Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Hiking Johnson Lake

Trevor had December 22nd off work, and I wanted to get out of town, and the weather was decent, so we took a day trip out to Banff. I don't feel like a road trip is a road trip without Timmys, so we stopped in Canmore, and when we got to Johnson Lake, I posed my now-empty cup in a snowdrift. :)

I chose Johnson Lake for our hike from the Parks Canada Banff National Park website. I wanted something fairly flat, not too long in case it was too cold, and nothing further away than the townsite, and since I'm irresistibly drawn to running water, this hike checked all my boxes. :)

The exit for it is the first Banff exit off the Trans Canada, and coming from Calgary you turn right off the exit, instead of left to the townsite. It's only about a 10 minute drive from the exit to the trailhead, and it's beautiful and well-maintained in winter. (The trailhead only has outhouses though!) The hiking trail is a 3km loop around the lake, and took us an hour and 15 minutes, going slowly, and with a stop to eat. We chose to go clockwise around the lake for no particular reason...

Stream feeding in to the lake
Grand old tree leaning over the trail. It was around here that I started talking about Narnia. :)

The water tower in the very center of the picture should be recognizable to people who drive that section of highway often. Just to give you an idea of how close the lake really is to the road!
It was at this point that I said something to Trevor about walking to Mordor... :)
And then we saw this sign, and I told Trevor to watch out for sneaking Ents. He *may* have rolled his eyes at me, after I explained what an Ent was...
Pattertwig here was the only critter we saw along the trail, except for a dog that nearnly gave me a heart attack!
Endor, anyone?
On the way back out we saw two elk just on the side of the highway.
It wasn't terribly cold, and we were well bundled. The views were amazing, and it was quite quiet. I really loved Johnson Lake, and I definitely plan to go back in the summer! We also wandered around downtown Banff, and went to the hot springs. We had a quick dinner in the mall food court, and then I got one of my favourite things for dessert...there's a BeaverTails place in Banff! I ADORE BeaverTails, so it was a pretty great finish to the day. And we managed to get back to Calgary well before it started snowing, unlike last time we went out there this time of year. All in all it was a very successful day trip, and I highly recommend Johnson Lake.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Michelle! I love the Ent comment. :)