BC Trip 2020 - Fernie and Banff - Bow Glacier Falls

This second part of our trip report starts at Rossland and continue East. We didn't go to Banff right away, first I wanted to see Fernie, about a 4 hour drive. I've come across that town in several guides, so I finally wanted to see what this town is all about.

To Fernie

Our first stop was just exploring the beautiful little town and getting something to eat.

in fernie
Fernie has a great downtown, with many local stores.

We got an ice cream from the choclate shop and explored some galleries with art from local artists before getting lunch at ... Lunchbox.

Lunchbox menu. Storefront can be seen in the picture above

Initially I though we would spent another night here and maybe go mountain biking. It didn't work out that way though, because I didn't book anything ahead of time since I wanted to stay flexible (smart, I know) and both mountain bikes and campgrounds were booked out. It was noon by now and after a short discussion we decided to just continue on to Banff instead to join our friends for the night. So off we went. Bye bye Fernie, was nice to get to know you! Hope we can come back some day to try mountain biking or to visit the ski resort.

Sand stone
Sand stone formations along Hwy 95

After another 3 hour drive we stopped for dinner in Radium Hot Springs, at the Horsethief pub. It was a little bit too busy considering Covid restrictions elsewhere, but we really wanted to get some food, so in we went.

With the belly filled we got onto the final stretch, the Banff-Windermere-Highway through Sinclair Canyon. It was such an experience driving through the canyon and and the suddebly being surrounded by forests and mountains in all directions. What a beautiful drive.

Into Banff
Sun is setting in Banff. We are getting closer!

We arrived in the campground when it was already dark. It was great to be welcomed by friends with a campfire. We knew right then, that we made the right choice that day.

Our campsite on the next morning. Nicely located in the trees.

On our first day after arriving we jumped right into it with a nice day hike, the 9km long Bow Glacier Falls Trail. The hike starts north of Lake Louise at Bow Lake, which is a 30 minute drive North-West.

Icefields Parkway
Along Icefields Parkway

Next to the parking lot is the Simpson's Num-Ti-Jah Lodge, which really stands out with its red roof.

Simpsons Num-Ti-Jah Lodge

And then there is the stunning Bow Lake. The lake and the mountains are just perfect.

bow lake 1
bow lake 2

We got our boots on and backpacks, and off we went. The hike starts flat and follows the river, then it goes slightly upwards towards the first waterfall.

Bow Lake hike
Bow Lake Gorge
Can see the gorge here
Portal Peak
Vist point with view of Portal Peak

After that we were hesitating for a bit since the next park would require us to climb over a huge boulder and JJ already felt tired. We thought about splitting up for a moment, with one group going closer towards Portal Peak. One moment to another JJ had a sudden burst of energy and made it onto the rock, which decided to continue together.

To both sides it goes down deep. Was not without risk crossing it.

Right after I made it over the boulder a funny situtation. We started walking a marmot jumped in my way. It looked at me like it required something for passage, and then it ran off again after a short moment. It was super cute and the first time I've seen on in real live.

A curious marmot

After that the path continued along a boulder field and the slightly uphill through a wooded area and the some more boulders, all along the gorge.

Glacier Falls
Can now finally see the Glacier Falls
Here we came across an interesting stone. I'm sure geologist love it here

It was a hot day, so at the final boulder field everyone was tired. I still felt finishing the hike though, so I want the last bit by myself up to the ACC Bow Hut. A bit of scrabling at the end but it didn't take too long. It is used as a base for exploring further onto the Wapta Icefields in winter or summer. After soaking in the views from the top I made it back down to the others so we can return to our car.

One we made our way back we took a quick dip into the lake. So refreshing!

Bow Lake dip

That's if for part 2. Up next Lake Louise and our drive back through Lilooett