Scenic Bow Valley Parkway, Banff National Park

The Bow Valley Parkway is a 48-kilometer (30-mile) scenic route between Banff and Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta. It’s a slower alternative to the Trans-Canada Highway but full of points of interest with better opportunity to see wildlife.

It was our sightseeing day in the park. We stopped by at a visitor center in the town of Banff to pick up maps and brochures. We then headed to Lake Louise through the Bow Valley Parkway. First stop was at Johnston Canyon. Although we didn’t plan to hike on that day, we did walk to the lower fall. It was a nice and easy walk up the canyon. There was a lot of water in the river and at the waterfall. We will do the upper fall after we come back to Banff at the end of June.

Johnston Canyon

After Johnston Canyon we continued on the Bow Valley Parkway, passed by the impressive-looking Castle Mountain. We also saw our first herd of bull elk. There were many opportunities for photography from several view points along the road. The scenery of mountains and forests was just beautiful.

Castle Mountain

Our final stop was at Lake Louise. It was apparently still early in the season since it wasn’t crowed. We had no trouble finding a parking spot. After a short walk from where we parked, we were at the shore of Lake Louise.

The lake was simply gorgeous. It was a relatively warm day with little cloud in the sky. We could clearly see the mountains and the glacier in the background contrasting the turquoise blue lake. We found a bench to sit down and had lunch sandwich that we brought. It’s a lunch with the view of Lake Louise without paying the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel price.

Lake Louise

Before we left Richmond, Virginia, David had digitized old family photos that he had been carrying with him all these years. One photo, in particular, stood out to me. It was a picture of David and his siblings when they were very young at the shore of Lake Louise. Since I saw it, I have been wanting to find the same spot, more or less, when we are here. I think we found it.

Old family photo

David at Lake Louise

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