Banff National Park​

 Vermillion Lake, Alberta, Canada

Vermillion Lake, Alberta, Canada

 Two Jack Lake, Alberta, Canada

Two Jack Lake, Alberta, Canada

 Two Jake Lake, Alberta, Canada

Two Jake Lake, Alberta, Canada

Established in 1885, Banff National Park is Canada's oldest national park in the Rockies. The park encompasses 6,641 square kilometre of mountainous terrain, with numerous glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes.

The most famous lakes in the Banff National Park are Lake Louise and Moraine Lake which attract millions of visitors worldwide each year.

 Frozen Lake Louise, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Frozen Lake Louise, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon is located in Banff National Park, Alberta and it is only a short driving distance from Banff. Johnston Creek is a tributary of the Bow River in the Canadian Rockies originated north of Castle Mountain in a glacial valley south of Badger Pass.

 Lower Falls

Lower Falls

The Johnston Canyon Trail is a very popular destination for hikers. The trail is about 6 kilometres (3.6 miles) long. There are catwalks anchored to the side of the canyon in parts of the trail which offer good vantage points for the river below.

The Lower Falls is about 10 metres high with a deeply carved pothole below. You can get right up close to the falls through a small tunnel to experience the sight and sound of water plunging into the pothole and feel the mist on your face (hopefully not your lens).

 pothole

pothole

As you push forward to the Upper Falls, the terrain becomes more rugged. The Upper Falls is much more dramatic at a height of 30 metres. Beyond the Upper Falls are the Ink Pots which is about 3.5 kilometres away. The ink pots are six greenish blue pools of spring water that remains at a constant -1˚C year round.

To hike the trail in the winter or spring, you will need proper gear and footwear. As I found out the hard way, negotiating the icy paths can be treacherous especially on steep climbs. However, to be able to avoid the hordes of tourists in the summer months is the big payoff.

Japser National Park

 Sunset at Jasper Lake

Sunset at Jasper Lake

 Sandy beach on Jasper Lake

Sandy beach on Jasper Lake

Jasper National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. It is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies spanning 10878 square kilometres (4200 square miles) and is located north of Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.

The park offers spectacular views of glaciers, crystal clear lakes, breathtaking rugged mountain ranges, broad valleys, deep canyons, evergreen forest and of course, abundant wildlife. It has over 1000 kilometres of hiking trails in this vast wilderness and the largest Dark Sky Preserve on the planet.

The scenic Icefields Parkway that connects Banff National Park to the south takes you alongside a chain of massive icefields that straddle the Continental Divide. The famous Columbia Icefield is at the southern end of the park and it is only a short walking distance from the parkway.

Jasper National Park is also one of the few remaining areas in southern Canada that carnivores like grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolves, wolverines and coyotes call home. This park remains one of the protected ecosystems remaining in the Rockies.

Celtic Cross

 St. James Cemetery

St. James Cemetery

In Ireland, it is a popular legend that the Celtic Christian cross was introduced by Saint Patrick or possibly Saint Declan during his time converting the pagan Irish, though there are no examples from this early period. It has often been claimed that Patrick combined the symbol of Christianity with the sun cross, to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the idea of the life-giving properties of the sun.

~ Wiki