The Beautiful Banff National Parks – Turquoise Lakes, Unique Hikes, and Amazing Views

We’re going to one of the most epic national parks in the world – Banff National Park! We took an early summer trip to this jaw dropping gorgeous destination for several days of hiking, taking in the unreal sights of turquoise blue waters and exploring the great outdoors that only Canada has to offer. If you love lakes, mountains, wildlife, and those beautiful forest mountain vibes, then this is the trip for you! We also dip into nearby Yoho National Park to see the most gorgeous turquoise lake. You don’t want to miss this bonus park when you visit Banff.

Make sure to listen to part 1 of this trip to extend your trip up into Jasper National Park, you won’t want to miss the Icefields Parkway! And if you want to take this trip for yourself, download our 7-Day Banff Travel Guide itinerary to help take the planning off your shoulders.

Banff – Episode Transcript

1 (43s):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad Podcast. Today, as you know, we’re returning for part two of our Canadian Rockies adventure. So if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, part one, please go check it out ’cause we have all of the tips about section for you and the first half of our adventure. So in this portion we’re gonna be talking about the start of the trip where Charlotte joins us until we leave. So definitely a lot that we did in this time, we did so much and I’m so excited to share all of that with you.

3 (1m 11s):
Right. So picking up from where we left off last week, again, we started in Banff area but didn’t really do much other than making a few stops along the way, meeting up with Kim and Jasper National Park, doing lots of things. Hikes up there, Hot Springs, as well as the ice fields and glacier trekking working our way back down to Banff where we picked up Charlotte. And we are ready to rock roll and rumble and I’m excited to get into this episode.

0 (1m 39s):
I feel like when you read about Banff and you’re planning your trip there, the things that we’re doing in the second part of the two part episode, these are the highlights that you see in all of those articles. And we did a ton of fun stuff in part one, but we’re really getting into the good stuff now.

3 (1m 56s):
So like Brittany said, you know, go back, listen to week one if you haven’t. ’cause all the tips are really in there. So we woke up this morning, which is technically day five from the time Brittany and I started here, but this is going to be a Saturday. And we did a full day exploring Banff and then working our way to Yoho National Park. And what did we do first thing in the morning ladies?

0 (2m 19s):
The first thing that we did was Lake Louise. We saw that beautiful blue lake. It actually looked a little pale blue kind of grayish at this point in the morning we got there. What like 6 45 ish?

1 (2m 31s):
Yeah, so we did leave at around 6 45 from our hotel and we’re just right up the street from Lake Louise.

3 (2m 36s):
So by the time we arrived maybe around 7, 7 10. And you are right Kim. And I’m so glad that Brittany and I stopped the first day driving up because one, it was a little bit later in the morning, the sun was out and the water was a little bit more calm. So we had that better reflection along the lake, but it was still really pretty. And we weren’t just going to go to look at the lake again. We actually had plans to do a specific hike. This was actually the longest hike of the trip that we had planned. This was going to be hiking the little beehive trail, which was six miles round trip. And we will get into that. But I just wanted to remind people, if you pay to park at Lake Louise, it’s $21 Canadian dollars.

3 (3m 16s):
So it will be a little bit less US dollar after conversion wise to pay to park here. And if you remember kind of towards the tail end of last week’s episode, I mentioned the reason why we stayed at our lodge is if you are unsuccessful in being able to find a parking spot because it will get busier on in the season. We chose that for the close proximity because we would’ve been able to walk to start this point because Lake Louise is so popular. But $21 to pay to park and then hiking a little beehive trail. Now what drew you ladies to one hike, little beehive trail? I know there were a couple things, but what was it?

1 (3m 50s):
So for me, the pictures with the overlooks were amazing and I wanted to get in longer Hikes. So one, it was a longer hike. Two, it was the overlook views and three, there is a tea house along the trail. And I really wanted to grab tea and biscuits from the tea house. I

0 (4m 6s):
Don’t think you’re really doing it justice just by saying it’s a tea house. You have to hike all the way up this mountain, you come across Lake Agnes, it’s a lake on top of the lake and then this solar powered tea house with amazing soup, amazing biscuits, gorgeous view. And you really do have to work to get up there. And it was so interesting, the people that actually work there also have to hike to get to work. And they camp out in these rustic cabins right there for the season. Oh, and Jamal was very nice. Yeah,

3 (4m 37s):
So we’ll get to why it was very nice in a little bit. But yes, this tea house is at the foot of Lake Agnes already hiking up with a further overlook down to Lake Louise. But this was the third lake because technically we came across another one. Maybe you someone would call it a pond. But you know, it was definitely a good stopping point. Midway Mu Lake, which there’s another lake, Muir Lake, that

1 (4m 59s):
Was what it was

3 (4m 59s):
Called. And so I mean you’re just coming across all these things as you’re going through the forest with multiple overlooks. Finally the payoff is getting to the tee house that you do have. If you do enjoy tea, I would highly recommend it. What a unique experience, right? Just going up there doing a hike, you have a full-blown service restaurant that’s giving you tea. The soups like you ordered with Charlotte, right? Kim, which by the way, when it came out it smelled like fricking bomb. I was like, I should have gotten soup. But we, it was good. We just kept with the, the tea and biscuits for Brittany and I. But where you say, you know, I did them a little bit of a favor or help, it’s also kind of a funny story. Again, there’s really no power. Yeah, they say solar power, but you’re in a national park, you’re several miles away already from any sort of like trash can.

3 (5m 44s):
So they keep their trash and they hike it all down of everything from the customers at the tea house to the trash that they have themselves. And so when you’re sitting at the table, they have this little booklet of just interesting unique facts about the tea house, about life up there for the workers, et cetera, how they get things, how there’s only one helicopter shipment a year. Two, two, excuse me, two a year. But nonetheless still right? You know, it’s hard to keep that thing operable. And so it says if you wanna help volunteer to take down, I read it as your trash. I feel like as I’m getting older here, I’m, I’m having difficulty finding things when I search for things and like reading comprehension, I read it as your trash. So I thought to myself, oh I could take my cup, my teabag, my little liner that had my biscuits and the little basket that they brought me.

3 (6m 30s):
And so I tell our server, you know, I’ll take down some trash because that’s what it said. Just ask us to take down some trash, help us out. And then lo and behold, our server comes out with a full blown bag of trash that weighed like 10 pounds.

1 (6m 45s):
It was not 10

3 (6m 46s):
Pounds, it was like 10 pounds but it was, well it was on my back, not yours, it was about 10 pounds. But anyway, he comes out with that and I’m just like, oh is that more than my trash? And then he was like, oh, like no, this is like our trash. And so apparently the sign says, you know, offer to take down our trash to help and you know, nonetheless I was committed at that point. So I was stuck taking down and carrying down trash. So point being if you go up, do some good work and do some good deeds, but a unique experience nonetheless. We got kind of got on the side tangent with the story where I did at least, but really awesome experience up at Lake Agnes and the tea house.

1 (7m 21s):
Yeah, so even before you get to the tea house, we even stopped by a waterfall as well. And I would recommend that if you are gonna do the tea house, we were debating should we do it on our way back down because then we wouldn’t have to like hike up. But I’m really glad we did it when we did, which was on our way up because it had just opened like 30 minutes before. There was already a little bit of a weight and I hear that the weight just gets worse as the day goes on. When we got back to our hotel, we had told the person that had checked us in, she was like, what’d you guys do today? I said, oh we went to the tea house. She goes, oh you guys were able to get in? And we were like, yeah. And she was like, oh that’s great. So apparently there’s probably like a cutoff time or whatnot. But while they told us we had the little weight, I took a picture of the sign because it had all of the different types of teas and what they offered.

1 (8m 7s):
And so they had green teas, black teas, herbal teas, white teas. Then they had other types of drinks. They had mountain munchies, so they had sandwiches, soups, sweet treats. And then they had a little sign, this is what Jamal’s referring to, it says be a tea house helper and it says there are no garbage cans in a national park. Lighten our load and offer to take a small bag of garbage down. We really appreciate it. So we had our little tea and biscuits. I’m thinking we’re just gonna put that in our backpack. You know the cup just in the side pocket or something like that. Jamal asks for a bag. Once you ask for the bag, that’s when they’re getting the bag of like actual garbage.

