As I start to write this post, I realize that it has nothing to do with Vancouver at all. This post exclusively contains some of the highlights of my visit to Banff National Park.
By our second day in Banff, the weather had improved quite a bit with decent visibility and some signs of clear sky. We had a fully packed day, which started with exploring Downtown Banff, followed by a guided tour at Cave and Basin.
Our tour guide seemed really young and reminded me of a summer intern or a co-op student, who had flash cards filled with cheesy jokes. I could not help but feel bad when nobody laughed at them.
After the tour, we went down into the cave to take a closer look at the birthplace of Banff National Park. It was great to see that efforts were being made to preserve the historic and natural value of Cave and Basin despite the increasing volume of tourists year after year.
After grabbing a quick bite at Barpa Bill's, we headed to Johnston Canyon where we were greeted by the chipmunk in the picture above. For bigger part of our hike, we were followed by this little fella, who was not afraid to beg for a treat. As cute as it was, it was somewhat upsetting to see that wilderness was being driven out of this chipmunk.
During the first few days or our trip to the Rocky Mountains, we had been searching for wildlife on the roadside. On our way back into Banff from Johnston Caynon, we followed Bow Valley Parkway only to find no forms of wildlife. We decided to give Lake Minnewanka a try, as it was recommended to us by a friendly Parks Canada staff.
Being an artificial glacial lake, Lake Minnewanka seemed less crowded than other lakes that we went to. Nevertheless, the views were breathtaking, and we found that the recommendations were substantiated when we ran into a herd of Bighorn Sheep.
When we saw the herd strolling on the road, we quickly pulled to the side of the road to observe. We were the first to arrive on the scene, and when other drivers showed up, one of the sheep started walking towards the car, eventually passing us within my arm's reach.
We completed the Lake Minnewanka Loop with hopes of running into other forms of wildlife, but we were not so lucky. On our way out, we stopped by Two Jack Lake, which reminded of Maligne Lake in Jasper, which is one of the most photographed places on Earth.
Before we headed back to our hotel, we went on a gondola to the peak of Sulphur Mountain to take one last look at Banff before we headed to Jasper, which would conclude our trip to Rocky Mountains.