Canadian Rockies - Week 2
October 11, 2022
We can’t believe we hadn’t published the last post of our summer adventure! So here it is — our last week of traveling in Alaska/Canada was full of hot springs, old mining towns, friends, and endless glacier views in the rockies.
Monday: Jasper National Park
After a stressful in night the backcountry, we took it easy for the rest of the day and drove the scenic Icefield Parkway for about 100 kms / 60 miles before leaving the park temporarily to find a camp on public land. The Parkway is said to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world, and it didn’t disappoint! We made so many stops along the way to appreciate the views and took photos to bring the memories back with us.
When we reached Saskatchewan River Crossing, we turned eastward and found a narrow dirt road just outside of the park. At the end of the short, bumpy ride, we were surprised to find a lovely, secluded spot by the river with an amazing view of the park.
Tuesday: Jasper National Park to Revelstoke, Bc via Banff National Park
When we met Ali in Jasper, he recommended us a route from the Canadian Rockies to Montana. We were stoked to check out the smaller, quieter towns along the way and avoid the summer crowds in popular places like Lake Louise and Banff. Off we went!
We drove back into Jasper National Park to continue the Icefield Parkway drive for another 80 kms/50 miles to Lake Louise, where we were able to find some signal and publish our blog post from last week. When we started to drive westward, little did we know that the short 250 kms/150 miles drive would take us through two more national parks — Yoho National Park and Glacier National Park of Canada. While it takes strenuous hikes to see glaciers in the Glacier National Park in the U.S., they are abundant in the Canadian counterpart, and are easy to spot on the drive. We were hoping to find a campsite in Glacier, but the two campgrounds were both full! Alas, we drove on.
When we arrived in Revelstoke, we were charmed by the small town of roughly 10,000 people, once a railway stop in the 1880s and now an epic adventure destination, and decided to stay for the night so we could visit it again in the morning. We found camp north of the town at Martha Creek Provincial Park by Lake Revelstoke (an artificial lake on the Columbia River), and happily called it a day.
Wednesday: Revelstoke, Bc to New Denver, Bc
With the name like Revelstoke, the town didn’t disappoint. We had excellent breakfast sandwiches and coffee at Dose Coffee, and walked around the town center to restock our fridge with gourmet meats and cheese, and of course, a baguette from La Baguette. 🙃
With no particular destination in mind for the day, we started driving south, and soon, we were at the ferry crossing in Shelter Bay. And we love ferries! The feeling of being carried on the water from Point A to Point B is not only relaxing, but also librating. When we got off on the other side of the Upper Arrow Lake, we made a mandatory stop at Halfway River Hot Springs, where we soaked in hot natural springs and plunged into the cold, running creek. The route we drove is part of the British Columbia Hot Spring Circle Route, and compared to the more established resorts like Radium Hot Springs in Banff and Canyon Hot Springs just outside of Revelstoke, Halfway River Hot Springs felt rustic and unpretentious. One just needs to drive the 11km dirt road and hike down the a hundred or so steep stairs to relax in the natural pools — the kind of experience we like.
After the rejuvenating soak, we continued south and stopped in New Denver to check out the town. Our friend Jenniferhttps://sparkcoaching.ca in Whitehorse, Yukon told us about the old mining town, and its unique heritage. The small town used to be one of the internment camps for the 22,000 Japanese Canadians who were forcibly uprooted, dispossessed and incarcerated during World War II. We toured the memorial center, and stayed at the Centennial Campground that was located directly across the street from the museum.
Thursday: New Denver, Bc to Creston, Bc
New Denver is only 2 miles away from Silverton, an old mining village where silver was discovered (hence the name). So in the morning, we took a short detour and checked out the second smallest municipality in British Columbia with only 192 residents.
Our next stop was Kaslo, a village of 1,000 people next to the Kootenay Lake. When we walked around in Kaslo, we felt the pride and love of the residents in the town. The well-restored, historic buildings now house shops and restaurants. There is even a women-run brewery in town called Angry Hen Brewing Co, and of course, we stopped for a beer and some delicious Korean fried chicken.
In the afternoon, we spoke with our friends Will and Amelia in Whitefish, Montana and planned a weekend camping trip together in Glacier National Park. Now we had an objective to get back into the US by Friday night. As much as we would like to stay in Kaslo for another day, we sadly drove on and took another ferry across Kootenay Lake and ended up in Creston, just 8 miles north of the Canada-US border.
Friday to Sunday: Creston, Bc to Whitefish, Mt
In the morning, we took care of some laundry and Zoom calls in the campground, and then headed to the border 🇺🇸. The crossing was painless, and we drove straight to Whitefish and slept soundly at Will and Amelia’s for our first night back in the US. 😴
Saturday and Sunday: Glacier National Park
Will and Amelia scored a last-minute reservation for a campsite at West Glacier in Glacier National Park for the weekend, so we prepped our cars, stocked up on food and drinks, and happily caravanned together to the park in the morning.
Glacier National Park was packed for the holiday week, which was a suprise to no one, but we had a lot of fun hiking, boating, and sharing stories around the campfire with dear friends.
So that’s a wrap for our summer adventure in Alaska and the Canadian Rockies. We made it back home in Salt Lake City a few days ago, and it had taken us more than a month to come back from Glacier!
We spent most of this time climbing in remote part of Wyoming and we had a fantastic time! Now that we are back home, we will park the truck in storage as we are both getting back to work for a couple of months. Thank you for following along, and we wish you a wonderful autumn season.
Oh and last but not least… we decided to sell our truck! What’s next? We don’t know yet but we know it will be even better!