Monday, July 22, 2013

Banff and Lake Louise Redux

I really wanted Ron to see Lake Louise.....

He had been to Banff once before so we did a quick visit there then headed to Lake Louise for a picnic lunch.  We found this spot on the Bow River and noted a number of downed trees that were stuck in the middle of the, once quiet, stream.

We had a choice of lifts to take--the one in Banff or this one in Lake Louise.  When we asked a local where we would be most likely to see a bear she suggested Lake Louise.  

There was this patch of snow but otherwise, it was an utterly spectacular day.

And the bears were all napping.  Grrr...

As we climbed we began to see Lake Louise and the glaciers that feed it.

Lake Louise is a glacial origin, temperature and color.
Meltwaters from six glaciers at the head of this valley feed the lake.  Not surprisingly, the water is cold (less than 50 degrees F) in the summer.  The lake can be frozen from November to June.  In mid-winter, the ice can be more than a meter (3 1/4 ft) thick.   

The lake is 70 meters (270 ft) deep.

The glaciers grind the rock beneath them into a fine powder called 'rock flour'.  Meltwaters wash this powder into the lake.  The resultant silty water absorbs all colors of incoming light--except the striking turquoise and vivid blue that reflects back to our eyes.

Most 'rock flour' settles to the bottom of the lake over the winter. The few particles still suspended create an intense blue,
By mid-summer milky streams pour new rock flour into the lake.  The greater density of suspended particles changes the lake's color from blue to green.

When I asked Ron what he had planned for the next day he said, "We're driving to Jasper over the Icefields Parkway."
At that moment I felt we had seen the most spectacular mountains, glaciers and lakes that Canada had to offer so I tried to dissuade him. But he wouldn't budge--and he was right.  The best was yet to come.


  1. Thanks for the pictures. Lake Louise is now on the list to go see.

  2. I can't believe how beautiful that lake looks and now long to see it. A road trip is long overdue in our lives.

  3. Wow,,,,amazing....want to re-visit Lake Louise.....oh well.....presently sitting atop a 2500 ft. Mountain in glaciers to be seen....