A spot that is often mentioned by photographers as one of their favorites for sunrise is the Hoodoos Viewpoint on Tunnel Mountain Road that provides views of the backside of Mount Rundle, the Bow Valley and the hoodoos (small, jutting rock formations). Maybe I just haven’t gone at the right time of year or have experienced bad light but it isn’t one of my favorite spots. I went through some old images this evening and this was among my favorites but it is still not one that I’m in love with. From this angle Mount Rundle just doesn’t look as majestic as I think it does from the other side (Vermillion Lakes area, Two Jack Lake Area, etc…). Given my viewpoint on the aesthetics of the peak it is probably not a mystery that I have a dozen or so images of the mountain from the other side but only a handful from tunnel mountain road.
At this point of our trip we should be on the brink of just departing Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe and so I thought it made sense to post a shot of a beautiful but much less impressive waterfall. Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park (near Banff National Park)is a nearly 1,000 foot waterfall that is easily accessible and can be viewed from the road if desired without taking the short half mile trail to this point here alongside the river.
Takakkaw Falls (Yoho National Park)
We take off on Saturday so this may be my last post for a few weeks. I will try to post some photos while overseas and if time permits I’ll schedule a few to post while we are on vacation but I have a feeling the wifi is going to be spotty over there.
This is another of my favorite spots in Banff – Two Jack Lake – Sunrise and Sunset from this spot with a great view of Mount Rundle across the lake.
Peace and Serenity on Two Jack Lake (Banff National Park)
I was up in Calgary this week but was unable to squeeze a trip to Banff in as our upcoming vacation to Africa (two weeks – EEEEKEKKEKEK) is taking up a bunch of the year’s holiday budget. I’m still hoping to squeeze a weekend in up there in May/June but it will depend on the budget at that time. For now I love going back and revisiting old pictures. This was from June last year when I drove up the Icefields Parkway and took pictures along the road during a mildly overcast day.
Crowfoot Glacier (Banff National Park)
It will likely be brief posts for the next few weeks as we prep for our trip to Africa. We are heading there pretty much on the cheap thanks to hotel points, rental car points and the plummeting Rand (15.5 to the USD). We’ve been pretty fortunate the past few years with our international travel as the strengthening dollar has helped put some funds back in our pocket!
On the way to the Norquay Ski area in Banff National Park is a picnic area that sits on the side of Mount Norquay and provides stunning views of the town of Banff beneath it. In the distance (left hand side) towers Mount Rundle which regardless of where you are in the town serves as a marker given its imposing size. I could have waited for the small child in the lower left hand corner to clear the frame before shooting (or photoshopped her out) but I liked the sense of scale she provided in the image. Hopefully, it helps to give sense of size to the grandness of the landscape.
The Town of Banff (Banff National Park)
I haven’t been up to Banff in awhile but I’m excited to say that we retained our client up in Calgary that I was out to bid so I’ll be heading back a couple times a year for the next few years. Each trip I may not have the luxury of making the short 90 minute drive up to Banff (like this coming trip in March which is nestled between a likely weekend in New York City for our 6th anniversary and Africa for two weeks in April) but I will certainly try more often than not. If you haven’t been and are debating I can tell you its the prettiest place in the world I’ve ever been and if you need any more incentive next year – 2017 – it will be free so you won’t even have to pay the daily visitation fee.
Evening on the Kicking Horse River (Yoho National Park)
One of the most tranquil scenes in all of Banff National Park is catching the sunrise at Two Jack Lake on the Lake Minnewanka Loop Road. The large lake has spectacular views of Mount Rundle and is one of the nicest campgrounds in the park system. Imagine – waking up to this view in the morning….yes, please!
Sunrise at Two Jack Lake (Banff National Park)
Busy week at work and then a delayed Christmas at home in Dearborn with my family. The life of a family of nurses (wife and two sisters)…..holidays never actually happen on the holiday 🙂 That’s okay, we just get to extend the joy for months to come!
Yes, Peyto Lake in Banff National Park really is that blue. Many believe it is one of, if not the, most beautiful lakes in the world in large part because of that unique blue shade. The shade comes from the amount glacier rock sentiment that tumbles into it during the summer months.
There are several viewpoints – many of them heavily occupied by bus loads of tourists but there are also trails in the area which take you away from the people (for the most part). You see that is what makes Banff so popular is that you can take in all these incredible sites by really just stumbling out of your car. It really is unique in that aspect.
However, searching for some solitude, I hopped on one of those trails and hiked out to a cliff to take in this view which was shaded from most of the folks above me in the three or four fenced in overlooks. There was another hiker looking for some peace and quiet also and I decided to include him in this shot in order to give a better sense of scale to the image. By comparing his size with that of the surrounding environment you can see just how expanse it is.
Overlooking Peyto Lake (Banff National Park)
One of my favorite locations in Banff for taking sunset pictures is at the Castle Mountain Junction off of the scenic Highway (Bow Valley Parkway i.e. Highway 1A) that runs alongside the primary road that connects Banff with the Lake Louise area in the Canadian Rockies. The scenery looking up and down the Bow Valley River is fantastic and occasionally you get lucky with some color in the sky – like I did on this evening.
Sunset over the Bow River (Banff National Park)
Like others I’ll make new years resolutions and for me it is to travel more this year. It may seem like I did a fair deal of traveling this year (and my airline miles somehow say I did) but the majority of that unfortunately was for business and I wasn’t able to take advantage of that travel this year as much as I have in the past. Therefore, I’m staring this year doing a better job of taking advantage of trips around the country with ‘side trips’ to locations I want to photograph again. In late January I’m taking a side trip back to Joshua Tree to photograph those famous trees. My last trip was back in 2013 and (hopefully) I’ve improved my photography techniques since then and will be better able to capture the sunrise and sunset in the dessert. Later this year I will take a trip out to Yosemite (FINALLY) and plan to tackle Yellowstone/Grand Teton as well (it has been FAR too long). Of course we also will spend two and half weeks exploring Southern Africa (South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and possibly Botswana) coming up in April and are scouring the internet for a vacation package that fits our budget to New York City for our six year anniversary in March. It should be a fun year and hopefully one filled with more memories (and mountains!).
Mount Rundle overlooks the town of Banff and Canmore in the Canadian Rockies. My favorite viewpoint is from the Vermillion Lakes area in Banff. Easily accessible but typically void of other photographers throughout the day and evening so you’ll have most of the landscape to yourself.
That is one of the best things about Banff which has so many beautiful mountains that most of the photogenic places tend to be pretty vacant even as the town tends to get really crowded and overrun with skiers and other tourists in the summer.