roadtrip day 5: banff to golden

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Our fifth day on the road saw us exploring the areas around the beautiful town of Banff, and then crossing the Alberta border back into British Columbia to discover what beauty we could find in Yoho National Park.

We ended our day unfortunately not at a gorgeous little lakeside campsite were hoping for as the 10 available spots were full well before we arrived, so we settled for the Golden Municipal Campground on the riverbank in Golden. Much smaller and lacking in privacy, this campground still offered enough space to be comfortable, but was certainly my least favourite out of everywhere we stayed. Day 5 saw us drive 380km in 8 hours.

Two Jack Lake

We spent the night at the campground just behind this lake, and drove down first thing to catch the light over the early-morning paddle-boarders and fishermen. Two Jack is famous for it’s impressive double reflection of the mountain that sleeps behind it.

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Bow Falls

We were greeted with a number of tour-bus groups here, as this stop is right in the town of Banff. We walked from the parking lot the whole way up the river and into town (mostly to seek out a bathroom, but also because it was beautiful).

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Vermillion Lakes

As Sam said, “is it called Vermillion because there’s a million lakes?” And it does feel like that – the road alongside the lakes seems to go on for ages and the various pools of water seem to never end. Banff’s famous slanted mountain graces the horizon line.

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Johnston Canyon

Lower and Upper Falls make up Johnston Canyon, plus a secret off-road trail that takes you down the creek to the source of the waterfall. This one is a bit more of a walk than the other roadside pit stops, but is beautiful. There’s a thrill factor involved in the fact that you’re literally walking on bits of metal nailed to the face of a rock.

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Takakkaw Falls

We passed through Kicking Horse Pass completely shrouded in fog to get into Yoho National Park, so I didn’t even realize we had crossed the border into BC. These falls are 7 times higher than Niagara Falls and if you get even half way from the parking lot towards the base of the falls, you will find yourself and your camera drenched.

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Natural Bridge

A neighbour of Emerald Lake, this would have been cooler if we were actually able to walk across the natural bridge.

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Emerald Lake

The most gorgeous stop in Yoho National Park, we were lucky that there were hardly any others around so that we could appreciate the truly emerald colour of this water all to ourselves.

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Kicking Horse Bridge

This is the longest free-standing timber bridge in Canada, which is just so typically Canadian. We were pretty tired at this point in the day and were happy to finish our day off here and search for a bed for the night.

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Golden Municipal Campground

We stayed near the riverbank, right in town, at a slightly smaller and slightly more crowded campground than any others of the trip. Not my favourite place that we stayed at, but we were able to have a campfire and it certainly did the job!

*Photo by Golden Municipal Campground

*Including photos by Sam

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