left the road closed pretty much the entire time we were there, mostly due to poor visibility rather than proximity to the road- we really need to stop going on road trips in August!), but the alternative route took us to a waterfall I’d been wanting to check out anyway, so my disappointment was pretty minimal. Plus, we got to drive the Icefields Parkway the whole way back, which would have made up for any disappointment!

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Those glaciers are THICK. It is honestly unbelievable.

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This part looked a lot like what I imagine Alaska looks like. Massive glacial valleys and stark landscapes with more “tundra” foliage than forest foliage. We saw a lot of signs warning about caribou crossings, but sadly we saw no caribou. I think I would probably have died of pure joy and excitement if we had, so perhaps that’s for the best!

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Ah, my boo, Dora the Explorer. I’m so proud of her. She owned it on this trip. I love that car, and it was so fun to be able to take her to some of my favorite places in the world.
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More Athabasca purdiness.

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We made a little stop at Bow Lake to stretch our legs and let the dog get some wiggles out. It was gorgeous- that lake is so vivid, it is almost beyond belief. We were pretty disappointed though, there were two dogs just running around off leash who were not particularly well behaved, and we never saw or heard an owner. At one point we heard someone whistle, which sent them running, but they promptly returned to pester Teddy (have you ever had your dog try to wrestle and play while on leash? It’s… not particularly enjoyable) and one of them pooped in the lake. I try not to be one of those judgey dog owners, but it was really frustrating- that’s the kind of behavior that gets dogs banned from the parks like they are in the US. One of the biggest perks about Canadian national parks is that dogs are allowed on most trails ON LEASH, and all it takes is one bad dog owner to ruin it for everyone else. It’s probably good that we never saw an owner, because I probably would have caused a scene chewing them out. Irresponsible dog owners upset me more quickly than almost anything else on the planet. Be a good steward of the earth, and your pets!

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In the future, we want to hike to that waterfall. It’s HUGE, you can hear the roar from the edge of the lake several miles away.

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One of the things that was most difficult to capture on the Parkway was the intense thickness of the indian paintbrush on the side of the road. I’ve never seen anything like it. In some spots it was so dense it almost looked like the side of the road was on fire. It was GORGEOUS. Photos likely wouldn’t have done it any justice, but it goes to show that there’s more than just the mountains that are pretty to look at.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow! What a beautiful park! I’ll have to add this one to my list 😀

    Like

    1. Jen Groves says:

      It is absolutely incredible!!! My jaw spent most of the time on the ground in awe. I could easily spend a lifetime there and not see everything!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel that way about many of the parks I’ve visited: Arches, Canyonlands, Denali, Yosemite… so much incredible beauty in the world!

        Like

  2. elisazaiceva says:

    Beautiful! Can’t wait to hike the skyline in July!

    Like

    1. Jen Groves says:

      It’s incredible, I wish I could spend summers there for the rest of my life.

      Like

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