.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Scenes from Banff National Park in Winter

06 Banff area winter

While the cold weather and especially the long winters can be a drag in Canada, there are some days when the beauty of the scenery almost makes it worth while.
Banff National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. My wife and I headed out there with our dogs a few weeks back (dogs on leashes are welcome in Canadian National Parks), and were rewarded with beautiful mountain landscapes.
Most of these photos were taken around Lake Minnewanka, the largest lake in the park, which was frozen sold. Lots of people were walking on the ice and, it being Canada, a hockey game was being played on the lake. The building in the middle of the ice is the …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 22, 2021: Long’s Peak, Colorado

00 McIntosh Lake (1)

Long’s Peak is a prominent mountain in the Front Range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. A “fourteener” (14,259-feet or 4346 m tall), it is the highest point in Boulder County and Rocky Mountain National Park.  It rises 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above the Great Plains.
Long’s Peak can be prominently seen from Longmont, Colorado,   These photos were taken from the trail around McIntosh Lake, which my wife and I walked with my son and daughter-in-law during a visit this past year.  The views of Long’s Peak are lovely!
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 

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“Pic of the Week”, January 8, 2021. A January Drive down the Cowboy Trail

05 Cowboy Trail in January (10)

One of the most underrated scenic drives in Canada is Alberta’s Cowboy Trail, highway 22X.  The 100-or-so mile stretch from the Crowsnest Pass to Longview contains nothing but an expanse of prairie rolling over the foothills and abutting the lovely Rocky Mountains.  It’s especially scenic in late spring/early summer, when the prairie grass is lush and green and there’s still some snow on the mountain peaks, but winter has its own charm.

These photos were a few years ago, a winter which had been pretty mild up to that point, with little snow on the ground.  The winter daylight so far north is soft, especially in the afternoon.  Lots of cattle grazing, a few ranches here and there, including the …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 14, 2020: St Mary’s Parish, Banff

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A special place to visit when you’re exploring Banff is this pretty mountain church.

Catholic missionaries have had a presence in the Canadian Rockies for almost 200 years, including during the founding of the Banff townsite in the late 19th century.  A log cabin church was built in Banff in 1888 and it was consecrated as  ‘Our Lady of the Assumption’, but known by the locals as St Mary’s.

The church you see today was built in 1951 by Fr. Robert McGuinness, and it replaced the original building.  Fr McGuinness had attended seminary in Europe and loved the stone churches he saw there, inspiring him to build something of this type in his beloved town, Banff.   Fr. McGuinness had been a structural …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 6, 2019: Fresh Snow in the Mountains

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I love driving through the mountains.  Perhaps no season in the mountains is more memorable than winter.  The fresh snow on the Rocky Mountains in the Crowsnest Pass and soft light were quite lovely. 

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, June 28, 2019: Peyto Lake, Alberta

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One of the classic symbols of the Canadian Rockies is Peyto Lake, which is situated adjacent to Icefields Parkway, the road which connects Banff and Jasper.  Peyto Lake is a popular stop with travelers who enjoy taking in this panoramic view from Bow Summit.

The lake is glacier fed, the glacial silt giving it a lovely milky turquoise-green color.  It sits at 1860 m (6100 ft) above sea level.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

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“Pic of the Week”, April 26, 2019: Downtown Calgary

Returning to Calgary from Whitehorse (17)

I’ve always thought Calgary had a pretty skyline — and I’m not alone in that opinion as it’s been featured in several movies.  Rising from the prairies, a modern city that seems to be optimistic about its future.

Downtown Calgary is about 12 miles southwest of Calgary International Airport, so  you often see it as you fly into the city.  Usually it’s too dark or I’m sitting on the wrong side of the plane or there’s some other reason not to pull out my cell phone and snap some photos, but recently the conditions were perfect.

My plane approached downtown from the west, looped south of downtown, then to the east and north up to the airport.  From my seat in the …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 13, 2018: Boo the Bear, Golden B.C.

Golden B.C . Grizzly Bear Refuge (35)

I’d like you to meet Boo, a grizzly bear. Boo is well known around the Canadian Rocky Mountain region because he lives at the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge and gets lots of visitors. His home consists of a fenced 22-acre piece of natural land (apparently the world’s largest protected grizzly bear habitat) where Boo has lived and wandered freely since 2003. Boo and his sibling were orphaned at only a few months old when their mother was killed by a poacher; sadly Boo’s sibling didn’t survive his first hibernation.

Boo has found a good home here in eastern British Columbia, near the town of Golden. He’s been known to escape during mating season (he digs out under his electrified fence), …

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