Banff National Park: Sulphur Mountain and Upper Hot Springs

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Monday 21st September)

Ok, I got up this morning hyped up for a hike, I had drove past Sulphur Mountain yesterday and chose this to be my first hike of the trip, it was excellent and well worth it…much more than I expected.   Continue reading “Banff National Park: Sulphur Mountain and Upper Hot Springs”

Banff National Park: Lake Minnewanka, Vermillion Lakes and Cascade Gardens

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Monday 21st September)

Well here I go, the first of my lakes which I believe is the biggest of the lakes in this area.  It’s actually huge and quite magnificent, the weather, air and environment was spiritually uplifting and I was so happy to be here and reminding myself of how fortunate I was to be here.

Lake Minnewanka (“Water of the Spirits” in Nakoda) is a glacial lake located in the eastern area of Banff National Park in Canada, about five kilometres (3.1 miles) northeast of the Banff townsite. The lake is 21 km (13 mi) long and 142 m (466 ft) deep, making it the longest lake in the mountain parks of the Canadian Rockies (the result of a power dam at the west end).
Aboriginal people long inhabited areas around Lake Minnewanka, as early as 10,000 years ago, according to stone tools and a Clovis point spearhead discovered by archaeologists. The area is rich in animal life (e.g. elk, mule deer, mountain sheep, bears) and the easy availability of rock in the mountainous terrain was key to fashioning weapons for hunting.



Vermillion Lakes

The Vermilion Lakes are a series of lakes located immediately west of Banff, Alberta, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

The three lakes are formed in the Bow River valley, in the Banff National Park, at the foot of Mount Norquay. They are located between the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks. A hot spring is found at the third lake.


Cascade Gardens

Cascade Gardens in Banff National Park is a well-landscaped garden with a varied mix of annuals and perennials surrounding the park administrative building.

Parks Canada took over the Brett Sanatorium and Hotel built in the 1880s, when it burned down in 1930 and converted it into the present day gardens. Ontario architect, Walter Beckett, planned the Parks administrative building and the gardens in the ~12 acre site, which was completed in 1935.


Fresh handmade pizza from Panago…very tasty, I chose my own, the sauce is butternut chicken Mmmmm!

Bruce Peninsila – Sauble Falls Provincial Park

Sauble Falls Provincial Park is located in the community of Sauble Falls, town of South Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County in southwestern Ontario, Canada. It is in the lower drainage basin of the Sauble River, which flows into Lake Huron. The campground consists of two sections divided by County Road 13. The West section of the site is a quiet zone (no radios allowed). Group camping is available in the east section. Many sites along the east portion of the park back up against the Sauble River. The park is also the downstream terminus of the Rankin River canoe route

  • The perfect base camp for visits to nearby Sauble Beach and to explore the Bruce Peninsula.
  • An exceptional picnicking site including a children’s adventure playground.
  • Spring and fall spawning runs for Rainbow Trout and Chinook salmon. Watch the fish struggle over each ledge of this cascading waterfall to spawn upstream.
  • Excellent fishing.
  • This historic falls used to power a timber mill and generating station. Now flanked by immature forest, the falls are the end of the Rankin River canoe route – ideal for novice canoeists.

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Bruce Peninsula – The Grotto

The Grotto, Indian Cove and Cypress Lake.  Thousands of years of waves pounding the shores of Indian Cove have carved a spectacular cave at the Grotto, which is accessible to visitors if you don’t mind the climb in and out. Swimming in Indian Cove is so very refreshing on a hot summer day.  During the summer months, parking to access these sites fill to capacity regularly, resulting in visitors being denied access. Consider planning your visit during non-peak hours or in the spring and fall. There are several other destinations and activities to explore when the parking lots are full.  The hike to the Grotto takes roughly 30 minutes along the 1 km Georgian Bay Trail or 50 minutes from Parking Lot 2. Although the trail to the shoreline is hard packed, the shoreline itself is rugged uneven limestone, while the decent into the grotto involves climbing down 40ft over a rocky open cliff.










Bruce Peninsula – Cyprus Lake and sunset

232 drive-in campsites in three campgrounds: Birches, Poplars and Tamarack. The campgrounds front onto Cyprus Lake.  Each campsite has picnic tables and a fire pit with grill.  Potable water taps, cold water sinks and basic washroom facilities are located throughout the campground.  There are no serviced sites or shower facilities in the campground.  Showers are available at private businesses near the park. Firewood must be purchased at the campground office or from local businesses. Only wood from the north Bruce Peninsula can be brought into the campground. This is to prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) within Southern Ontario.  From Cyprus Lake, it is a 15km drive to the town of Tobermory.  The campground is popular and often fills during July and August or on holiday weekends. People who arrive without reservations during the busy summer season, may be disappointed to find the campground full.


















Bruce Peninsula – a stroll through the woods

The Bruce Peninsula is a peninsula in Ontario, Canada, that lies between Georgian Bay and the main basin of Lake Huron. The peninsula extends roughly northwestwards from the rest of Southern Ontario, pointing towards Manitoulin Island, with which it forms the widest strait joining Georgian Bay to the rest of Lake Huron. The Bruce Peninsula contains part of the geological formation known as the Niagara Escarpment.

From an administrative standpoint, the Bruce Peninsula is part of Bruce County, named after James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin (Lord Elgin), Governor General of the Province of Canada. A popular tourist destination for camping, hiking and fishing, the area has two national parks (Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park), more than half a dozen nature reserves, and the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory. The Bruce Trail runs through the region to its northern terminus in the town of Tobermory.

The Bruce Peninsula is a key area for both plant and animal wildlife. Part of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve, the peninsula has the largest remaining area of forest and natural habitat in Southern Ontario and is home to some of the oldest trees in eastern North America. An important flyway for migrating birds, the peninsula is habitat to a variety of animals, including black bear, massasauga rattlesnake, and barred owl.