1 (8m 47s):
They’re not getting a bag for you to take your own garbage down. I completely understood that. Apparently it was a little lost in translation for Jamal.

3 (8m 54s):
Well what you just pulled up is the chalkboard sign that actually had the menu. I’m didn’t even see that. So that’s news to me. I’m going off what I read in the little flipper book that they had on the table, which I think was a little bit different, but neither here nor there. Point being I was the team player helped carry down some of the trash to lighten the load. But that tea house opens from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM so don’t know when that cutoff time is, depending on how busy it is. You know, I don’t, I don’t wanna imagine they’re seating people, you know at 5:00 PM so do it in the morning. But a really unique experience. Hiking one of the most beautiful Lakes in the national park may the most beautiful depending on who you ask on that.

3 (9m 34s):
Passing different Lakes along the way. Having that unique experience of a tea house that’s serviced just by having to carry the supplies up, people camping up there, et cetera. So I really did enjoy it. It was

1 (9m 47s):
My favorite thing. I think for the trip that we did. I think it was my favorite experience out of all of the things that we did. And we were seated at a really good spot. We were on the deck of the cabin. If you look to the left, there was forest. If you look to the right, you could see the lake very scenic as well. So I absolutely 100% enjoyed and would recommend doing this.

0 (10m 6s):
This is one of the trails that you really need your mosquito repellent for. Yeah, there’s a lot of bugs on this one

1 (10m 13s):
And your all trail map.

3 (10m 15s):
And even though this was a six mile round trip, I just felt like it wasn’t too bad. Of course three miles is the way back down, but I didn’t think it was very steep. Even though you do get a lot of, you know, elevation gain, but you have several stops and things along the way that kind of really break it. You know, we’re kind of really focusing on the tea house here. But you have the, you know, the first stop, which is I guess the start of Lake Louise. You could get good picks, you’re working your way up. Then you have mirror lake and that’s a nice little resting point where you could eat a snack. Lots of people are stopping there. Then the second stop is a waterfall. Now it’s not the biggest most grand waterfall you’ll ever see, but you can be right up close to it at this point. They don’t have like a trail trail.

3 (10m 56s):
They actually have to build, you know, like wooden steps that you get up to this area to bypass, which will get you onto Lake Agnes and Thet house. So there’s all these little unique things along the way that I think make the hike actually fun in and of itself, other than just hiking. It makes the hike an experience in a way.

1 (11m 13s):
And then the last stop is the little beehive lookout where you get to see a bird’s eye overlook of Lake Louise from the top. And that

0 (11m 20s):
Was really pretty. We spent way too much time there trying to get pictures. But they all came out good. I in particular thought this was a difficult hike. My feet were killing me after this hike

3 (11m 31s):
Came over 30.

0 (11m 32s):
Yeah, it was intense.

3 (11m 33s):
Well you know what, in fairness, you live in Texas now and they don’t really have high mountains in the highest mountain they have in Texas. You live nowhere near. So in fairness, I’ll give you that too. But in general I, I didn’t think it was too bad, but there you go. You know, maybe somewhere in the middle on that in terms of the difficulty scale. But I do think if you’re not in a rush and taking your time, it would, it’s manageable though, right? Kim Kim. Oh

0 (11m 54s):
Yeah. It’s manageable and it is fun going up, going down. There’s not as many stops that make it interesting so you’re just piling through to the end.

1 (12m 1s):
And so once we ended the hike, we decided that we were gonna go into Yoho National Park, which would mark our fourth national park that we’re visiting in Canada. Canada actually has 37, so look at that. We’ve already been to like one 10th.

0 (12m 14s):
The main reason I really wanted to go to Yoho was for Emerald Lake. This is one of the most beautiful Lakes that we saw. It was my favorite lake. But the crown was taken the next day with Moraine Lake, but it is an absolutely gorgeous lake. I wanted to do two things here, neither of which we ended up doing.

3 (12m 32s):
But through no fault of our own though, right? Well, well maybe one of them but continue on.

0 (12m 37s):
So Emerald Lake is gorgeous Turquoise waters. It’s surrounded by gorgeous green lush forests and mountains. It’s so picturesque. I really wanted to do the restaurant that they have there, cilantro on the lake and just have a little cocktail, maybe a little small bite, enjoy the scenery. But there was a wedding going on there, so it was closed for the public bummer. But we did a little walk around, we tried to find a good place to put out our picnic blanket, have a little bev. I also wanted to go canoeing here. And that’s the other thing that we did not do. It was gonna be $90 per hour, right? Yes. So it’s kind of expensive and it can fit three people

1 (13m 15s):
And you can’t swap anyone out. So once the three people are in, that’s who’s in.

3 (13m 19s):
And so our thought process was, well, okay, yeah, $90 an hour, a little bit expensive. But of course when you convert it to US dollars, it’s a little bit more, you know, manageable and not excessive in price. But beyond that, like you ladies already said, three people maximum. Well there was four of us and so yeah, we could have gotten two, but at the same time it would’ve been fun. And we were all pretty much in that same thought process of, well I think all four of us in one will be better because they weren’t very small canoe. I think they just really do that ’cause they wanna make more money to limit it to three when I have to imagine they gotta know that there’s usually four, you know people, neither here nor there.

3 (13m 59s):
But then the clouds started to come in and we’re like, is it gonna rain on us? And they all, every place that has canoeing will basically say, it doesn’t matter if it rains or weather, you know, no refunds whatsoever. And we’re like, well we don’t wanna be out here. Like if it starts raining. And guess what, when we sat out and had a little picnic, those sprinkles started to come. So we didn’t do two of those things. But I will say this though, Kim, I enjoyed just putting out the little picnic blanket that we had sitting, relaxing and just really enjoying the view and being amongst each other’s company. That was really fun in there. And you are right, like Emerald Lake was absolutely beautiful because even though you’re in the mountains, I felt in this area, like you’re really in the thickness of a lot of greenery.

3 (14m 40s):
Plus with the contrast of the blue of the lake, it just made it really beautiful out

1 (14m 44s):
There. And Squad tip, this was the cheapest place to do canoes. If you were gonna do the canoeing at Lake Louise or Lake Moraine, it’s almost double the price to canoe there. So in that sense, $90 an hour was a steal.

0 (14m 58s):
It was one 40 wasn’t it? To canoe on Lake Louise. And then

1 (15m 3s):
1 10, 1 45, 1 45

0 (15m 5s):
On Lake Louise.

1 (15m 6s):
One, I think it was one 40 at Lake Louise and 1 45 at Lake.

0 (15m 10s):
Yeah, so pretty expensive. Made the $90 not look so bad actually. Yeah,

3 (15m 15s):
That’s very, very true. But nonetheless, Emerald Lake was still a really fun experience. I would go back, I know you wanted to do cilantro on the lake. When we looked at the menu, I’m just gonna go ahead and say this, the menu didn’t seem to impress me and the reviews at least that it had was not the best, but of course it would be the experience. And we came to the consensus that if it was open, and this is before we knew it was gonna be closed, that we were for sure gonna go in there and just enjoy a cocktail or a coffee or something to that effect. So I wish we were able to do that. But look at the reviews. We weren’t able to try it out to know, but the reviews on the few food there won’t lie, aren’t so hot.

0 (15m 54s):
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1 (16m 60s):
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0 (18m 12s):
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3 (18m 18s):
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0 (18m 53s):
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1 (19m 17s):
So from Emerald Lake we wanted to see a few other sites. We went to this area called Natural Bridge. And Natural Bridge is a really cool, remarkable geological formation. It’s been carved out by centuries of waters rushing from like this river called Kicking Horse River. And it just creates this natural stunning archway like bridge. You can’t walk upon it or anything like that, but you can stand on another bridge and get a really good view. It was raining at this point too and I remember at this point Kim did an Instagram story and I was just cracking up because what did you say Kim?

