There was a beautiful Indian Summer here in southern Alberta and we took full advantage of the great weather. For three weekends in a row in October we enjoyed family and friends visiting us from Regina. All of them wanted to get out to the mountains while they were in town, so obviously we obliged!
The first group of people in town were our friends, Sharon and Janson. You can read about our day-hike with them in my previous post titled, Return to Larch Valley. Up next was Christine's family, who were all in town over the Thanksgiving long weekend. Christine's brother was just staying for the weekend, while her parents were passing through as part of a longer trip to Canmore, Banff, and eventually Lake Louise.
We started the day by doing the hike up to The Vault east of Canmore near Lac des Arcs. This was the second time Christine and I had done this hike, but nobody else had been up to it before. If you would like more detailed information about the history of the vault and why it's there, please see my previous post titled, The Vault.
|Getting ready in the Heart Creek parking area|
|You can see the top of Heart Mountain in the distance|
|Beautiful fall colours|
|The first part of the hike follows the Trans-Canada Trail|
|A large canine track. Could this be from a member of the elusive Bow Valley wolf pack?|
|The vault is located on Mt. McGillivray|
|Entrance to the vault|
|Jerry inside the vault|
|This was something I didn't notice the first time I was here; large clusters of Daddy Longleg Spiders|
|There were literally thousands of spiders grouped together throughout the vault. A quick Internet search revealed this grouping behaviour is to help with climactic changes and/or to ward off predators.|
|The main tunnel that leads back outside|
|Rosemary and Jerry during the hike back to the cars|
|Crossing some debris from the spring floods|
After the hike we headed across the Trans-Canada Highway to the Lac des Arcs day-use area. Here we had a bonfire, a picnic lunch, and thoroughly enjoyed the weather before driving into Canmore.
|Lac des Arcs day-use area|
|Roasting smokies over the fire and Jerry was able to try out his new Coleman stove!|
|Canmore's mountain scenery|
|Policeman's Creek flowing through town|
The first building to be built on the shoreline was the "Beach House"; a log hotel erected in 1886. By 1912 a summer village, called Minnewanka Landing, had been established. SCUBA divers are the only ones who can visit Minnewanka Landing today as the entire town is under water. Lake Minnewanka was dammed at least three times. The first time was in 1895, then again 1912, and finally in 1940. Collectively the dams raised the water level 25 metres and increased its area by fifty percent, making it the largest lake in Banff National Park.
|Mount Inglismaldie standing above the lake|
|The lake is 28km long and 142m deep|
|The current dam at the end of the lake with Cascade Mountain looming above|
|The only site we were able to visit was Bankhead's Holy Trinity Church. All that remains of the church today are the stone steps.|
|Bow Falls on the Bow River|
|The view downstream from the falls with Mount Rundle on the right|
|Bow Falls is 9m tall and 30m wide|