Posted by: danilefrancois | August 16, 2010

Go West Trip Journal – Days 3,4,5, 6 and 7

June 12th

Got up for another sunrise, and after learning the previous morning the only place for sunrise is Vermilion Lakes. As hoped the area did not disappoint. I caught some awesome alpine glow on the first morning without thick cloud cover and fog. Saw a beaver in the distance, which was real special. Since there weren’t any clouds in the sky, I headed back to the hotel to get ready for the day. Our plans for that day was to head to Drumheller, AB. This is not the place you wanna go to under clear skies and hot sun! It really did make it feel like a desert. We were there during the middle of the day so I didn’t take any photos of the area. It had potential, but needed the right light to set it off. We instead explored the dinosaur museum. Saw lots of bones. 🙂 Then it was on to Edmonton for the rest of the weekend.

How I do

How I Do - A photo of me taking a photo. Photo by: My Mom

Alpine Glow

Alpine Glow - Vermilion Lakes

Vermilion Lakes

Vermilion Lakes

Vermilion Lakes

Vermilion Lakes

June 13

Spent the day in edmonton not taking photos..:( Then headed back to Banff in the evening.

June 14

On this day we had planned to go to the Athabasca Glacier and explore the area, but as usual, it was raining. So instead we took a drive through Kananaskis Country in the rain. Since this was June 14th the section of Highway 40 through Kananaskis Country was closed. Due to open June 15th. That gave us a laugh for sure. So we followed the sign that said Canmore. This road started out kind of paved but then turned into a gravel road. Along the drive we came across 2 groups of firemen who were scouting for control burn areas. There were signs warning us of control burns in the area. The road seemed to never end, and the scenery was beautiful even in the rain. Eventually we came across this really crazy semi narrow road right on side of the mountain and water directly next to it on the other side. After this crazy road came a crazy hill. This was a narrow, steep winding grade down to the town of Canmore. We ended up out near the Grassy Lakes in Canmore (which I googled later and am kicking myself we never stopped to go there) We saw a loon in the reservoir area by the Nordic Center. After that exciting drive we headed back to Banff for the evening and sunset. Of course playing it safe and knowing there were still many more things to get we went to vermillion lakes for sunset. We ended up catching some interesting clouds around the mountains. As the sun was setting the light was bouncing off the clouds between the mountains and it looked so much like the clouds were fire and the side of the mountains were engulfed.

Kananaskis Country

Kananaskis Country - Neat rocks


Loon - Canmore AB

Clash of The Gods

Clash of The Gods - Vermilion Lakes

Blanket of Light

Blanket of Light - Vermilion Lakes

Special Light between the mountains.

June 15

On this day we needed to head to Edmonton once again, but this time we took the scenic route through the mountains. We started out the day with a bull elk in our hotel parking lot and Japanese tourists trying to get a photo while getting too close. We then headed on our way through construction just outside Lake Louise and then on to the Icefields Parkway. After not seeing any bears so far during this trip I was very excited to be on this road as it is a wildlife hotbed. Not even 30 minutes on the road, we came across a black bear in the ditch, just eating away. Then we stopped at Bow Glacier and Bow Lake for a walk around and check out the sights. Clouds were very low and it looked like it was going to rain/snow. We were going to stop at Peyto Lake, but apparently the road to it was closed… according to the sign?.. I wasn’t exactly clear about what went on there. But I didn’t get to see it. About an hour after seeing the first bear, we came across 3 more! 2 black bears, this time a mother and an older cub were eating away along the side of the road at the base of a glacial riverbed. While I was photographing the bears, my mother pointed out a coyote on the top of the riverbed. The bears were oblivious to the coyote. He didn’t stay long, only long enough for me to get 5 shots. As we left the bears in peace we saw another bear about .5km past the other 2, but we didn’t stop. We drove up a big mountain, saw a bunch of waterfalls and some amazing rock layers. Since the climb in elevation our rainy day turned into snow. We came to Parker Ridge and it was covered in snow and couldn’t see anything around us but snow blown trees. We get to Athabasca Glacier and its completely covered by the fog of snow and not visible at all! About 10 minutes past Athabasca Glacier, we got a big surprise, out of the fog and snow there appeared a MASSIVE waterfall known as Tangle Falls. Amazing little gem. Then on to Jasper we went. Didn’t end up making it to Maligne Lake or Medicine Lake, or the Jasper Lake Sand Dunes. Go to Edmonton for dinner.

Good morning elk.

Black Bear - Icefields Parkway

Black Bear - Icefields Parkway

Black Bear - Icefields Parkway

Black Bear - Icefields Parkway

It's In The Air - Coyote - Icefields Parkway

Black bear

Black Bear - Icefields Parkway


One of many waterfalls along the Icefields Parkway


Neat rocks on a mountain side - Icefields Parkway


Snowy trees near Athabasca Glacier

Tangle Falls

Tangle Falls - Icefields Parkway

June 16th

Last day with the family, before the headed back to Ontario and left me behind in Alberta =D. We said our goodbyes to family in Edmonton and then headed to Calgary to catch their flight home. Said bye to my family and then waited for Grant Mills to pick me up and start out 5 day trip. We headed to Banff for the night but stopped in Canmore to catch some neat clouds instead of sunset.


Canmore's interesting clouds.



  1. Absolutely outstanding photos! Love all the first shots of the mountains..just gorgeous!

  2. Great stuff Dani!

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