0 (19m 51s):
What did I say?

1 (19m 52s):
You said something along the lines like gotta see the sights, you know?

3 (19m 56s):
Yeah, you said it kind of like with an accent. You’re like, we’re out here, it’s raining, you did kind of like a little 360 panning and then you’re like, but we gotta see the sights. You know, but it’s not even what you said. It’s how you set it kind of with a little accent afterwards and we, we all ended up getting a good laugh out on that one. Maybe we will repost and share that story or maybe even make that one a reel when this episode launches so everyone can appreciate that if they missed it. ’cause it was a good funny one. Yeah,

1 (20m 21s):
Really easy. Stop over just you could spend five, 10 minutes here and see it and then you can move on. And from here we wanted to go to a waterfall called Akka Falls. How do you say that? Waterfall name

0 (20m 33s):
Akka Falls.

1 (20m 34s):
Okay. But what happened Kim? Well

0 (20m 37s):
Once again that shoulder season got us and the road was not open. We did debate the two hour walk to get there.

3 (20m 45s):
We debated real hard on it,

0 (20m 47s):
But I think we were all still tired from that big hike in the morning and it was also sprinkling at this point or more so well why?

3 (20m 55s):
Well, why did we wanna see this waterfall in particular ladies? I mean we’ve seen a lot of them up until this point. What was it specifically about this one? ’cause there’s a reason it

0 (21m 3s):
Is one of the largest drop single stream waterfalls in Canada, so it’s very impressive and we really wanted to see it, but unfortunately we could not.

3 (21m 15s):
Yeah, you know, seeing waterfalls is one thing, but seeing really towering waterfalls is something completely different. And a lot of the waterfalls that we did see on this trip, as impressive as they are to just see the full sheer force of nature that is water. You know, none of them were very high in elevation and so I was really looking forward to seeing this one. So if you’re there at the right time of year, and again we missed it again by only just a few days, I would’ve really, really loved to see this one. But from the area, you know of natural bridge, we were gonna drive there, but if you do this when you do go, it’s a 0.8 mile, you know, round trip, 30 minutes of a little bit of a trail and hike that you’ll have to do to get to see one of the most impressive single tallest waterfalls in all of Canada.

0 (22m 0s):
That night we had a huge debate on what to have for dinner. We were going back and forth again because of the menus in Lake Louise and having all the same options to choose from. And what was really cool is our hotel, the Paradise Lodge in bungalows, they had a binder in the lobby with every menu of all the restaurants nearby. So that was really nice. That was helpful. Just sit down and peruse the menus.

3 (22m 24s):
Yeah, so I mean the debate was real hard and now instead of three people trying to figure it out, it was four then at this point. And I could have been back and hard on Bill Pathos cafe just because again, I knew what we were getting. Menus weren’t really changing, but you know, this was our first full day with Charlotte. We’re like, oh yeah Charlotte, you just go ahead and make the pick. She picked a restaurant called Legends, which was inside of a hotel resort area, I forgot what it was, but they had several restaurants within there that all looked pretty decent again in comparison to you know, what it was that is being offered in that location. But they had a different lunch menu and a dinner menu and we all agreed that their lunch menu looked like it was gonna be fricking awesome.

3 (23m 8s):
But you know, lunch was passed and they were like, no, you can’t order on it. And so we had to stick with the dinner menu and it was definitely good. I won’t lie to you on that one, but just knowing what that lunch menu you had in comparison, I was just like, man, I feel like I’m getting let down. But I still enjoyed it because Charlotte got bombed fish and chips. Brittany and I did a little split of a pot pie and a salad. So there were good options in there for sure. Yeah, I

0 (23m 32s):
Got the pot pie and an espresso martini and it was very good.

3 (23m 35s):
Yeah, you guys loved that espresso martini didn’t you?

0 (23m 38s):
And that is actually exactly what I needed to dominate in cards that night.

1 (23m 43s):
Yeah, Squad tip. Bring a deck deck of cards with you if you’re going with a group. We always play rummy so much fun. Kim dominated us that night for sure.

0 (23m 52s):
You guys were vying so hard to gang up on me and when you just couldn’t do it

3 (23m 56s):
And we could not do it. And so, you know, I don’t even think we got done early. I mean we started early in the morning, we had a long hike, we did several things going to a different national park, had dinner, et cetera. But by the time we got back that beautiful little porch area that you were talking about in our bungalows that had the mountain overlooks, well luckily there were four chairs out there and we had the deck of cards, we had gotten drinks, some wine, some beers and we were just enjoying ourselves playing and don’t fall for the trap of thinking. It’s early on in the day because the sun sets late around like 10 30. Before we knew it it was dark and once it gets dark, you know it’s actually really late. So we kind of had that knowing we were gonna get up a little bit early in the morning. But yeah, that espresso martini just rocked you to dominate.

3 (24m 40s):
Nobody beats you at any game that we played that day, Kim and no, you walked the floor with us,

1 (24m 45s):
We played Slap jack,

0 (24m 47s):
Slap jack and I did not win. I

1 (24m 48s):
Won. She did not win. You did not win either. But also, we didn’t mention this before but I think this is a night that we ended up splitting some maple fudge and while you’re in Canada, definitely pick up some maple fudge. We got two kinds regular maple and then we also got a maple walnut. Both were really, really good.

3 (25m 8s):
Yeah, you can pretty much get the maple fudge anywhere. And I would highly recommend, and I didn’t mention this when we were in Jasper, but when we were done, all three of us getting the brews at Jasper Brewing Company, when you step outside to the left, there is a shop immediately to the left. It’s not even a chocolate shop but they do have a sign in there that says fudge and that’s where I got the maple fudge. But you can pretty much get it anywhere but highly would recommend getting the Maple fudge trying it. I mean Maple’s on the Canadian flag, right? So when you’re there you gotta do it. But it was really nice to just enjoy the fudge drinks and play cards on the balcony that night.

3 (25m 48s):
Just having a little bit of relaxation time.

1 (25m 51s):
Yeah, the next morning we were going to Lake Mera. We had been waiting for this the entire trip. We actually found out that you cannot park your personal vehicle at Lake Mora anymore. The only way to get there is by like a tour or to take the Lake Mora shuttle bust. So that’s exactly what we did. We booked the earliest slot available 6:30 AM shuttle to Lake Mora. And so we went to the park and ride. We got on the shuttle, it’s only $8 a person, you reserve it online in advance. And we took a little shuttle over to Lake Moraine and it took us probably like 20 to 30 minutes to get there. Well

3 (26m 29s):
Before we get into Lake Moraine, Brittany, I know you mentioned that you kind of need to make reservations. Where do you need to make reservations and how far in advance do you need it for Lake Moraine or even shuttles to Lake Louise? They do have, but where would our squads go to get those reservations and how soon in advance do you need to based off of when your trip is?

1 (26m 50s):
So we made our reservations on April 13th, that’s when it opened up for us, for us to go on June 11th. And you have to go to the Canadian parks website, find the reservation system, make a profile in advance so that when they do open up online you can just easily go ahead and book it and the reservations open in mountain time. So just keep that in mind that like wherever you are in the world or in the US the reservations open on Mountain time and $8, like I said, per person.

0 (27m 24s):
Lake Moraine is my favorite lake on this trip. It was so pretty.

1 (27m 30s):
I guess it’s a good one to end on then.

0 (27m 32s):
Yes, it was worth the weight. It was this gorgeous Turquoise blue that was so bright and bold even staring at it. You think it’s fake?

1 (27m 40s):
Yeah, I think the best views of it that we got were when we hiked up the little trail called the rock pile half mile round trip. It’s to a viewpoint, very beautiful looks overlooking the lake. I feel like that’s when you can really appreciate the deep blues and the colors the most and then see all of the mountain backdrop as well.

