We traveled from Calgary to Banff with a nice young German adventuress named Alexandra. Alexandra introduced us to the concept of freezing our arses in really cold lakes (she said it as a joke, I said something around the lines of F@!K YEAH! – young and dumb)
It was awesome (but cold);
She introduced us to a small town about 20 minutes before Banff which is simply beautiful. It goes by the name of Canmore but everyone ever seems to pronounce it ”Kenmore”.
It’s a really nice town as it is much less touristy than the big bad Banff (which ain’t really that big) and has the same scenic, to die for, landscape and mountain ranges.
There are plenty of things to do in Canmore, but we only had one extra day before our buddy Markus needed to head to Alaska (or probably Calgary to stock up first, the Banff area being crazy expensive) and before me and my friend Anny hitch to British Columbia.
So in one day, how to enjoy all this beauty you ask? Simple; go on a hike.
Hiking is fun, simple and doesn’t require much. A guy at the tourist information was really nice despite the fact that we smelled and looked like we slept in a Canadian tire parking lot (no Walmarts in Canmore, a shame really) and we hadn’t washed since we last slept in a national park public shower (about a week ago ?)
Out of four options like those two hikes one that is long but walk in the park, one short but harder and further away or the last one, right next to here, but like really really hard and 1300 meters of total elevation instead of the 475 meters the other two hikes were.
We picked the 1300m one, of course. This and the fact that the pamphlet said between 4.5 hours to 7 hours. Of course, we expected it to be 5h, we are young and in decent shape etc. NOT.
Longest 3.5 kilometers ever. Hardest. Oh and what about those 15 minutes ”hiking” what feels more like rock climbing as there is no trail and boulders everywhere.
But, THAT view;
That is only from the midpoint of the hike, later, we rejoiced in our accomplishment and the fact that it was probably the nicest scenery I had ever laid my eyes upon. That was right after taking a snow bath. Right, this mountain was so high, it got some SNOW ON THE TOP !! Okay just a little, and it wasn’t really clean, but heck, I still took a bath in it. Tim Hortons WiFi is unfortunately too slow for me to upload this full bare-chested 1080p goodie of me jumping in grey snow.
6h later we are down, back on ground level.
In the end, it is really up to you what you want to do when you get here, but hiking one of the summits of the Rockies is a must. Your choice if you pick an easy hike or the badass Lady Macdonald trail like we did…
If you ever go to Banff, you really NEED to hit Canmore. As much as you need to hit Jasper and Lake Louise but, ain’t nobody hitchhiking to BC got time for that. (Read here, I am coming back for you Jasper… I am)