Getting high into a mountain meadow all started with purchasing a ticket for the shuttle bus that leaves from the Sunshine Ski Hill Parking Lot in Banff National Park. The next step was to put a shout out for company and I was happy when Sky Blue jumped on board. We hopped on the 9:00am bus to the top, geared up then hit the trail and the pretty started immediately.
After the initial gentle climb, Rock Isle Lake comes into view and awakens your senses. While with wide open eyes, I am left a little speechless. I knew this was the day to be here. I am already seeing my favourite things: blue sky, white puffy clouds, a lake with reflections, mountains and not very many folks.
I did not add my bear spray to my pack today, that will come next Saturday for sure. Today's addition was a half full three litre camelback, more food and another extra layer. I am almost back to a full pack. Sky Blue lead the way through the quiet, closed in area with her spray and air horn (sticking out from her right side). My task was if need be, press the yellow button on the top of the horn while she drew her bear spray.
arriving at Grizzly Lake
view of Larix Lake
while we dined
with an osprey matinee performance
After visiting the three alpine Lakes and making great time, we aimed for Standish Viewpoint. Rock Isle Lake and Larix Lake were now far below us. We checked the map and time to verify we were fine with carrying on making the big complete loop.
looking back and seeing Mount Assiniboine framed by Quartz Ridge
The views along the Meadow Park Trail were outstanding.
Being early season, there were loads of lakelets which made the area a photographers dream.
We owned the trail and all the while for our safety, kept an eye out for wildlife.
This was all we gladly saw.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the three lakes area lower down, the section along this trail was by far my favourite scenery section of the day. Like I said early on, this was the day to be here. As the days go on, these lakelets will dry up.
We carried on all the way to the Monarch Viewpoint. This was about as much snow as we had to contend with today, ankle deep for a few feet. In a few days it will be gone. Feeling comfortable performing a leap of love when I can land on soft snow, I went for it. Our day was coming to an end and I was so happy to be sharing the day enjoying being on a meadow high.
time to hit the descending trail to take us back to the bus
This was my fourth time to Sunshine Meadows and now I have been here in all four seasons. I have snowshoed here in a winter wonderland, visited during the peak of wild flower season, spent a day here in autumn larch season and now early season seeing all the waterfalls and lakelets. It's a timeless part of the National Park. Thank you Sky Blue for being game, the day's take-away means much more when you can share it with friends.