Trip Start May 12, 2011
17Trip End May 29, 2011
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Where I stayed
What I did
We walked back into town and got ourselves a well deserved coffee before picking up the local bus to Sulphur Mountain. Here we picked up the Banff Gondola a scenic eight minute journey to the summit. The views from the top were amazing but it felt incredibly cold so it wasn’t long before we sought the refuge of the cafe and a cup of warming tea. Sulphur Mountain was named after the sulphurous hot springs that are found there and stands 7,486ft above sea-level. It was a great way to really appreciate the beauty of the surrounding mountains and I could get a great view of the mountain I had failed to climb that morning below us
We took the bus back down into Banff and decided that we would do the Cave and Basin Historic Site, but it appeared to be closed. We just took a walk by the wetlands and saw lots of Canadian Geese as well as numerous Yellow-rumped Warblers flitting about the reeds. It was still very cold and desperately trying to snow so we decided to make our way back into town and back to the hotel. Just as we left the wood we spotted an American Three-toed Woodpecker madly pecking a tree and totally oblivious of us standing there.
That evening we had booked a Night Safari with the same company that we had done the ice fields with. We saw lots of elk and white tailed deer as late afternoon was a good time to see them. In fact one field off the main highway was full with as many as fifty or more elk a fantastic sight. Our guide Patrick took us to an Ospreys nest and we spotted the Osprey flying backwards and forwards, although we were some way away. We also saw some Bighorn Sheep so named because of those incredible curved horns that can weigh up to 30 pounds
Our next stop was Lake Minnewanka, a large glacial lake and the longest lake in the Rockies at 17 miles! Unfortunately it was frozen but still beautiful. Minnewanka stands for ‘Water of the Spirits’ in the Stoney Indian language and has a couple of HEP stations that supply the town with electricity. We were then taken to Lake Two Jacks another stunning lake famed for its reflective qualities although it still had ice on it so we couldn’t appreciate this.