Castle Mountain

Here you’ll find travel reports about Castle Mountain. Discover travel destinations in Canada of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

7 travelers at this place:

  • Day13

    Johnston Canyon Falls

    July 20, 2017 in Canada

    After our first very busy day in Banff our second day was much more relaxed having breakfast and coffee in town and strolling along the markets. We then ventured out to see the Johnston Canyon Falls! This was a 2 hour trail along the Bow Valley river and was much easier then the hike the day before. The trail went along rock walls above beautiful blue water! If it wasn't so cold we would have loved to go for a swim. At the top of the trail was the Falls and we were close enough to feel the cold mist coming from the Falls. After a quick outfit change we headed into the town of Banff to have a few beers at the local distillery, best beers we have found in Canada so far! We then changed again and went to the hot springs to warm up before heading back to Canmore to make a home made dinner in our beautiful air BnB apartment.Read more

  • Day283

    Banff and Johnston Canyon, Canada

    July 27, 2017 in Canada

    A dash of rain and a whiff of smoke.

    Johnston Canyon was our home for night four. It was also our first night of rain. And by rain I mean a brief shower which forced us to relocate our evening drinks to the inside of the car. Luckily it was light and brief and we were able to dine outdoors shortly after. It would be the second spot of rain we see in our entire Canada trip. Such luck in the weather is unheard of and we're celebrating the timing coinciding with our nights under canvas. It really is the difference between enjoying camping and wishing it would end - I'm sure you all know where I'm coming from!

    Smoke, however, was the natural phenomenon that was causing the grief. I mentioned earlier that BC was on fire; Alberta is too! I've attached a photo of Mt Rundle (I think it might actually be the Rundle range), visibly obscured by smoke. That smoke chased us around the park and eventually caused parts of Banff to close (after we left, fortunately). Fire bans were strictly enforced although unlike Torres del Paine (remember how wet that was?) we were still allowed to use gas burners, which we cooked almost all of our meals on in some fairly idyllic locations. The convenience of car-camping was well and truly appreciated compared to living out of a bag!

    Our hiking continued in this area, as short and sweet as it was. We also tried for a dip in the Cascade Ponds whose name was extremely misleading but not as misleading as the temperature of the water which was far from swimmable despite it being the height of summer and largely surrounded by fire. Go figure.

    I'm going to use this otherwise short post to give credit to Parks Canada. They have done some outstanding work in managing Canada's National Parks and the thousands of tourists that pass through daily.

    They provide easy access to accurate and up-to-date information about the parks and have everything well sign posted. There are bins in every carpark and toilets at every trailhead as well as trail maps with times and distances. There's also information on trail conditions, animals in the area and forest fires if you happened to miss that elsewhere. They're also a really friendly bunch who love to hear your opinions of the trails and help you identify any wildlife or flora you may have spotted. The trails are immaculate, almost too well maintained and with markers and signposts at regular intervals. They also have placards with information about the geology, history, forests and wildlife just to keep your brain occupied while your legs do the walking. Their picnic areas are well mown, rubbish-free and - I'm not kidding - they even wipe down the picnic tables!! It's impossible to miss how good a job these guys have done and it's great to see how passionate they are about their work.

    And it's paid off. The wildlife in the park is abundant. Elk roam freely through paddocks. Bears roam through campsites (seriously). Coyotes dart across highways and squirrels dart around you at your picnic table. Marmots hop over rocks and the chirpy chipmunk pops out of its hole to see what's going on. The park is so well looked after that they've just heli-dropped a herd of bison back into it to expand their habitat. Perhaps the most astounding (and expensive) effort they've made is the wildlife crossings. The Trans-Canada highway has split an ecosystem in half, creating a giant moving metal wall; a hazard for wildlife and humans alike. Parks Canada's solution? Wildlife crossings. There are overpasses and underpasses for the animals to cross the highway, some 18 of them through Banff NP alone! The remainder of the highway is fenced off through the national park to prevent animals entering the danger-zone. Only in Canada would they get that one through parliament...
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  • Day282

    Lake Louise and Boom Lake, Canada

    July 26, 2017 in Canada

    Lake before or lake after?

    It may seem trivial and frankly it probably is but when you're spending four to six hours a day on the road you need all the conversational topics you can find. When does 'lake' precede the name and when not? One of lifes great questions. Perhaps you can bring this up at the water cooler with a colleague and report back...

    Lake Louise was horrendously busy. Millions of tourists, locals, hikers and backpackers flocked to take their selfie spending more time looking at a screen than the view in front of them. Louise was no doubt an impressive lake but the hype about it and the number of tourists left us somewhat unimpressed and kept our visit brief. The joys of having a car!

    We took instead to Boom Lake, a short hour and a bit walk from the carpark. It was a lovely quiet stroll where we saw only a couple of people and had the lake to ourselves when we arrived. More people joined us but it was spacious and quiet with a magnificent view which made it far better than the previous lake. We'd also prepared a pesto pasta salad which was the highlight of the walk (as usual).
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