Greetings from Canada! We are four days into our Canadian vacation and I’m already dreading Sunday’s flight back to New York City. Can’t we just stay on vacation forever? This has truly been the most incredible vacation thus far even though it is far different than anything we’ve done. After two years of “cultural city vacations” while living abroad, an active vacation is just what we wanted.
Friday we flew from New York City to Calgary by way of Salt Lake City. Even though last week Delta had lots of issues, our flights were luckily quite smooth. By 10pm we were pulling out of the airport in our rental car for the week, heading towards downtown. Since we knew we wouldn’t land until late, we decided to stay at the The Fairmont Palliser hotel in Calgary on Friday night versus driving to Jasper. The hotel was recently updated and perfect for our quick stay.
Saturday morning we woke up and grabbed coffee and breakfast at Philosafy, the perfect coffee shop for any coffee lover. They serve freshly pour over coffee, home baked breakfast treats and an abundance of other cold and warm coffee and tea drinks in a modern atmosphere. We ordered our coffee to-go so we could begin the trek from Calgary to Jasper.
The drive from Calgary to Jasper, via the scenic Icefields Parkway, is supposed to take 4.5 hours but we made it a day long adventure, allowing time to stop and take in the sights as well as a hike to stretch our legs. Once we entered the National Park area we stopped to buy a Canada National Park pass since each car that enters the national park must have one. From here, based on Anne’s post, we chose Bow Lake as our first destination and our hike for the day. This was a perfect option as it was a 2-hour hike that was a great introduction to hiking in the Rockies and we were able to buy and enjoy lunch from Num Ti Jah lodge before our hike. The hike, which started at Num Ti Jah lodge, followed a path along the lake’s edge before transitioning into the rocky river delta and up towards the Wapta Icefield and Bow River Falls. The hike was four miles in total and provided picturesque views of the cerulean blue lake as well as the icy falls.
After the hike we continued our drive towards Jasper, stopping at Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls for quick hikes to see the roaring water falls and enjoy the fresh air. It was so nice to enjoy the drive with no time limit or pressure so we could linger as we wished at any stop.