Hector lake is a beautiful lake ,about 30 km north of lake Louise, 5 km before the Mosquito Creek Campground,the lake is fed by the Bow river and winds its way along the valley towards Banff .The lake gets its beautiful colour from the rock flower suspended in water.
There is a mountain to the left of the lake called Pulpit Peak and the mountain to the right is Crowfoot. They are part of the Waputik Range.
Driving west from Banff townsite the mountains retain a similar character until you get your first glimpses of the reddish slopes of Castle Mountain.
This grandeur represents the official start of the Main Ranges of the Rockies. It brings a sudden change in the appearance of the mountain faces. Unlike the steeply bedded slopes of the Front Ranges, Castle's layers are almost horizontal in appearance.
The name pays tribute to its castle-like appearance, typical of castellate peaks.
Since Castle Mountain's formation, it has been sculpted by the forces of nature. Weathering has helped accentuate the castellate appearance by separating the summit into several buttressed peaks. Glaciers smoothed some of the rough edges, and along the back of the mountain, carved a large bowl or cirque. Within this bowl, the blue waters of Rockbound Lake reflects the surrounding summits.
Favorite thing: We were in Banff and Jasper for seven days and the weather was different each day. I recall this morning in particular. we woke up only to find that a steady rain was falling in Banff. How discouraging. It was socked in and had all the appearances of an all day rain. We had a choice to dive back under the covers and hibernate or brace ourselves and see what the day might hold. Since we were in Canada for a limited period of time we decided to make the best of it. The weather was brisk (about 37F or 2C) and the rain was definitely cold. But by the time we were halfway up the Bow Valley Parkway the rain began to let up and I snapped this photo of the shrouded Castle Mountain. In the end we actually saw sun that day along the Icefields Parkway. My advice is to just get out there. Mountains make their own weather and you just don't know what the next hour might bring.
Favorite thing: The mountains of Banff are drop-dead gorgeous. They are not all that high (most are in the 10,000-11,000 foot range) but they are plentiful, many have hanging glaciers and given the northern latitude, the tree line is well down the slopes giving the peaks a craggy look.
Favorite thing: I remember taking this photo--a lovely scene was before my eyes. A verdant valley of pines with glaciated mountains breaking free of stormclouds in the background. The light contrasts freaked out my camera. One of those times when I should have taken manual control over the aperture and shutter speed. I'm still getting my feet wet with the new camera. It would probably also help if I'd take the time to thoroughly read the manual. Oh well.
Favorite thing: At first glance I bypassed this photo with barely a second thought. It does not show the bluest lake, the highest peak or the most impressive glacier. However, it does capture the essence of Banff National Park. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of alpine lakes and there are more mountains than you can count (or name). And it is a place filled with pine trees. This is an everyday scene in Banff, nothing special, typical lake, average mountains and the ubiquitous trees. Yet it is oh so special, don't you agree?
Favorite thing: Almost 2700 square miles of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. So many great views. The wildlife making their appearance when least expected. Yes, the park is mobbed by tourists. But it is not hard to find peace. Just take a nice long walk into the woods. Many places do not live up to advance billing. Banff is a place that exceeds the wildest imagination. Pictures and words cannot convey the grand scope of the park. This is a place that must be experienced live and in person. And be patient. The weather will eventually clear. The animals will show themselves. It truly is an adventure of a lifetime.
Favorite thing: With all the glorious peaks, breathtaking alpine lakes and splendid opportunities to view wildlife, the forest somehow gets pushed aside. Banff is a wonderland of forests and healthy forests provide the eco-system that supports all the wonderful animals. We are fortunate that the Canadian government set aside such a huge tract of land for conservation over a century ago. Old growth forest is becoming more and more scarce. Once a forest is cut it does not ever (at least not on a scale of human lifespans) regain the bio-diversity that it had as an old growth forest. Yes, as a society we treasure our wood products, but we must remember that such goods may come with a high tariff in terms of habitat conservation.
BOW RIVER begins in Bow Lake in Rockies (near Banff) & flows through Calgary. From Calgary it reaches Medicine Hat near the Saskatchewan border. From here it melds with other rivers & slips into Hudson Bay.
Here is also reputed where the best trout-fishing in North America is & the best dry fly-fishing in the world is!
Favorite thing: The Rocky Mountain area which encompasses Banff National Park & Jasper National Park runs mainly along the British Columbia & Alberta borders. This area is one of the most spectacular sceneries in the world. It has jagged mountains, alpine forests & the most amazing emerald-green & turquoise colored lakes!
Favorite thing: The mountains would be spectacular, the wildlife would send a thrill down my spine, the waterfalls would dance playfully, but something would be missing if I did not share the grandeur of such places with my best friend, Becky.
CASTLE MOUNTAIN: 2766 m (9076 ft).
Named by Dr. James Hector of the Palliser Expedition.
Geologists see it as a slice of limestone & quartzite layer cake, sheared thin by Ice Age glaciers on both sides.
I guess this was a special moment for me cos this was among the first things I saw on my birthday as we set off from Banff to Jasper . This was at 9am and i cldn't help smiling at this rainbow :)
"Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt
every corner you turn, you get a different perspective of Banff National Park. I suggest get a good camera before you embark on this trip! You won't regret it :)
I'm glad i had my Nikon.
(hmm, the VT pic dimensions are stretching my pic out of proportion. Click on pic to see it in intended proportions.Tks!)
ps: Also stock up on outdoor gear and extra handy wilderness firstaid things.
Favorite thing: The day I was in Banff townsite, the Park Service was conducting a prescribed burn near Mount Inglismaldie just north of town. The huge mushroom created by the burn clouded the sky and turned the sunny day gray. The park ranger I spoke to explained they do this every year to control possible wildfire in summer. The day happened to be a great day with ideal wind direction, humidity, and temperature, so this was the biggest prescribed burn they did this year. Later that day I drove to Calgary and the mushroom was visible from there.