Some pictures from our trip:
Our first stop is always in Canmore. It's a cheaper and much less touristy place than Banff town, but only about 10 miles away.
Canmore is surrounded by mountains, and is just beautiful. There is an Olympic venue there for cross country and biathlon. It is a public park with miles of paved trails. We were the cool family and took our scooters with us (they fit much more easily in a car than bikes). We went twice a day up to the Olympic park and rode our scooters on the trials. It was a good workout, and so super fun to go down the hills fast.
These photos were taken at Bow Falls. Cold glacier water from the Bow River and an excellent area for kids to splash and throw rocks.
After staying in Canmore, we stay in Lake Louise for a night or two. My favorite place in the world is there--Moraine Lake and The Valley of the Ten Peaks. Some people stop at Lake Moraine, snap a picture of the blue water and then leave. The most beautiful spot is up the trail just to the right of the lake shore.
I had never seen this spot on a cloudy day. At first I was kind of bummed out about the clouds (even though I adore clouds). But then I realized it was actually quite beautiful to see the ten peaks jumping in and out of clouds all day long on our hike to Eiffel Lake.
We met a grizzly bear on our hike that day. It was huge, and stopped right in our trail for quite a while.
We stayed at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for the last week of our trip. It is 50's glam in the most beautiful setting on the shores of Lac Beauvert. I loved our stay here. Although the hotel itself could use an update, the pool itself is worth staying for, and the service is spectacular. The town of Jasper is my favorite with so many great restaurants and shops.
On the way home, we stopped at Mt. Robson viewpoint. I had never seen the top of this beautiful peak. It's the highest point in the Canadian Rockies, and when we have driven through before, it was obscured by clouds. It really is a beautiful vista.