After our bear encounter on the Icefields Parkway, we got to Jasper and checked into our cabin overlooking the Athabasca River. We also celebrated Kati's birthday as she turned 41.
The next day we went out to explore the area. This is hiking to Athabasca Falls
On the way to Lake Maligne, we saw a wolf, some deer and elk. And also did some side hikes with really beautiful and wild places.
And then came one of the true highlights of our trip. We encountered a mother and 3 cubs. We were only about 20 feet from them, and yet it was a bit dangerous to be so close, they didnt seem to mind. We spent about 3o minutes with them and left feeling so lucky to experience that.
We finally made it to Lake Maligne, but with the change in altitude it was still frozen over partially. Kind of disappointing, but we were still excited about our bear encounter.
We left Lake Maligne and did some more hiking. This is a nearby canyon.
Here is a Raven's nest perched on the side of the canyon. Definitely the first step of these new born ravens is a long one.
The next day we decided to explore some lakes fairly close by within 20 miles from our cabin.
And then another highlight happened. We encountered a Grizzly. We were about 35 feet away and it was the first time Kati and I have seen a Grizzly in the wild.
We spent some time in Jasper town and then headed back out to a couple of lakes - Patricia and Pyramid Lakes
The next day we decided to go hike to the top of a mountain that overlooks the entire valley. We made it almost to the top but stopped before going to the top.
When we came down from the mountain, we looked over and about 25 feet from us are 5 Big Horn Sheep that came down from the very top of the mountain to eat and get a drink. It was amazing.
We hiked different trails the rest of the day, including to a deep in the woods lake called Katrin. From Lake Katrin we went to other places and relaxed getting ready to head back to Calgary the next day and finishing up our trip.
We got up in the morning, and headed back down the Icefields Parkway for the last time. We stopped for lunch in Lake Louise, and Kati had Elk Goulash. From there, we headed back down the road until we finally got to Calgary. Our flight was the next morning so we explored the town a bit and had dinner.
The next morning, we woke up, went to the airport and headed back to Florida.
So that was our trip. We loved every minute of it, the fresh Rocky Mountain air, the animal encounters in the wild, the hiking and exploring new places and the wildness of it all. We werent sure if we were going to go on this trip, but we are so glad we did. Bears, Big Horn Sheep, Elk, Wolves, and so much more. Experiencing white water rafting for the first time, see a Grizzly in the wild for the first time and walking on a Glacier for the first time. It really made us think of that saying by John Muir "The mountains are calling and I must go". We did go and we loved it.
Click here to see a video we made of our animal encounters, or click here to go back to our main travel page and see whats next for me and Kati.