3 (27m 59s):
And that hike is called rock pile because of course you just hike up a little rock pile to get that overview look. But they do have a nice area there where they have benches, flat area with a little, you know, wall to protect you so you’re not falling over. So it is a good overlook. What I really liked about this lake beyond the scenic beauty of what you were just describing, Kim, I mean it was really scenic, really beautiful, but we took the first shuttle bus in the morning and I would highly recommend to anybody since you can’t park cars there, the only way to get there is by shuttle bus. They only have like one little lodge that doesn’t look like it can fit a lot of people to stay there. If you take the first shuttle bus, you’re gonna have this lake all to yourself in the morning.

3 (28m 42s):
And just that beauty with the sereneness of just being kind of in isolation to some degree with not a lot of crowds is gonna really enhance your experience. So it highly recommend doing that. But I can’t even begin to describe what that shade of blue really looked like. I’ve never seen a shade of blue like that on a lake before. I really loved it, especially with the mountain scape. We took that little overlook and then we did a little trail along the right side of the lake to the very end of it to where you can’t go anymore leads to a little boardwalk area where they have a little waterfall and stream coming in that actually feeds the lake. So really beautiful Lake Moraine loved it.

3 (29m 22s):
What a great last lake to really end it on.

1 (29m 24s):
You know when you see pictures on Instagram you wonder like how much of this looks real? Is it filtered, is it edited? All of the pictures I’ve posted so far, were not edited. The colors are just really that blue really that great and you really don’t need to edit the photos. The they speak for themselves and it’s not even doing the area justice.

0 (29m 47s):
I could have stayed here all day, it was so pretty.

1 (29m 50s):
It really was after we finished the rock pile, we hiked along the lake shore and just got some other different views. But I feel like the best view was from the top.

0 (29m 59s):
Yeah, definitely.

3 (30m 1s):
You know, a lot of people say Lake Louise and staying at the Fairmont that’s right there and Fairmont, you know the Fairmont chain fancy hotel would kind of be a little bit of an ambiance. But I would wager to say that little lodge that they have that is here at Lake Moraine would be a much better place for you to stay. Now we did not look into it in terms of you know, cost of that, what food amenities they have there, but I’m sure if you’re staying at that lodge you can actually bring your own private car but it’s not a very big hotel. So you kind of have that seclusion and this lake a little bit more to yourself, especially in the early morning hours and evening hours after those shuttle buses go because this area just is really great.

3 (30m 41s):
So if we ever went back to Banff, I would want to stay or at least look into the possibility of staying at Lake Marin at the lodge here.

1 (30m 48s):
So we did have the option of going back directly to the parking ride, which is what we did. However, if you didn’t do the itinerary this way, you could go back to Lake Louise or have done them in the same day because there is a transfer bus that will take you to Lake Louise. You can stay there for as long as you want, then you can go back to the park and ride. So the ticket includes the transfer between the two as well. So keep that in mind. But we had already done Lake Louise, we already did the the little beehive. So we went back to the park and ride and then we were heading back into the town of Banff directly to grab lunch. And then we were doing another attraction that we heard about called Cave and Basin.

0 (31m 27s):
I have a lot to say about this one cave and basin, which

3 (31m 29s):
Is funny because you were, not that we didn’t want to do it, but like you were really hard on this one too.

0 (31m 34s):
I really, really wanted to see this one. When you see the blog articles and the tos, like it’s on the list, you have to go here. We’re big cave people

3 (31m 44s):
Love caves, we

0 (31m 45s):
Love a good cave, we love some history. And this was one of the top attractions in Banff, National, Park

1 (31m 52s):
Park. And it was only open from nine to five. So kind of a time constraint trying to get everything else done, eat lunch, and then get here before it closed. And we had read a lot of things saying you need at least an hour and a half, two hours, maybe even more. And so Kim was like harping like we gotta get done with Lake Marra early Lee, we gotta get done, get there so that we have enough time to do it. Tell us about it. Kim.

0 (32m 15s):
So it was about eight 50 Canadian per person to enter. What was cool though is you can get that double ticket which gets you into the Banff, Hot Springs as well as the Cajun basin. So I know the next day you, you two did that. So you went with that double ticket saved a buck or two. I did not do that because I was gonna be heading home. But I thought that was kind of cool that they offered that. Now the cave itself, hmm, how do I describe it?

1 (32m 43s):

0 (32m 44s):
Very small,

1 (32m 45s):

0 (32m 46s):
Kind of a letdown in a little bit. You know we’ve seen some amazing caves, Carlsbad Caverns, there’s a ton of caves around Texas and Tennessee.

1 (32m 55s):
Mammoth caves in Kentucky.

0 (32m 57s):
This cave was extremely small, it did have a basin of water in it, which was cool, it was stinky. But once you get in and you see it, there’s nowhere to walk. You just go in, you see it, you leave.

3 (33m 10s):
If you ever been to like a cave style cenote in Mexico, this almost reminded me of that. But like a single person sized cenote for like one or two people really in there. What I found really interesting, more so about the cave, I mean there’s a storied history to it and that’s what I appreciated more. Like when we got in there, it happened to be around the time where when we bought the ticket, the person selling it basically said, oh a national park ranger’s gonna be giving it a tour in like 10, 15 minutes telling you about it. And what I liked more was the history that we learned of how this cave was discovered fairly shortly after like Yellowstone became a national park in the United States.

3 (33m 54s):
Of course if you don’t know, Yellowstone is the first national park in the world where government started to finally say, yeah, these are certain areas we should really protect, not have any, you know, construction, preserve, the ecology, et cetera. And so they found this cave in the area of course of these beautiful mountains also. And then the Canadian government kind of got the idea, well let’s kind of like protect this, et cetera. And so the story of how this area was really the first and start of the national park system in Canada, I appreciated more than the caves itself. The cave was underwhelming. But the story of it I found to be kind of exciting.

1 (34m 33s):
If you were gonna leave anything off of our itinerary that we’ve done, this would be the thing that I feel like I could skip.

0 (34m 41s):
Yes, 100%. The other thing that kind of disappointed me about the cave was that it’s a dead cave. They, in their storied history had periods of time where people would come and swim there touching everything. And so the cave is not alive

3 (34m 57s):
Minus those few little cave snails that are on the endangered species list that they do have. But yeah, I mean you say that it is to some degree dead, you still can in this area minus outside the cave. They have do do have boardwalk areas where you can actually see natural Hot Springs that are flowing down the mountainside. They take you on those boardwalk areas to it. But where you’re talking about people used to go swim, yes they tried to make that a touristy thing. But also what was really kind of cool with the story as they were telling it. Now of course this was a sacred area to the First Nations individuals in Canada. And again, first Nations is what they call, you know, native Americans or Indians in Canada as we, you know, we call them here in the United States over there, they’re First Nations.

3 (35m 44s):
Well this was a spiritual place and they used to have ceremonies in there and of course once it became a national park they prohibited the First Nations individuals from utilizing it. And now they’ve come to an agreement where they still do allow some ceremonies for them to do it in there. But yes, because of so much human activity that went on in there, not necessarily from the First Nations, but you know of the explorers and other stuff and monetizing it, it kind of killed the cave. But I mean you still have the natural Hot Springs but yeah, a dead cave

0 (36m 13s):
And it’s actually quite a big property. You can see old pictures when it was more of a tourist attraction for swimming. There was a big pool that they had built into the property area, which is now removed and kind of

1 (36m 27s):
Bricked over.

0 (36m 28s):
Yes. So it would’ve been cool to see it as it was decades ago. And then you can walk around those boardwalks like Jamal said. Jamal. What’d you think of the upper pools?

3 (36m 38s):
Oh my god, the upper pools. They were just so fantastic. I was so like riveted by them.

0 (36m 44s):
So at this point we’re all pretty tired and

3 (36m 47s):
I did not want to continue walking the boardwalk, but you ladies did, which is totally fine, but like yeah, didn’t wanna contend, I didn’t wanna take your story away again.

