Day 11

35 miles
18 mpg
$16.36: Protection Mountain, Banff National Park

Have I mentioned that Banff is a busy park this time of year? But I’m determined that my patented early-bird-gets-the-worm walk-in camping strategy will once again work for me. Since, you’ll see a lot of this as you drive through this area:

While it was dusk after 7 PM, thanks to the surrounding mountains, the sun did not truly set until 10:30 PM.

While I wanted to get a campsite in this busy park for two nights, I didn’t want to make this weekend all about finding a campsite.

So on the way to Lake Louise, I did a nice long hike to Johnston Canyon’s upper falls.

I’m glad I got there at 7 AM. I was almost the only car in the parking lot at that time. When I left, it was starting to get full.

Lower falls:

Upper falls:

On my way up, I encountered a dozen other hikers. On my way down – hundreds.

I thought my best bet was going to be a little 43-site walk in Campground called Castle Mountain. Even by 9 AM, cars were lined up, stalking the soon-to-depart campers. And it seemed more suited to small trailers and tent campers.

So I moved on, with the hope the Protection Mountain might have something. It’s a larger campground, but also all walk-ins. I lucked out.

I didn’t expect to find parking at Lake Louise this late in the day, but just to see the circus, I drove up. As warned, not a single parking spot to be found at noon. Folks were making the long walk up from the village. And walking faster than the cars in the long line that looped around to the full lots and back down the mountain.

But since I have two nights here, I’ll try again tomorrow – at 6:30 am.

3 thoughts on “Day 11

  1. Thanks for stories to share while at Lake Chautauqua with our family. Stunning colors and vistas. But have you seen any moose yet?

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