Oh yeah. That’s what I’m talkin bout.
And just like that, we went from worst to best. We just wrapped up a three-night stay at this campground and it ranks in our all-time favorite places, even though it rained quite a bit. There was zero cell service too, which can have its upsides.
This part of the world is just crazy beautiful.
Almost as soon as we left the Lake Louise campground, we were back to our normal camping sweetie selves. That was what made us realize how much we were affected by the weirdness of the site and the proximity of our large neighbors. We enjoyed a spectacular ride/drive past Bow Lake to Silverhorn Creek Campground. I got there before Richard and did all the unhitching and was very pleased with All Things. I was expecting to feel a bit nervous at this stop, because of the remoteness and because of the no cell service. But neither was a downside. There were plenty of other campers to make me feel safe and it was frankly a relief to not keep trying and failing to hit decent service.
So many great sites (except 17 because bears apparently)
It is a very well done campground, with nice smooth paved roads and clean vault toilets. There is no water and no dump, but that was not a problem. The solar was fantastic, even with clouds, and our batteries are fully full. Happy face. Silverhorn Creek was running high but didn’t seem to pose a flooding danger. There is a lovely tall waterfall visible from the campground to give it extra points. Richard rolled in and we were equally elated with our change of scenery for the next three nights.
Num Ti Jah Lodge; so unique and iconic
We loved going back to Bow Lake, where we got to stay in the Num Ti Jah Lodge back on our bike tour. About all I remembered was the striking red roof and sure enough, it is still making the same welcoming and peerless impression. We hiked the Bow Falls Glacier Trail, walking by the pristine lake and the crystal clear river that feeds it. Along the way, we stopped for lunch at the foot of a big rock pile.
I mean. Come on.
I knew this was potential Pika territory and we got our wish. Pikas are incredibly well camouflaged little buggers, but once spotted they are about the cutest things ever. We spent a lot of time just watching the little guy hop around while I took pictures. He is very hard to see and looks a lot like a rock; a rock with cute round ears, a squeezably fat little body, and a facial expression that looks pretty darn happy.
Marmot so Hoary
Up ahead on the trail, after climbing some dodgy wooden steps, we spotted another creature. I didn’t know what it was until we got back and there was an exactly matching picture of a Hoary Marmot on an informational kiosk. So there we go.
Beautiful Bow Falls Glacier Trail
The river cuts through a deep canyon on its way from the falls down to the lake. We saw some people returning from the trail on the opposite bank and they just hopped across a boulder that was resting at the top of the canyon, like it was no big deal.
Way to make an impression.
Turning back, we were treated to the image of Num Ti Jah reflecting on the water. It was too cold for a paddle, but there were some brave souls out there. Bow Lake is a picture-perfect icon of the Canadian Rockies, and I was so happy to see it again.
Richard ticked off some Icefield Parkway miles by riding from the campground to the Mistaya Canyon viewpoint. I met him there and we walked down to see it. This is an impressive slot canyon, cut by raging water that pounds and smashes its way through the rock for several miles. I was nervous to see people sitting on the edges of the rocks because one slip would surely mean death. But that’s my worst-case scenario mind talking.
One more thing on my Canadian Rockies Bingo Board was to see Peyto Lake. It only really does its thing in full sunlight, but on our way past, it looked like there might be a break in the clouds. Happily, I got to see the crazy blueness in all its glory for as long as the sun peeked through. It is an unnatural shade of blue, which is explained by an informational kiosk. No filters, no photoshop, it’s just amazing. I tried zooming in to just capture the blue and it doesn’t look real in the pictures. Just wow!
While we were getting service in Lake Louise, the train came through three times.
Lastly, we pondered maybe trying again for Emerald Lake, but first we really needed to check in with the world. So, we drove back to good old Lake Louise, land of too many people, but good 5g if you park at the lodge. We caught up on work and daughter and other things internet, but by the time we were done, we were kaput. We will come back some day and explore Yoho correctly. For now, we were happy to do a little shopping and head back to Dory in her beautiful Silverhorn valley.
As a last parting gift, we got clear blue skies on our final morning. We were sad to leave this beautiful place. I tip my hat to the tent campers who made it through the rain, but we were sure pleased to have a solid roof with a propane heater. When we hitched up and headed to dump at Waterfowl Lakes campground, Richard let me know there was a bear in site 17. He specifically did not tell me that until after we were rolling, which was smart on many levels.
Bye bye! Hope to visit again some day!
I recommend this campground highly if you are doing the Banff-Jasper thing. It takes reservations and it’s hard to go wrong on any of them. I liked the ones by the river of course, and I guess avoid site 17, since that is the one with bears. I saw not a single one.
Total miles from Lake Louise: 35.9, 16.9 mpg, 2 hours 58 min with frequent stops. Site 31, very nice. Full solar. No cell at all for anyone. No dump, no water. Clean vault toilets. Lots of free firewood.