0 (36m 56s):
Yeah, so Jamal and Charlotte were being little babies and they didn’t wanna walk. And so Brittany and I were of course going around and checking out all the little pools and highlights on the map and

3 (37m 8s):
In fairness we were walking with you. We got to a point where like on the map we can see that the boardwalk kind of circled and met back up where we were and it wasn’t too far away, but we’re like now we don’t need to go. So,

0 (37m 19s):
So me and Brittanie went up there and we came back and we were like, you have to see the upper pools, they’re so cool. And Jamal goes trekking up there. I think

3 (37m 26s):
Charlotte came with me too after you guys sold she the bag of goods. No, didn’t. No she didn’t. Okay. I went alone. She sat it

0 (37m 31s):
On. She was smart because we got you

3 (37m 33s):
Y you got me. Yeah, there’s nothing cool at the upper pools.

0 (37m 35s):
It’s like a little tiny pond.

3 (37m 37s):
Not worth seeing whatsoever on that end.

1 (37m 39s):
There is an area though on the boardwalk on like the lower portion where it does go out over a marsh and then you see like mountains as well. That was a pretty nice view, but it’s not like I would go there just for that. Like you can get other views of the area as well, but at that point it is kind of buggy at Charlotte was wearing a little crop top and she was getting mosquito bites right in this midsection where like she had exposed skin and so she was like, I’m going back to the car. Jamal was like waiting for us. And so it was like Kim and I, that was only ones doing the real exploring. But we

3 (38m 11s):
Had, or I wouldn’t say that real exploring you guys went off in like two little spots where we just said we’re gonna stay. And it wasn’t that far. It was just like, I don’t need to see. But anyway,

1 (38m 20s):
But then after this we went and checked into our hotel, we took a little napper, we got some life back into us and then we went back out on the town of Banff. We explored Banff a little bit. Really cute mountain town, very picturesque. There’s views of the mountains, all of the like souvenir shops look pretty rustic. Has like that old feel to it. It

0 (38m 44s):
Was very bustling too.

1 (38m 46s):
It was. And we ended up getting, did we end up getting our beaver tail here as well?

3 (38m 54s):
We did get our beaver tails. You ladies were talking all about the beaver tails. I didn’t know what they were till we got there. So why don’t you tell us what the beaver tails are? Well

0 (39m 2s):
I love me some beaver. And you know when you’re,

3 (39m 4s):
I love beaver too.

0 (39m 5s):
When you’re in Canada you’ve gotta go headfirst into the beaver. You know, basically what it is is a long flat piece of fried dough

1 (39m 15s):
Like a donut,

3 (39m 16s):
Almost like a flat donut kind kind of crepe thing, but not as thin as a crepe Yes. Little hybrid.

0 (39m 21s):
Yes. And they cover it in cinnamon sugar and then they put whatever toppings you want on it. So I got like a apple pie type topping. Which one did you guys end up going with?

1 (39m 32s):
We ended up getting the banana and Nutella and then they gave us a free one that was like a cookie use

3 (39m 38s):
Cream that was an extra order. And so like did you want it? Like we made the wrong one. Hell yeah, I want it. So we had that and that was pretty good too. So they had, they’re almost like really donut crepes except a crepe is kind of like folded over with your fillings. Right? But this one’s not and it’s a fried dough and a little bit more puffy but not like too risen high. But I would say, you know, definitely try yourself some beaver tail when you’re out there. You can’t go wrong with those that are nice little sweet treats. So that was really good. We had that. And of course minus exploring the town of Banford, something about just mountain towns. I really love mountain towns. The quaintness of them, just the architecture style of the buildings all be made of wood.

3 (40m 20s):
But we went out here specifically for dinner, we had reservations. Kim, you were hard on this place too, and I know ca and Basin kind of let you down. Did the fondue at grizzly fondue let you down? ’cause you really wanted to do that.

0 (40m 36s):
I thoroughly enjoyed that dinner. And how did you guys feel about it?

1 (40m 40s):
My one complaint is that inside it looks, it’s so dimly lit and you’re cooking your own food, no problem with clicking your own food or doing like a fondue thing. But I couldn’t tell if my food was cooked until I like put a flashlight from my phone over it to just to make sure. So that’s like my one complaint is like the lighting isn’t sufficient. The meal itself was pretty good, but I feel like it could have been explained a little bit better so that we could have made better choices. But overall enjoyed it.

3 (41m 9s):
The cheese app fondue portion of the fondue meal that we got, yeah, it could have been advertised more. I wish it wasn’t just the bread and cheese and like Brittany said something on the menu. But overall I, I did enjoy the experience. We don’t go to fondue very often. It was fun to do it all together, all four of us and yeah, just it it, it needed to not be as dimly lit when they bring out a hot plate for me to cook my own chicken and beef on.

0 (41m 34s):
I would recommend making reservations. I think that we could have gotten in with maybe a little bit of a weight, even if we didn’t have them, but better to be safe than sorry was cold. So we wanted to sit inside and I think my bill at the end was around 62 bucks us and that includes a four-course meal and an espresso martini. So it was actually pretty reasonably priced. Yeah. For a fondue experience. So let me take you through the spread.

3 (42m 0s):
Take us through it. Kim,

0 (42m 2s):
We start out with a salad or soup choice. I got a Caesar salad. I know some people got the tortellini broth soup.

3 (42m 10s):
It’s pretty good.

1 (42m 12s):
I got the regular house salad and that was pretty good as well. Mm.

0 (42m 16s):
So all around first course we’re loving it. Second course comes out. You have a choice between a veggie fondue and a cheese fondue. And this is where we got tripped up. Of course we want the cheese fondue. Right, right. We didn’t realize that it was gonna be just cheese and bread to dip it in. And you also have the option of doing both half and half, which we should have went with, but we didn’t know what it was. Well

3 (42m 39s):
She, it was labeled as like vegetarian fondue, right. And so I’m like, well what is this? Is this like a vegan cheese? This was kind of like our assumption on it. So when she asked if we wanted to do the half, half, we kind of said no. ’cause we all really read the menu the same way. And then when they bring out the course, it was just the cheese and bread. And usually in fondue places when you have the cheese, they’ll maybe bring some like carrots or broccoli or like other type things that you can put with the cheese. And apparently that was gonna come out with the veggie cheese that they have. I’m just like, well what you know. So that was where the confusion was. Get us to course number three.

0 (43m 18s):
I still enjoyed the cheese. That was super good. And it was kind of weird because as the pot cooled, she came over and scraped up all the burnt cheese off the pan. We’re like, all right, we’re eating burned cheese now. So we moved on to the third course, which was your choice of meat. So I got chicken and steak. Someone else did too. Did you Jamal?

3 (43m 41s):
I did the same chicken and steak.

0 (43m 42s):
And then Britt you got,

1 (43m 44s):
I did beef and scallops and that’s what Charlotte did as well. And that was really good.

0 (43m 50s):
So they bring out this extremely hot rock, a big rock, and you cook your meat on there, but it doesn’t last very long. It was something like 10 minutes. 10 minutes. So that’s where it got a little dicey with if the chicken was done.

3 (44m 4s):
So they had to ring out a second hot rock for us.

0 (44m 6s):
Yep. And we had, oh my god, all the dipping sauces too. There was like eight different dips.

3 (44m 12s):
The dipping sauces with the meats. Sauces were really good. I loved it. It was hard to choose which one was the best. And so like I cut all my meats in a little pieces and one just go dip, dip, dip, dip. You know, like for each little bite that we did have on that. So that I really did enjoy. But my favorite course, I’m gonna be honest, was the dessert course. Oh yeah. The chocolate that they had with all the, the fruit that they brought out and different fruits with it. The, what was it? Strawberries, bananas, banana honey dew honey dew cantaloupe, apples canale,

0 (44m 42s):
Those little crispy cookies.

3 (44m 45s):
Oh yeah. Like little wafer style cookies with a filling in them. Yeah, those were good. The, the dessert course was my favorite course. I won’t lie on that one

0 (44m 53s):
Man. I could really go for this right now. It sounds amazing.

