Friday, August 19, 2016

Breakfast Berries, Catwalks and Cascades

Breakfast Berries, Catwalks and Cascades

Between the Banff area and Lake Louise, the Bow Valley Parkway parallels the Trans-Canada Highway #1, linking the two communities. However the "1A" Parkway is MUCH more scenic and enjoyable than the high speed throughway. It's also very popular with hikers, bicyclists and those wishing to linger a bit. 

 Heading out to our hiking destination along the Parkway just before 7AM, we spied this young grizzly having a breakfast of berries. It was very vigorously stripping this bush of its berry load; ignoring all the cars stopping beside the road to gawk. We also gawked - from a safe distance in the car, until the bear appearing annoyed by all of the attention;sought the cover of the forest.

We set out on the path at 7 in the morning (and you know how much I love to get up early!) to precede the crowds; since this is one of the most popular trails in the area. Starting out at a balmy 37 degrees F, the Johnston Creek Canyon was calm and quiet save for the rushing water.

 A series of metal and concrete catwalks allows visitors to traverse the lower canyon that would otherwise only be accessible from the cliffs above. 

 The creek has cut new paths through the limestone at certain turns, hollowing out "rooms" in the stone above the Lower Falls water flow.

 Lovely aqua green pools form below cascades on the 2.7 mile pathway.

 More falls and pools.

 Falls and riffles still in morning shadow.

Gushing primary watercourse with delicate side cascade and another enchanting pool of cool, clear water.
We were glad to have enjoyed some of this color and charm before the crowds arrived and the sun heated up the canyon walls.

Thanks for coming along on this journey!
Barbara and Paul

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