Alright everyone, I have been missing for awhile. 

A lot has been going on.  Being a teacher means I live a life of exhaustion, highs and lows.  Love my job, but it has been taking me away from the outdoors. 

In the summer I have the pleasure of traveling to Banff, AB.  I haven’t been to Banff in a few years so this was a treat! 

Jumpingpound Summit

Before I even got to Banff, I wanted to do a solo hike.  This was terrifying!  I have never done a solo hike before so I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it. 

When I mentioned to a friend that I would be doing a hike though, she wanted to join.  While I wanted to do a solo hike, I also couldn’t help but think “This will be so much fun though!”.  I told her the hike I wanted to do (Jumpingpound Summit) and she agreed to meet me there with her partner. 

Let me start of by telling you, the drive to get to the trail head is not an easy one!  It is a little logging road with big trucks coming around tight corners.  It was definitely a scary start!  But, I didn’t let that stop me.  I kept thinking, “Just keep going, it can’t be that far away!”  It was.  But that is besides the point! 

Enjoying the quiet at Jumpingpound Summit trail head

I was waiting for a little bit for my friends to arrive.  But while I was waiting, I was enjoying the peace and quiet.  The day wasn’t too hot yet (15 degrees C or so) so I sat in the back of my vehicle, ate some trailmix, and enjoyed.  The wind in the trees, the occasional bird call, it was all relaxing and new and yet calming. 

We started up the trail head.  This trail was rated moderate.  It wasn’t very long (total of 6 km out and back) and an elevation gain of 413 m but it came fast!  The switch backs were an interesting start but the forest views and the company were awesome!  It was definitely a trail I would do again. 

My only problem was my feet.  I must not have laced up my hiking boots well enough because I ended up with two large blisters on both feet!  

View from part way up
View from the top
Us at the summit
What a view!

Conference views

I was in and out of a conference the entire time I was in Banff, but the views were spectacular.  It was held at the Banff Centre (which is beautiful) and the views were stellar!  Mind you, the views were great for only a few hours on one day as the smoke from the wildfires blew in and blocked it for three days straight after that.  I was just glad I got to see some of it! 

Bow River
Fairmont Banff Springs hotel
View from my conference window!

Grassi Lakes Trail

I was fortunate enough that one of my friends living in Calgary was able to come out and do a little hike with me one afternoon.  We didn’t want a long one but one with spectacular views.  Grassi Lake did not disappoint! 

This trail is an easy one (3.2 km loop, elevation gain of 173 m) but I am glad we took the “harder” path.  This path was a little more rocky and you did feel like you were crawling up a mini waterfall at one point (I was glad it was a fairly dry day, otherwise this part would have been very muddy and slippery).  But the lakes at the top were a wonderful teal color!  It was fenced off for construction but we didn’t let that stop us from enjoying the color and views. 

Waterfall view as you climb
One of the Grassi Lakes

FEnland trail 

By this point, my feet were sore and my mind was tired from the late days at the conference.  But another friend came out to enjoy the scenery so we decided to enjoy this little trail together.  This was by far the easiest trail of the trip (1.8 km loop, elevation gain of 55 m) but it was pretty forest walk.  Occasionally you would walk beside two creeks (lots of bugs!) which were a beautiful blue color.  Apparently you can canoe down those creeks (which we didn’t do)!  

I would recommend this trail if you need an easy forest walk close to Banff.  It was quick but my feet needed a rest.  Those blisters were not healing fast enough! 

Creek along the trail
My friend enjoying the trail!
The colors were stunning!

Have you been to Banff, AB?  What do you like to do while there?  I’d love to have new ideas for next time!