3 (44m 56s):
So you can have that experience yourself if you go to grizzly fondue in the town of Banff. And that’s what we did for dinner. Explored the town a little bit more by the time we were done with dinner shops were closing up and everything like that. And then we spent the night back in Canmore. But I think you have a little something else to add, Kim.

0 (45m 16s):
I just wanted to share one other restaurant recommendation in Banff. You know, unlike Lake Louise Banff actually had a lot of good restaurant options. Yes. So if you’re struggling there and you maybe wanna drive a little bit into Banff instead of eating in Lake Louise, we definitely considered that. We also had ramen here in Banff earlier in that for lunch. Yeah. Ramen ori. And it’s voted one of the best bangs for your bucks. One of the best ramen in the area. And it did not disappoint.

3 (45m 45s):
It was very good, loved love, loved the ramen.

1 (45m 48s):
Yeah. Charlotte was like, Ooh, it’s like in this little strip mall and like, no one’s here. And I’m like, it just opened. But it has really good reviews and once we, everyone ate, everyone was really satisfied with their meal there.

0 (45m 59s):
And there was a huge wait when we left, we had gotten there the minute, minute it opened.

1 (46m 4s):
So that was like our last full day together as a foursome. And the next day Kim was gonna be leaving, but before she left we were doing one last thing together and that was going to be doing Johnston Canyon and we were gonna be doing a hike up to Upper Falls. And so this is about a 3.2 mile hike. Takes you approximately two hours. I really love this hike. You get a little bit of everything, you get a little bit of the river waterfalls, forests, you kind of take it all in. And on top of that, the trail itself is anchored to like the rocks on the outside and it’s kind of going over the river, but it’s not glass bottom. So I was like, oh Jamal, how do you feel about this?

1 (46m 46s):
Because you’re over it and you’re like overlooking it as well. But it did not have a glass bottom. So he was okay with it.

3 (46m 53s):
He had no glass bottom. I was totally fine with it. I really like trails that are like this. I mean, you’re literally following the edge of the canyon on each side and there’s literally no space for there to be a trail. So they have to anchor the wooden platformed boardwalk trail into the rock. So that’s what Brittany means when you’re kind of like over the edge is because it’s literally anchored to the rocks on the side for you. So I really love this. You have the payoff of, you know, couple waterfalls. The first lower falls that you actually get to, there’s a really cool spot where you can get in front of it, but then they carve out a little area to where you can, I don’t, you’re not technically on the backside, but you go through like this little tunnel cave cave to get to it and then you’re standing right there, then you’re just kind of like getting misted with the water that’s coming up from the waterfalls.

3 (47m 41s):
Really cool experience. And then the upper falls, like once we actually got there to the, where it looked like it was the end of the trail head, I was like, oh man, this is disappointing. The lower falls was probably cooler than, who was it who said co continue down a little further. I think it was you Kim, right? Yeah. And then what do you know? Like it looks like the boardwalk ends. You’re not gonna see really anything there, but it gets you to an area where it’s literally peeking around and then you can see this big waterfall and really enjoyable. Like quite honestly, this is one of my favorite things that we did was the Johnston Canyon to Upper Falls Hike Trail in Banff. National Park. I really love this

0 (48m 19s):
One. I would agree this was one of the highlights for sure. So Skip Cave in Basin and go over here to Johnston Canyon.

1 (48m 25s):
Yeah, so we were kind of on a time constraint because Kim had a 11:00 AM bus ride back to Calgary. Her flight was leaving, but Jamal Charlotte and I were continuing on, so we went back to Banff. We dropped Kim off. Kim, do you have any parting words for us?

0 (48m 41s):
Just backing up the bus once again, it’s so convenient. It’s so easy. It’s priced by the length of your trip. So the cost to get up to Jasper from Calgary was more expensive than it was to go Banff to Calgary airport. Super easy to find in the airport. The bus is laid back and chilled there have huge windows on the side so you get the view while you’re driving. Two thumbs up for the bus.

1 (49m 5s):
Okay, good to know. Good to know. So from there, Jamal, Charlotte and I, we loaded back up in the car. We went to Lake Mini Wonka. This is the second longest glacial lake in the Canadian Rockies. It’s also really long, which stretches 21 kilometers in length. Largest lake in Banff. And you can do like boat tours on it as well. Bring your own boat out on it, do a scenic hike along the lake trails or just hang out there. This was not my favorite lake, even though there was a lot of hype for it. I just like wasn’t super impressed in comparison to all of the Lakes we went to. But then we went to a lake called to Jack Lake right up the street and I really liked that lake.

1 (49m 46s):
Instead. It was much more scenic. There wasn’t as many people there. The colors were better forests on the other side, Charlotte and I stuck our feet in the water. It was a better scenic opportunity here.

3 (49m 58s):
So how you said Kim that we can pass on Cave and Basin? If I’m gonna be honest, I would say these two Lakes in my opinion are potential passes. If there’s a time, I agree with Brittany on Lake Minow Wonka probably this is really popular because it’s the largest. I saw a lot of areas where this looked like it had little boat ramps for people to actually go boating. I’m not talking like canoeing, kayaking, like actual boats. So if you’re into that, that’s probably why, you know, it’s kind of rated high. There’s campgrounds around things like that. So that’s probably why, again, it does rank pretty high. But in terms of scenic whatever to Jack Lake was a little bit more pristine, nicer colored water and a little bit more laid back and more of a kind of secluded vibe even though there was you know, a good amount of people there.

3 (50m 45s):
So I would agree with Brittany on to Jack Lake, but in my honest opinion for Rush, for time, these are just things to potentially see. And you know, not the most impressive Lakes.

1 (50m 55s):
Well I also think too is when people think of the Canadian Rockies, people focus on Banff a lot and so they don’t often go outside of Banff. They don’t go to Kne, they don’t go to Yoho, they don’t go to Jasper. And so if you’re only staying in this area, yeah I would recommend it to get more variety of Lakes. But because of everything we had already done, it was like second thought after that.

3 (51m 17s):
But one of the highlights that we did after this, which I’m really, really excited and happy that we did and you kind of touched upon it Kim when we were talking about Cavan Basin, how they had that little two for ticket with the Hot Springs, well they have Hot Springs here in Banff that we were able to go ahead and do. It’s 1650 Canadian per person. But again, if you do go to Cavan Basin, you can get the two for ticket at, what was it like about 22 bucks or something like that. So it creates a discount on both of them where you get the the cave tour as well as the, the hot spring tickets here. And this is another area where they’ve made manmade recreational hot spring pools out of naturally fed hot spring thermal water and you’re at a nice high elevation where you’re overlooking the mountain scape and everything.

3 (52m 3s):
But by the time we did this, you know, it was midday and it was at the warmest time of day, so it didn’t really feel too good sitting in the Hot Springs being that it was a little bit warm, but it wasn’t like excessively hot. But you know, you could have better outside temperature to sit in the Hot Springs than we did in this moment. But I still really enjoyed it.

1 (52m 23s):
Very similar in terms of amenities to the one that we went to up in Jasper. But what was different is there was only one pool and the pool was obviously warm and as you were leaving the woman’s locker room, you go down a ramp and the ramp immediately starts to enter the pool. So you are already like partially in the water by the time you are like in the pool. Like there’s, you don’t go outside of the pool and then get it and you walk directly and you’re in the pool.

3 (52m 51s):
I forgot about that. That’s very true. It’s like sometimes those Instagram or TikTok videos you see of like really cool pools or spas like in hotels and then you kind of like walk down the ramp and there’s a wall there then all of a sudden around the corner. And it’s actually the pool itself, that’s what it really was here at these Hot Springs. So that was a really cool aspect of it. I forgot about that Brittany. Good call sounds very unique.

