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Archive for the ‘photo’ Category

Lake Louise Reflection (Banff National Park)

10 Oct

 

Official Banff National Park Website

30 Apr

Question: Which website is the “official” website for Banff National Park?

As the snow melts and the temperatures start to rise here in Western Canada, it is time to start planning your spring, summer and fall vacations to beautiful Banff National Park. With so much information on the internet with varying degrees of accuracy, depending on the website owner’s intentions, where do you start?

Banff in Banff National Park

Firstly, don’t just submit your information to every website you come across. It is always best to call for information as most reputable companies are able to provide detailed Banff National Park information over the phone. If you are satisfied with the knowledge of the agent you spoke to about Banff National Park, and require more information, then submit your information through their website. Whenever you see the offer of things that are “FREE” without you having to book anything or part with any money, you have to ask yourself if this is really the case? Why would a company, out of their own pocket, send you something for “free”? This is one technique some website owners may use to harvest your personal information.

This brings me onto my next recommendation when looking up information on Banff National Park. The following three (3) OFFICIAL websites relating to Banff National Park offer up-to-date and accurate information. These websites should provide all the information you need to plan a successful stay in beautiful Banff National Park.

  • www.pc.gc.ca – This is the OFFICIAL website for all National Parks in Canada including Banff National Park. It is the official Banff National Park website and contains up-to-date information including trail updates. There is also an information centre located right in the centre of Banff at 224 Banff Avenue.
  • www.banff.ca – This is the OFFICIAL website of the Town of Banff. The information on this website is true and factual and includes information such as the Banff Roam transit schedule.
  • www.banfflakelouise.com – This is the OFFICIAL website for Banff and Lake Louise tourism in Banff National Park. This is an excellent website for viewing up-to-date information such as events in Banff and Lake Louise in Banff National Park.

These three websites should be your “go-to” sites to start your Banff vacation planning.

I hope you find this information useful and for many of you, clarified which sites are, in fact, “official” for Banff National Park. Feel free to contact us or post comments below if you require any further clarification or assistance. I have been helping guests with their Banff vacations for well over 10 years.

 

 

Christmas Eve 2011 in Banff, Canada

23 Dec

If you are lucky enough to spend Christmas in Banff National Park in the beautiful Canadian Rockies, be sure to check out the following this Christmas Eve:

Santa Family Photo Days
Get your photo taken with Santa and his elves & receive a complimentary e-card! (Santa hits the slopes at 2pm.)
11 AM—1 PM | Lodge of Ten Peaks, Lake Louise Ski Area

Hockey & Karaoke
Hockey, karaoke and dancing, to please every taste!
5:00 PM | Beaver Bar, Samesun Hostel, 433 Banff Ave.

Heavy Metal Techno Christmas
Archimedean Groove & No World Order II Live
10:00 PM | Bruno’s

3 Days of Christmas
Grant Slavin kicks the Scrooge for 3 straight nights
10:00 PM | Rose & Crown

Dave Lang and the Black Squirrels
Country/Swing
10:00 PM | Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon

 

First Grizzly Bear Sighting of 2011

08 Apr

Even though the snow keeps coming and it’s April 8th 2011, the bears are now starting to wake up. Dan Rafla of Parks Canada managed to snap the first photo of a grizzly bear in Banff National Park just a few days ago. This grizzly certainly has a sleepy face!

Click to enlarge:
The frist grizzly bear sighting in Banff National Park for 2011
Meanwhile, the ski resorts in Banff National Park are in incredible shape. Below are a couple of webcam snapshots from today. Fresh powder and cooler temperatures are creating some of the best spring skiing seen for years!

Lake Louise [Banff National Park] snapshot from today:
Lake Louise webcam snapshot
Sunshine Village [Banff National Park] snapshot from today:
Sunshine Village, Banff, ski cam snapshot from today

 

Bow Falls Photos, Banff

07 Apr

The Bow Falls in Banff are a must for a photo stop. They are located just below the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and can be easily found when you drive up on Spray Avenue towards the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. You turn left on Rundle Avenue at the traffic lights. Most group tours include the Bow Falls in their sights, but if you are driving yourself, you may want to use the Gypsy Guide for guidance.

