In the morning we prepared to leave Jasper the line up to check out was long and slow so Chris went back to the room to use the TV checkout and I went to the lake to take photos. The hotel may have been old (all hotels in Jasper are old) but the lake was beautiful! The boardwalk and the seats it was so cute. I took lots of pictures.
Once Chris joined me by the lake we headed back to the car, grabbed a quick breakfast and headed to the Icefields Highway. The Icefields Highway connects Jasper to Banff and Lake Louise. It goes thru the Columbia Icefield, past the Athabasca Glacier and countless lakes, glaciers and mountains. Its 288km and should take you 3 hours 37 minutes. It took us all day. I took photos of so many places I can’t keep them all straight. So photos dump with any details I do remember.
Next is the Columbia Icefield. I went to this exact spot about 10 years ago. Back then the gravel we are standing on now was ice.
We stopped in Banff and Lake Louise just briefly. In Lake Louise to take a few photos and in Banff to grab a snack so we could continue on to Calgary. It was a long day but some of the best scenery the Rockies had to offer.
When we were in Jasper we overheard a tourist couple talking about the Rockies. The husband seemed not to impressed and compared them to the Alps. The wife pointed out the Rockies were higher. He still didn’t seem impressed. I have never seen the Alps and I grew up with mountains, life doesn’t seem complete without them, but I understand the scale of the Rockies. They ordered espresso so I’ll use coffee as an example. This man was looking at an espresso cup on a tiny plate (the Alps) and comparing it to a cappuccino cup on a bigger plate (The Rockies) and thinking they are the same. They aren’t. Sure compared to their plates there is the same difference but compared to each other there is a huge difference. These are huge mountains in huge alpine meadows. Everything is huge which kills a bit of the awe. We even saw one mountain that was literally two mountains stacked on top of each other. Our only Alps experience is thru Top Gear and they drove thru them in a few hours, it takes an hour to drive past one of the Rocky mountains and then you see if coming long before that. But then I love mountains. From our tiny Mt. Cheam (6,903’ elev. 1,096’ prominence) to Mt. Robson (12,972’ elev. 9,281’ prominence)*, the highest mountain in the Rockies, I appreciate them both but differently.
*From Wikipedia. I prefer metric units but feet are smaller and accentuates the difference in size better.