Sunday, July 24, 2016

UNESCO World Heritage Site #112: Canadian Rocky Mountains - Lake Louise

Lake Louise with Glaciers in Background 

Red canoes, Lake Louise boathouse 

Okay, we're now about a tenth of the way through our goal of visiting all 1,052 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Only 940 more to go...we just have to live 200 more years to visit them all! Number 112 is the entire range of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, so there will be several posts for this one site. We arrived through Waterton Lakes National Park, which is the world's first international peace park, joined below the U.S. border with Glacier National Park. Our first stop in the Rockies was Banff, followed by Lake Louise. This area was designated a UNESCO site in 1984 for its outstanding natural beauty, geological importance and important fossil beds.  

Luis walking around the lake 

We arrived late in the afternoon, so took a walk along the lake, then got up early the next day to hike up to the Six Glaciers Plain lookout, about 18 km (11.19 miles) round-trip. It was a great hike since the weather was mostly cool and there were few people on the trail. I always say that if you want to avoid the crowds at popular parks, just go for a hike. After the first hundred feet, about 80% will drop off and after the first two miles, 98% will be gone. Most park visitors in any country hang around the photo op spots, then get back in their car or tour bus, so we generally have the trails almost to ourselves except for a few fellow intrepid explorers.  

Hiking up to Six Glaciers Plain  

On the way, we encountered teams of horses and mules taking riders and supplies up to the glacial plains. One poor young cowhand was stuck with a mule who refused to budge an inch. He couldn't get him to move no matter what he did including dropping a few F-bombs. He looked as if he was at the end of his rope (as was the mule, quite literally), when he finally got him moving. There was a large "horse jam" at the trail intersection since none of the teams could pass each other on the narrow ledges until the mule decided he was good and ready. 

Horse and mule teams on the glacier pass

"Nope, not going up there": stubborn mule and frustrated cowboy both at the end of their ropes

We had gorgeous views when we finally reached the top. The glaciers have receded greatly of course, due to climate change, but there are still enough of them to get some spectacular views. We wanted to visit the Glacial parks while there still are glaciers, since most are predicted to be gone completely in the next 15-20 years.
  Woo-hoo! We're here! 


Inching carefully back down the rocky trail; lots of loose slippery pebbles 


15 comments:

  1. Hi there, have been waiting for another posting from you. This is the area where I have been driving bus in 2014. We used to live just a dayride from the Rockies. It's just so overrun during summer.

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    Replies
    1. yep, it was crowded, but once we hit the trails, most of the crowd dropped off.

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  2. mprjfitzgerald6@bigpond.comJuly 25, 2016 at 9:37 AM

    Hi from Mark n Roz, the non-hiking Aussies at the beleaguered gondola!!! Thought you might like this bit from WWF: (LOVELY MEETING YOU BOTH!!)
    Migaloo, the white whale is on his way north to warmer waters! Last sighting was about 2 hours ago off the coast of Yamba, NSW. Historically humpback whales can clock in 150 kms a day, so he's expected to cruise by Cape Byron tomorrow morning - assuming he doesn't duck in for a soy chai latte and facial peel at Lennox Head.

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    Replies
    1. lol! Those whales are so high maintenance! It was lovely meeting you both also and we'll be sure to contact you when we get to Oz. Safe travels xxx

      Delete
  3. mprjfitzgerald6@bigpond.comJuly 25, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Hi from Mark n Roz, the non-hiking Aussies at the beleaguered gondola!!! Thought you might like this bit from WWF: (LOVELY MEETING YOU BOTH!!)
    Migaloo, the white whale is on his way north to warmer waters! Last sighting was about 2 hours ago off the coast of Yamba, NSW. Historically humpback whales can clock in 150 kms a day, so he's expected to cruise by Cape Byron tomorrow morning - assuming he doesn't duck in for a soy chai latte and facial peel at Lennox Head.

    ReplyDelete
  4. so cool the pictures are ! riding horse,hiking mountain. all the man like to do thatair max 2017

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    http://www.kearsleys.com/blog-post/serengeti-national-park-unesco-world-heritage-site/

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  9. Hello Simone and Luis!! This is Nicole and Chad. WE met at the Wilcox Campground in Jasper National Park. It was so nice to meet and chat around the fire! Loved hearing your travelling tales, please keep posting them!! We continued on to BC and had a wonderful road trip. I believe you were heading back up to the Yukon? I hope your travels are going well! Have been reading your posts and am excited to see more. I am back at work full time and doing well. Chad is very busy at work and is enjoying it. Take care and all the best. XO

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