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    Posted July 12, 2014 by
    Puyallup, Washington
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    Canadian Rockies - A Mountain Paradise!


    Few places in the world have impressed me as much as the Canadian Rockies have! My wife and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by taking a train trip across Canada, and one of our biggest highlights was the 4 days we spent hiking in the area between Jasper and Banff, Alberta. The scenery is drop-dead gorgeous, combining rugged mountain vistas with other-worldly blue-green lakes and rivers, common wildlife sightings such as bears, wolves, elk, and deer, and the refreshing scent of evergreen forests. It's hard to top this area if you're a mountain person at heart. The pictures featured are as follows:


    #1: Moraine Lake on a July morning - This gorgeous blue gem of a lake is surround by ten peaks that are all over 10,000 feet tall.


    #2: Athabasca Falls - a mighty river that flows from the Columbia Icefields, whose waters eventually make their way to the Arctic Ocean.


    #3: Lake Louise - one of Canada's must-see sights. This picture was taken from the Big Beehive, an amazingly picturesque viewpoint about 1,800 feet above the surface of the lake. The iconic Fairmont Chateau hotel is on the left bank of the lake.


    #4: Peyto Lake - another absolute beauty of a lake that can be seen on a short hike along the scenic Icefields Parkway.


    #5: Grizzly Bears - One of the best places in the world to view these magnificent critters is from the Lake Louise Ski Resort's lift, which allows you to safely witness the bears as you ascend to their Top of the World station.


    #6: Consolation Lake - A little traveled but very worthwhile hike from Moraine Lake. This is grizzly bear habitat, so you have to hike in tight groups of four, but the glass-like reflection of the lake was a nice reward at the turnaround point.


    #7: Glacial runoff on the Athabasca Glacier - Boarding a Sno-Coach at the Columbia Icefields Center is a fun way to get up close and personal with a glacier. The Columbia Icefields are unique in that they are found on a triple continental divide. Water that flows on the east side goes to the Atlantic (through Hudson's Bay), water that flows on the north side goes to the Arctic Ocean, and water that flows on the west side goes to the Pacific.


    #8: Lake Agnes Teahouse - a wonderful place to rest and order refreshments about two miles uphill from Lake Louise. This is one of the classic hikes in all of the Canadian Rockies and is well worth the ascent.


    #9: Johnston Canyon's Lower Falls - this is one of the most popular hikes near Banff, and justifiably so. This hike passes several scenic waterfalls, and the trail is often suspended directly above the rushing water, allowing you to walk through dramatic gorges with unbelievable views. If you continue up and over the mountain a few miles further, you arrive at the Inkpots, a series of lovely blue and green springs that are nestled amidst a ring of mountains.


    #10: Wildflowers of Sunshine Meadows - this hike near Banff has been rated by Lonely Planet as the #1 Day Hike in all of Canada, and it's hard to argue. Sunshine Meadows is a popular ski area for 9 months out of the year. But in the summer, you can take a shuttle bus up to this gorgeous alpine area and enjoy some of the best views of the Rockies without too many crowds. The lakes, trails, and wildflowers are amazing!

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