Lake life 

Sometimes you just need to relax and hangout at a lake. This place is pretty special. It’s one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve been too. Spent 4 days lounging on a water trampoline, kayaking, practicing archery, trap shooting and target shooting. Endless shooting stars to watch. 

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Parker Ridge Trail

Parker ridge was the third hike we did while in jasper but this trail is actually in Banff it’s just past the Columbia Ice fields. Anyone hiking in this area it’s a must see. The views are amazing from the top. It’s about 5km round trip and it’s a well worn trail. There’s switch backs but it’s a moderate hike. There’s a 250 meter elevation gain. The Saskatchewan glacier is in full view once you get to the top. You can either go down alone the ridge or up. Lots of little critters running around up there. If you want to beat the crowds early morning or evening would be the best time to go. Plus you’ll be the heat in the summer. 

Miette Hot springs

This is the one place that I’m definitely going back too!! We only had about 30 minutes to spend here. I wish I had time to go exploring on the trail behind the hot springs. The new building is nice with 4 pools. Water is about 105 degrees. If you forget your swimsuit that’s fine you can rent 1950’s version of one. There’s a poolside cafe and wildlife. We were there early enough that the pool didn’t have very many people in it. You can go explore the old pool house and hike up to the source of the springs. 

Maligne Canyon & Maligne Lake 

So this is a must see but I would advise either going early morning or in the evening when there’s less people. We went mid day and there were so many tourists. This canyon has three different loops you can do and the canyon itself is pretty amazing to look at. Parks Canada estimates it’s about 2hrs to do the big loop. Sonya & I headed down to maligne lake after this and it was even busier. There’s boat rentals and tours you can get of the lake. Lots of day hikes and short little trails around. We just sat by the lake for awhile to take a break. 

Pyramid overlook trail

This little 2 hr hike gives you some amazing views of Jasper. Elevation gain is only 75 meters. Part way up there’s a set of red chairs. You can find three sets of these chairs in the park. They are in national parks across Canada. This is an easy trail to hike there is also trail riding available here as well. This was our first hike of the day. 

Athabasca Falls

The falls are a huge tourist attraction in Jasper although you can avoid the crowds if you go early in the morning or in the evening. These aren’t the biggest falls in Canada but they are still pretty amazing. The railings are there for a reason do not climb over them. 

Directions: the parking lot is 30km south of jasper on highway 93a. Can’t miss al the signs. 
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Elk Island National Park

Elk Island is a massive park just outside Edmonton it has tons of trails and lakes and so many options for different things to do. Sonya and I did the first trail after the bison loop it was about 11km hike, for us it was easy since we’re use to going up mountains we did it in about 2.5 hrs. The bugs were really bad and we forgot bug spray. Halfway thru we met a couple who let us use there’s. We didn’t see any wildlife other then a frog the whole loop. 

Blackfoot Provincial Park

So after relocating to Edmonton for work & school I finally got out of the city to do some exploring and let me tell you. I’m a mountain girl being in the prairies is hard, I’m so use to having some kind of elevation gain that “hiking” here is more like a walk. 10km is nothing. This park is across from elk island park and it’s beautiful. It’s full of trails for horses or humans and is open year round. There’s lots of maps so you can’t get lost, the trails are well maintained and there’s lots of wildlife around. Dogs must be on leash in any provincial park.     http://www.albertaparks.ca/cooking-lake-blackfoot/