1 (53m 14s):
Yes, and very beautiful panoramic views. Charlotte was loving it. Charlotte loves the sunshine, so she was just having her best time here laying out in the sun, enjoying the Hot Springs. I really enjoyed it too. And then Jamal had mentioned, you know we got that twofer ticket at Cave in Basin and we had asked the person that sold it to us, do we have to use it the same day? She was like, no. The ticket to the Hot Springs is valid through the end of the year. So if you’re gonna be in this area for a few days, then you can use it at any point during your stay. So from the Hot Springs, I wanted to check out the Fairmont Hotel in Banff. They have one that’s called Banff, Fairmont Springs

3 (53m 54s):
Different one than the one that’s by Lake Louise by the way. So throwing that out there, it looks like

1 (53m 59s):
A castle Kim. It has a like, I feel like the Castle look should be at the one that’s at Lake Louise.

3 (54m 6s):
And didn’t I say that too? Like for this Fairmont hotel, which is a very luxurious brand of hotels and chain for it being at Lake Louise, I said the outside is very unimpressive, like it could be a lot better. Then we saw the outside of this and I was like, holy shit man, this is like a cool castle looking hotel made with stone. I mean it was awesome. I the outside of this was substantially better than the one at Lake Louise.

1 (54m 33s):
Yeah, but there’s really nowhere to like park unless you wanna pay a lot to park there. So Charlotte and I just popped out of the vehicle and we went inside and we kind of like perused a little bit and they have a pool there. The pool overlooks like this mountain backdrop. It looks super cool. It would be a dream to stay at a hotel like that again.

0 (54m 52s):
You just reminded me of something that happened to us in Jasper. If we can go back to last week’s episode, it has to do with the Fairmont and it has to do with Hot Springs. While we were at lunch, the server had asked us, oh what are you doing? And we said, we’re gonna go to the Miat Hot Springs. And she’s like, oh you should really go to the Fairmont Jasper Hot Springs. And we were like, what? We’ve done a lot of research and it’s not popping up. We even Googled it right there. It was not popping up from what we could see, it was a heated pool at the Fairmont and they wanted to charge 30 or 30 something per person. Right. And we were like, what kind of trickery is this?

1 (55m 33s):

3 (55m 34s):
I think she was trying to keep the Miat Hot Springs towards the locals and a few less people. That was like our discussion because yeah, nothing came up about that as being like Hot Springs, let alone are they even naturally fed or is it just a little jacuzzi that they’re labeling as Hot Springs? So yeah, I mean, so the Fairmont in Jasper don’t go to the Hot Springs there, but I guess the one in Banff, cool looking outside hotel, the pool overlooks the mountains. I didn’t see it because again, there was no place to really park. So I just kind of let the girls out and stayed behind a little bit and waited for them to meet back up with me. ’cause they wanted to check out the inside. But that was really the last little bit of things that we did before we started to make the short little drive back down to Calgary and spent our last evening there before our afternoon flight the next day.

1 (56m 24s):
Yeah, we made it to Calgary and we wanted to check out the downtown. You know, Calgary’s a big city, so I was looking up things to see and do in downtown Calgary. They have some like art installations on the outside of buildings. You know, it kind of reminded me in Chicago of a way, because there was one building that we like could not get over. It was so cool looking from the outside, it was, I don’t even know how to describe it, but it was like a whole bunch of different squares that popped out at different lengths. And so it just looked super strange, super cool.

3 (56m 56s):
And then when you checked out the side profile of it, it was weird. It was really narrow at the top and then the way it just got wide at its base and not even like in a clean line. So the architecture of some of the buildings there were cool, but we don’t know the name of that building. But it was very captivated and I’m sure if you’re in the central downtown area you’ll see it. But you know, by the time we got back it was a little bit later, so we’re like, we’re hungry, what are we gonna do? We were starting to look for places to eat, things to do, but we were like, well we’re gonna go check out the town. You know, one thing that Brittany wanted to do and that we did was check out the Calgary library and he would say, well why are we going to library? But then you see the photos and the inside of it is impressive. You know, the architecture of the building and everything like that.

3 (57m 36s):
And each floor was a little bit different. Had some local art and art installations in there too, but minus the library, of course if that’s not, you know, your thing, you can do the Steven Avenue walk and it’s a whole closed off street that’s lined with the restaurants, pubs and bars. That’s a cool little walkway area. And we kind of did that, found an Irish pub to sit and have a drink before we were making our way on to dinner.

1 (58m 2s):
Yeah, I got a really good coconut mojito at the Irish pub. It was delicious by the way. And we sat there because across the street there was like some people performing on their guitars, like little live music there as well. So it was a very lively street. They had it decorated for pride as well. And then we decided to go to dinner at a place called the Rooftop Y Y C for drinks and their happy hour.

3 (58m 29s):
And we were like, alright, you know, sorry, Kim’s not here, but we’re gonna have to try to find a rooftop bar. And so we were googling it and there were actually two listed I, I don’t remember why we didn’t go to the first one.

1 (58m 43s):
Bad reviews on the food,

3 (58m 44s):
Bad reviews on the food. And then, so this is one, it’s called rooftop Y Y C. And of course you know you’re in Canada and maybe yes, the summers can be warm in the valley area of Calgary, but the winters are deathly cold. I’ve been to Calgary before in the winter and it is cold. So of course a rooftop bar is really not gonna be full-blown open. We thought to ourselves, okay, maybe somewhere on the rooftop that’s kind of like a little atrium style closed off and this is what it was. And so from Steven Avenue Walk where we had our drinks, we were like, all right, let’s just walk to rooftop Y Y C. And then we’re like, we’re here. And we look up and it’s only a three story building and we’re just like, what the heck is this?

3 (59m 24s):
Yeah, I,

0 (59m 25s):
You know what restaurants will say that? Rooftop bar. And then it’s like the second story terrace. I’m like, who are you trying to fool?

3 (59m 31s):
I, well, you know what, they fooled us and but we got there. But minus the rooftop aspect of things one, yeah, it was kind of let down. But the ambiance up there, which we’ll touch on in just a second, was fricking awesome. It did

0 (59m 43s):
Look cool from the

3 (59m 44s):
Stories. It, it was fricking awesome. But the food reviews that we saw and photos that made us decide that we were going to eat there and happy hour that they had, we were like, oh no, we’re gonna go here. And this place was legit. Like if you’re going to eat and have drinks anywhere in Calgary, I would say to go to rooftop Y Y C.

1 (1h 0m 2s):
Yeah. So Kim, I posted on our Instagram stories and you said, not impressed. Explain that.

0 (1h 0m 7s):
Not impressed with the rooftop being that it was closed.

1 (1h 0m 10s):

3 (1h 0m 11s):
Yes. But again, I said, why? I mean it’s Canada, you know, you gotta do, but yeah, but can

0 (1h 0m 15s):
You really call it a rooftop bar if it’s like that,

3 (1h 0m 18s):
If it’s atrium style?

1 (1h 0m 19s):
Yeah, it was atrium style. It was really cute ambiance. They had these like clear umbrellas hanging down with like flower petals. There was a tree on the inside, there was lights, lanterns, lots of like floral decor, very unique tunnel to like get to the bathroom area that was like lit. Every bathroom was different. Kind of had like this graffiti feel, but like purposely so, and some like interesting art on the wall. It was just a very hip place. The food was really good.

0 (1h 0m 49s):
What was the food? We

1 (1h 0m 50s):
Got like everything. I mean it just a like little snack foods. We got these fries that were like in duck fat, in truffle sauce or truffle oil.

3 (1h 0m 59s):
Yeah, they were fried in duck fat. And then they had like the truffle sauce. We

1 (1h 1m 3s):
Got chicken parm sliders. We got a a whipped feta cheeseboard. What else did we

3 (1h 1m 11s):
Get? We ended up getting the grilled tuna. Then we also got, oh, a sushi roll. What we thought was gonna be a sushi roll. But they made it a little bit differently, which they told us that, you know, as we were ordering it. But basically they deep fried the sushi rice, topped it with, you know, what you would have kind of like in the interior of the roll, your tuna sauces, other stuff with it. And then, I’m trying to think what else we got. But the food drinks, well drinks of course, but the food there was really, really good. There’s one more thing that I remember that we’d liked that’s just, I can’t think of what it is at this point in time. However, you know, they do have a happy hour menu, one kind of like earlier in the afternoon where they have their drinks and food on happy hour price and then happy hour will come back from a certain time into clothes.

