Rocky Mountain High: Rogers Pass, Golden and reaching Banff

Time flying by

Today it has been 37 days since we left England and it is a glorious sunny day in Lethbridge, Alberta. I have been a bit slow in writing blogs due to a lack of good wi-fi. I am writing this blog in two parts with the first up to our first stay in Banff. Since leaving the Okanagan two weeks ago we have travelled to Golden, Banff, Jasper and via Calgary to Lethbridge. A fantastic two weeks in the Rockies with incredible scenery wonderful sunshine, wolves, bears and some unexpected snowfalls which all made for great adventures. I also had a problem with having the wrong US visa which I will not bore you with but is now resolved.

Canyon Hot Springs

We started the trip travelling towards Golden stopping for the night at Canyon Hot Springs campground where we had a lovely soak in their hot pools. I also had my first Canadian campground shower where it was three dollars for a six-minute shower! Happily when we reached Golden in a municipal or not privately owned campground they give you six minutes for one dollar. After the hot spring stop we travelled over Rogers pass to Golden.

Rogers Pass

To get to Golden you travel over Rogers Pass which the train and the Trans-Canada Highway go through. Rogers Pass first opened in 1886 when the first trans-continental passenger train left from Montreal and reached Vancouver 9 days later. Nowadays with the road and the information centre it is a nice spot to stop and take silly pictures as well as watch the 1950s bear movie about how to hike in the woods and why you should not feed bears. The centre also has a few stuffed animals.

Golden

I enjoyed our two days in Golden where we stayed at the Golden Municipal Campground and RV park. To get into town it was a short stroll along the river and across the Kicking Horse River Pedestrian bridge, which is the longest free-standing wooden covered pedestrian bridge in Canada. Over the two days there we visited the Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre. It cost $12 each and you can learn a lot about wolves. Hard to believe that Alberta still has bounties on wolves. Their website for more information is http://www.northernlightswildlife.com

We also visited the Kicking River Resort and saw Boo the grizzly and some wonderful panoramic views of the mountains. Boo lives in a 20-acre enclosure where he has plenty of room to play, forage and enjoy dips in his pond. Boo is 11 years old and weighs around 275 kilograms. The cost of visiting Boo and the gondola ride is $ 45.95 in summer. It drops $10 dollars if you go after 2pm. If you decide to walk to Boo’s enclosure without buying a ticket you are sent back to buy a ticket for entry at the bottom of the hill. For more information you can go to the website: http://www.kickinghorseresort.com

In between visits to see wildlife we watched the trains go pass across the river, went for walks along the river and enjoyed a few beers at the local log cabin pub. All in all Golden was a wonderful spot to visit.

Banff

We drove from Golden to Field and through Lake Louise to reach Banff in the late afternoon. Tunnel Mountain Village 1 Campground in Banff was our stop for the night. It is a lovely campground and not too far from Banff. There is even a bus that comes regularly to take campers to town. We did not stay long as the next day we headed up to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway.

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