I respectfully acknowledge that the land in and around Banff National Park is located within the Treaty 7 Territory, the ancestral and traditional territories of the Niitsítpiis-stahkoii ᖹᐟᒧᐧᐨᑯᐧ ᓴᐦᖾᐟ (Blackfoot / Niitsítapi ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ), Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis, Stoney, Tsuu T’ina, Michif Piyii (Métis) people. Source: native-land.ca
I won’t say no to an alpenglow sunrise or a drive down the Icefields Parkway late in the season. The crowds are much lower, there is next to no traffic, and it is always so serene!
Late October, I decided that I wanted to head out to Lake Louise for sunrise (which was just after 8:00 AM) this meant that I would have to be on the road by 3:00 AM (slightly ridiculous, but I almost prefer driving during the early morning) We arrived at the lake just after sunrise (missing it by just a few minutes) and took in the chilly lake views with less than a handful of people. I didn’t capture any photos of the sunrise, as I was driving – but it was stunning!
It was wonderful being there so early, and having what is usually a very busy location to nearly yourself. Originally we had planned to hike to the Tea House but even with our IceTrekkers the slight incline up, paired with the sheer ice was not an easy task. We opted to walk the paved trail along side the lake to the end and back instead (which I didn’t even know existed until we started walking) and took in the quiet, peaceful calm of an early, crisp autumn morning. It had only started to get busy on our way back to the Jeep.
After our hike, we headed to the village for a quick stop to buy a pin (I collect patches and pins from the places I go, and had not collected one from Lake Louise yet) I opted for a snowflake with Lake Louise written overtop to symbolize the snowy morning we had, and we headed down the Icefields Parkway to start our way home (Might as well take the scenic route, right?!) We didn’t stop at too many spots along the way, as the parts of the road with higher elevation were snow-covered and we were already not making the greatest of time, we wanted to make sure that we were in Jasper before the sunset just in case we had run into any problems on the road. (Thankfully it was smooth sailing!) But I couldn’t help but stop at Bow Lake gazing into its icy blue waters, I cannot wait to paddle this in the summer! (either stand up paddleboard or kayak – depending if/when I get my kayak.)
Have you been down the Icefields Parkway off-season? It’s something I do recommend! I did it last year as well – and it will always be a trip that I will remember forever!
Until next time, chase the stoke!
- You will need a Parks Canada Pass or daily admission to enter into Banff National Park.