3 (1h 1m 60s):
But not for drinks. Just for the food.

1 (1h 2m 3s):
Oh, it was the brussel sprouts. Oh

3 (1h 2m 4s):
The, the brussel sprouts came, you would’ve loved, I knew there was something else. Those Brussels were fire. So point being in Calgary, go to rooftop Y Y C, you won’t be disappointed. And maybe be sure to time it for the happy hour and get those good prices. So

1 (1h 2m 18s):
That’s how we ended our night in in Calgary. The next morning was the day that we were flying home. We had a flight at around 3:00 PM We were so tired from this trip, like just go, go, go, go, go. So we decided not to set an alarm. We slept in that morning, just in time to hit the breakfast buffet before it closed. Wow. And then we decided to go back to downtown Calgary. They had this huge mall and in the mall they had a top floor with botanical gardens and it connects to the mall. So it’s not enclosed. So you can go in there and like enjoy your coffee or a snack or read different little inlets to go explore the botanical garden.

1 (1h 2m 58s):
Really liked that, that it feels like you’re outside, but you’re inside. And probably pretty clutch for the Canadian winters as well,

3 (1h 3m 6s):
I would assume. That’s exactly why it’s designed that way. And they have it in the mall to just allow people to have that little outdoor space in the depths of winter. But otherwise, you know, I wish we had a little bit more time to explore Calgary and give you good feedback on that. But you know, our time there was limited other than just arriving, getting food and then having to rush to the airport. But amazing trip Banff, all in all. And when I say Banff, of course it’s the all encompassing of Jasper Yoho Kuni, and of course Banff, National Park. And I really love this trip. If you haven’t been to Banff yet or in that general region, this is an area of the world where the mountain scape and Lakes that are formed from here, just really beautiful, highly recommend.

1 (1h 3m 48s):
So we’re getting ready for the next part of the episode. Kim’s favorite part of the episode. Questions of the week. Woo.

0 (1h 3m 56s):
Let’s hit it.

1 (1h 4m 3s):
We got two questions on our Instagram that were DMM to us. Number one was from Pat from Delaware. She asked, how many miles did you drive in total on this trip? Jamal, how many miles did you drive?

3 (1h 4m 14s):
Oh gosh. You know, I felt like a lot. But then when we actually did the tally, I didn’t realize it was this much. I was like, oh wow, really that much total collectively about 1100 miles.

0 (1h 4m 27s):
Wow. Yeah, we were very active.

3 (1h 4m 29s):
I know it didn’t feel like that whatsoever at all. Because I mean, if you break that down from Calgary up to Jasper and working our way back down at 1100, that’s 550 miles. I’m thinking about like from San Diego back to our hometown Woodland, right? By Sacramento. You know, that’s the kind of approximate mileage equivalent. And I don’t feel like we drove that distance at all that I know it is from San Diego to Sac area. So that was really surprising to me. But roughly 1100 miles.

1 (1h 4m 60s):
And our second question was from Lauren from Pennsylvania. She asked, how many days did you need to visit all four parks?

0 (1h 5m 6s):
So you all basically did eight days, right? Tuesday to Tuesday. And we were talking about this actually on the trip and the route that we took and all the things that we did, what we would skip knowing what we know now. And I think you could probably do it in six days if you were,

1 (1h 5m 24s):
Well you, you Kim were there for six days and you did go to all four national parks.

0 (1h 5m 28s):
Well, there was some things on the Ice Fields Parkway that I didn’t see that you guys did on that day. I wasn’t there. So ideally you would wanna see those and if you weren’t on the bus and you were driving, you totally could and you could maximize the trip. I think. Yeah, I think we could have done it in a few less days, but I also think there were things that were closed that we could have added on had they been open and yeah. So what do you think?

1 (1h 5m 51s):
I would say six to eight days is a good range depending on what you wanna see and do. Because we found out about K Ande while we were there and that was kind of an afterthought for us. But there were other things to see and do in K Ande and we just touched like the very surface of it. And we didn’t go far in, but it, that road took along. Kute Ande ends at a town called Radium, and there’s Hot Springs there, and it’s supposed to be really cool. And there’s a glacier that you can hike to, which you can’t in other parts. And we didn’t do a ton in Yoho either. And part of it was because part of the road was closed. So I feel like if you were gonna leave Calgary out and you were gonna maybe not do cave in basin, like six to eight solid days is a good amount of time to really get a good feel for the area.

0 (1h 6m 37s):
I think I would’ve done canoeing on Emerald Lake and the Lake Louise Gondola because they said there was high chances of seeing grizzlies on that. So with a little bit of extra time, we could have squeezed those things in.

3 (1h 6m 52s):
I would’ve been all about the gondolas too, if it was in the schedule. But since it wasn’t in the schedule and then it was just like, oh, it’s adding kind of like another thing. It almost felt kind of like a drain if we were to do it. But I agree with you, that could have been added on and I would’ve really liked to do that to kind of go up there. So, but yeah, I would agree. Or six to eight days is probably a really good amount of time just to make sure you see a little bit of everything in a not so rushed fashion.

0 (1h 7m 16s):
I think all in all too, I spent like a thousand bucks on this trip. I got my flight super cheap, mostly with points, the bus tickets, transportation, car rental, gas hotels, splitting them like we did. I think I spent around a thousand bucks for that week trip. So I was pleasantly surprised with, I was expecting Banff to be extremely expensive, but we were able to do it by staying outside of the towns and skipping on some of those expensive experiences. So it was great.

3 (1h 7m 47s):
Yeah. And speaking on that touch of expense, I just wanna say something real quick. A lot of time when you see Canadian prices, one the Canadian currency is called Dollar by the way, but of course they’re not US dollars. They have their own currency dollars. But just with the exchange rate, when you see the prices, things look very expensive. But when you do the conversion to actually make it out to US dollars, it’s not terribly expensive at all. As a matter of fact, I think really good value. The only thing that I found to be not a good value is when you go to a liquor store and try to buy alcohol. That seemed to be like literally the most expensive thing. Like a six pack to 12 pack of beer would honestly like no joke run about like 20 to $30.

3 (1h 8m 32s):
Yeah, I mean it was crazy. Wine was like a cheaper route to go, and even liquor if you were into liquor. But none of us are really into being like, oh, we’re gonna drink some liquor can’t a new shots. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s the only thing that I would say is really expensive. So when you see those Canadian prices, just do it to the US conversion, you’re gonna be like, oh, okay. Like this actually isn’t that bad.

1 (1h 8m 54s):
Yeah, I think this is probably gonna be my favorite trip of the year. I really enjoyed it. I told Jamal it was probably one of my favorite trips that I’ve taken. Thought it was so beautiful, so picturesque, combined a lot of things that I really like. Hot, Springs, nature Waterfalls, beautiful Lakes, the glaciers. So it had everything that I look for in a trip in it.

0 (1h 9m 15s):
We are planning to create an itinerary for this trip. And we’ll have that up on our website shortly here. So you can check that out. And we’ll of course announce it on our Instagram when it’s ready because we could have really used something like that as we were planning our trip.

1 (1h 9m 28s):
So it could have been so helpful.

0 (1h 9m 30s):
Yeah. And so we’ll map everything out for you. Mileage distance between where to eat, where to stay, all of that will be in the itinerary. And just check in on our website and you can find it there. And thank you Squatty for tuning into our two part episode. Keep the adventures going with us by following us on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, any social media at Travel, Squad, Podcast, and tag us in your adventures.

3 (1h 9m 54s):
If you found the information this episode to be useful or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share it with a friend that you know would enjoy it too. And as always, guys, please subscribe, rate and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.

1 (1h 10m 8s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode. We have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you. Bye

0 (1h 10m 13s):

1 (1h 10m 13s):
Bye squadies!

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