Holy SMOKES! Literally. There have been over 550 forest fires in British Columbia in the last couple of months - making 2018 the worst fire season on record for B.C. It has been so devastating to hear of the evacuations and threats to not only the beautiful landscapes and animals but the communities that call these areas home.
It was impossible to avoid the smoke as we explored Jasper, Banff, and Yoho National Parks. While we had to adjust hikes due to closures, we still made the most of our time and enjoyed every minute - haze and all. The details on this post are more minimal than previous posts, but I think the pictures sure speak for themselves. :)
Jasper National Park:
We did only one official hike in Jasper due to closed trails and smoky views. It was the Sulphur Skyline Trail that offered breathtaking panoramic views at the top.
We also visited the famous Icefield, Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls and Honeymoon Lake - all viewpoints within a closer proximity and less haze. All were absolutely worth the visit
Yoho National Park:
Off all three connected parks, Yoho is the smallest. We indulged in the showers at Kicking Horse after getting rained on at Takakkaw Falls. Emerald Lake was another highly populated destination with options to kayak or canoe. We opted for the stroll around the lake.
Banff National Park:
This was our favorite of the three parks. It packs in serious beauty! If you are fond of vibrant turquoise lakes, you MUST visit Banff. Lake Louise, Lake Moraine and Peyto Lake are all incredible in their own right. The insane blue you see in the pictures is, in fact, real, and is the result of glacial rock flour that reflects a beautiful blue to our eyes.
Both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake can be visited at the shoreline with trails that take you along the perimeter (at least partially) offering views from many angles.
Peyto Lake is nestled in the valley and can be viewed from above at Bow Summit. Our first trip there was smoky. We could see how stunning it was and didn't want to pass up a chance to see a clearer view. So, when the forecast and skies showed signs of a more smoke-free sight on our last day, we drove back to catch sunset and sunrise the following morning. It. Was. Worth. It.
Before heading out of Banff (and Canada as a whole), we took advantage of the clearer skies and hiked to Bow Glacier Falls. The views around the lake were stunning and it was so fun to literally climb as far as we could up alongside the waterfall.
As we head down into the states to Glacier, Yellowstone + Grand Tetons, the smoke does not seem to be slowing down. Stay tuned to see if we're able to escape it! :)