The Beartooth Highway

Often described as the most beautiful road in America, the Beartooth Highway is steep, windy and spectacular!  
After breakfast at a local diner in White Sulphur Springs (great, crispy hashbrowns, tender chicken fried steak – OMG are we eating this?) the drive to Red Lodge, Montana took us through pretty ranch country. Out of Red Lodge, we started climbing the narrow, winding road to Beartooth Pass at 10,947 ft.

 

Long way up!
  
  
Beautiful, cold and windy
  
Beartooth Pass Moonscape
    
 Finding Island Lake campground (9,500ft) closed for the season, we decided to camp at the boat ramp, next to the lake. Technically illegal, but sooo pretty!

 

Our scofflaw Island Lake Campsite
  
Still life: Ray with scotch
 

Akamina Lake

Before driving back across the border, we explored the Akamina Parkway (a grand title for a narrow, twisty two-lane road) to Cameron and Akamina Lakes. The clouds were low, making for some moody shots of both lakes. 

 

Sunrise
  
Low clouds over Cameron Lake
   
Grizzly Bears?
  
Lake Akamina reflections
  
Lake Akamina
  
Trees in the clouds
  
 

Waterton Lakes National Park

Banff Sunrise

Way too much food!

 

Starting the day in Banff at Touloulou’s Louisiana breakfast restaurant, we tried their “hearty breakfasts”, aptly named, everything covered in hollandaise sauce!

Banff Town

Driving 150 miles down to Waterton Glacier NP. Pretty rolling fall country. Crosswinds gusting to 50 MPH, made for pretty interesting driving. One truck and travel trailer combo we saw was pushed clear off the road. 

 

Rainy for awhile
  
Mountains near Waterton
  
Campsite on Waterton Lake
  
Sun near setting
  
Scenic boat ride, but 50 MPH gusts?
 

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway
The drive from Jasper to Banff is spectacular. More incredible alpine vistas, Athabascan Falls with its moss-clad rocks, the Athabascan Glacier Fields and our lovely Wilcox Campground near Sunwapta Pass having a spectacular view of a snow clad mountains. 

  

Athabascan Falls
    
Athabascan Falls
  
Athabascan Falls
    

My campsite
  
Taco Dinner
   

Alpine Lakes and Hot Springs

Jasper National Park is chock full of unexpectedly beautiful vistas. Around every turn, it seems, we find a new opportunity for exclamations of “Oh, my god, look at that!”  In addition, abundant wildlife viewing opportunities (today, including Bighorn Sheep, elk and moose) remind us that we are truly in the wild. 

Todays destinations included, Medicine Lake, Lake Maligne and Miette Hot Springs, where we soaked in the 104 degree waters (outside air temp being 46 degrees!), ate a home cooked Greek dinner At our innkeeper’s restaurant where we rented a small bungalow cabin for the night. 

 

Medicine Lake
  
Lake Maligne
  
Knife edged ridges
  
Bighorn Sheep
  
Miette Hot Springs pool
  
Mermaids
  
Cozy Bungalow
 

Jasper National Park

The drive from Wells Gray Provincial Park to Jasper National Park is spectacular!  Densely treed ridges give way to rugged snow topped mountains with new vistas presenting at every turn of the road. 

 

North Thompson River Falls
    

    

Shirley’s birthday dinner at a Jasper Korean Restaurant. They gave her a huge slice of cheesecake in honor of her birthday!