We had a mission for today and that was to get high, high enough to get happy, to reach our happy place. Today's happy place was to be where we could see forever. To be able to see forever meant having a blue sky. I wished for this for my friend. Our destination was to top out on Sulphur Mountain by hiking up along the switchbacks underneath the gondola.
We began under blue sky with lots of sunshine paired with a rather low temperature.
We wore microspikes from the get-go which made for easier travel.
We had company for a very large portion of our hike up.
We spent lots of time in the trees going back and forth under the gondola track. Much time passed before the gondola began running for the day. We were more than half way to the top already. The views began to open up and it looked so pretty with the new snow.
the trail was hard packed
We reached the top and followed the signs to the door that would lead out to the boardwalk.
There were many notices warning hikers to take off their traction devices.
We made our way along the boardwalk. It was nice we did not have to share the territory with many others. It was very quiet. We stopped at every look out point. This is why we ventured up here. You can see Banff down below, you can see the Banff Springs Hotel, the Bow River, Tunnel Mountain in the very middle, and there is Lake Minniwanka in the far off center.
We reached the point where the board walk meets up with the Cosmic Ray Trail. We veered off down that trail a bit to get some destination shots. We were fortunate today there was no wind but it was very cold. We were dressed for it which allowed us to spend loads of time just hanging out and playing about.
it's still very sunny
That is our end point up there at the Cosmic Ray Station.
at the Cosmic Ray Station
The views were pretty all along the boardwalk.
Those red chairs are up here and of course we had to invest a little time acknowledging them.
We arrived back at the terminal building and walked the stairs all the way up to the outside observation deck. It was nice the pits were on fire. We took advantage and warmed our hands for a few minutes.
view of the Cosmic Ray Station from the observation deck
another view from the observation deck
We found a bench inside on the third level where we could have an amazing view while we dined in warmth. We savoured sandwiches, salads, sweets and a spot of tea. We had an easy decent ahead of us which would take no time so we spent a little more time instead just sitting and enjoying this view.
Beginning mid October and throughout the winter, if you hike up Sulphur Mountain then it is priceless to ride the gondola down. We took advantage of that. This is the view we had on the ride down.
The afternoon was early yet so we drove over to check out Bow Falls. WOW it was spectacular there. What a difference it makes visiting these places at this time of year on a weekday. We shared the area with maybe twenty others, if that.
We walked across the bridge towards the Banff Springs Golf Course and followed a trail down to the Bow River. My friend likes to raft but there would be none of that today.
view along the Bow River as the sun begins to move on down
It was time to call it a day, a beautiful day, an amazing day, and head on home.
We got high, we got happy!
It is exactly 9 years since I visited Banff with my friend Jenny, to see our sons. We woke to a winter wonderland. Our plan to hike up didn't eventuate but we used the gondola up and back. Sensational views. I love that they have added the fire pits and sculpture.ReplyDelete