On the way to our fourth (and last) national park for this trip, we drove the Icefields Parkway again, this time stopping at the Athabasca Glacier. Then into Yoho where we saw a natural bridge.
Leaving the inn at Hinton was uneventful, so we went down the Yellowhead Highway once more, again seeing an elk with its head turned away from us. Then onto the Icefields Parkway. Since Melody was driving, I was able to get a few photos.
Just before we left Jasper National Park, we pulled into the parking lot for the Athabasca Glacier.
While it's not safe to climb onto the Athabasca Glacier (there are several crevasses you can't see) you can hike near its toe. We were wondering if we would see just a wall of ice, but not quote. When a glacier advances, it pushes a big hill of debris in front of it. Even though this particular glacier has been receding for as long as people can remember, it still advances a bit every now and this. That's why what we mostly saw a pile of dirt instead of looking directly at ice, but we did see the glacierjust beyond that.
It wasn't particularly cold in front of the glacier, but it was definitely windy.
There were also people walking on the glacier way back from the toe, but those are tours which drive you onto the ice before you get off.
There were picnic tables near the trailhead to the glacier, but it was still kind of windy, and the tables were buried in an enclosed shelter, so there wasn't much view. We ended up driving a bit further and had lunch in the Banff National Park section of the Icefields Parkway.
Yoho National Park
At the end of the Icefields Parkway, just before we reached Lake Louise, we turned west on the Trans-Canada Highway and entered Yoho National Park, which is in British Columbia. This is where we got a surprise; just like Eastern Oregon, the southeastern part of British Columbia is in Mountain Time.
Since we were driving through the park, we stopped by the Visitor Information Centre. We said we were looking for a couple hikes, one medium and one longish, and the recommendations we got were two trails. Different than the other places where we were given several options, but the two we were given were probably the two we would have picked, anyway.
The Natural Bridge was nearby and on the way, so we stopped by there. Several buses were jockeying in the small parking lot, but we did manage to find a spot and went to take a look. Matching the number of cars, there were quite a few people looking at the waterfall going through rock. There were also several people walking on it; it took us a while to find a path out there without jumping over barriers. There was one dicey part which seems to indicate the path isn't fully sanctioned. I went out part of the way, while Melody spotted me from above.
Done with Yoho for the day, we continued west to Golden, where our hostel was. It's closed to checking in for several hours during the day, and we showed up just before the opened again; not being in Pacific Time was to our advantage, since otherwise we would have needed to wait another hour.
The owner was very chatty and offered lots of advice. We were shown to our room and immediately began doing laundry. While that was happening, we walked the one block to the grocery store to stock up.
After we had groceries and clean clothes put away, we sought dinner, finding a restaurant about a mile away. Fed (including dessert), we made our way back to the hostel and had a quiet rest of the evening.