I like stopping at the Bow Falls in Banff as they look so different at different times of the year. Here are a few pictures below to give you a idea of what to expect!

This photo was taken November 28 2006. This was a particularly cold start to the winter season so they almost froze over completely.Bow Falls, Banff - November 2006

The photo below was taken in June 2007 when a sudden increase in temperature caused a large amount of snowmelt to drain into the Bow River.

Bow Falls, Banff - June 2007 Flood

The photo below was taken on June 26 2006 when there was a lot of meltwater from the glaciers and snowmelt.

June 2006

This photo was taken on June 15 2008 for comparison. At this time of year, the Bow Falls always have a good volume of water.

Bow Falls, Banff, June 2008

This photo below was taken on November 26 2006. This was a very cold day and you can see the “steam” rising from the cold waters of the Bow River.

Bow Falls in Winter - December 2006

This is a typical photo in the fall / autumn time. With the colder nights, the glaciers start to release less meltwater causing the Bow River levels to be low.

Bow Falls in the summer, Banff

 

Bear safety in Banff National Park

06 Apr

Banff is in the wild and beautiful Banff National Park and so there may be a chance that you are lucky enough to see a bear.

There are two types of bears here: the black bear and the grizzly (or brown) bear. Don’t let the names fool you, you may see a brown or cinnamon coloured “black bear” like the cub with her mother photographed below:

Black Bear, Brown Cub photo

Black Bear

A Black Bear in Banff National Park

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear in Banff National ParkThe grizzly bear can be identified by it’s distinctive hump on the back of it’s neck.

A grizzly bear is also larger than a black bear.

Each year, people get too close to wildlife especially bears. I personally have seen families stand in front of a bear cub on the side of the road to take pictures. This is not fair for the bear, especially the mother who is watching and may decide to protect her cub at anytime.

Please don’t put bears, or any other wildlife, in this position, it simply isn’t fair.

The bear safety information below has been sourced through Parks Canada:


What should I do if I see a BEAR?

If you are driving: stay in your car, and consider not stopping.

If you are not in a vehicle:

  • Stay calm. If a bear rears on its hind legs and waves its nose about, it is trying to identify you. Remain still and talk calmly so that it knows you are human and not a prey animal. Bears may also bluff charge: run toward you and turn away at the last moment. A scream or sudden movement may trigger an attack.
  • Pick up children, stay in a group.
  • Back away slowly, don’t run.
  • Leave the area. If this is impossible, wait until the bear leaves; make sure it has an escape route.

To reduce your risk of a surprise encounter:

  • Make noise. Clap, sing or yell to announce your presence, especially where a bear might not otherwise smell, hear or see you coming. (Bear bells are not very effective.)
  • Travel in groups, on established trails, and during daylight hours.
  • Minimize odours by proper storage of food, garbage and toiletries.
  • Leave the area if you see a bear or fresh tracks, droppings, diggings; or if you come across a large dead animal (a bear may be nearby).

If you surprise a bear and it defends itself:

Use bear spray if you have it. PLAY DEAD, let it know you are not a threat: lie on stomach with legs apart, cover back of head and neck with hands, keep pack on to protect your back.

If a bear stalks you and then attacks, or attacks at night:

Try to escape, use bear spray if you have it. FIGHT BACK, let it know that you are not easy prey. (This kind of predatory attack is very rare.)


After many on-foot bear encounters myself with both black and grizzly bears, the best form of defence is avoidance. If you make lots of noise by talking loudly to your hiking friends, you are very likely not going to see a bear. Be aware of bear presence (scat/faeces), damage to vegetation etc. and leave the area. If you are unable to leave the area, make lots of noise.

Guides are easily available so if you are not comfortable hiking in the wilderness then local experts can certainly take good care of you.

rocky-peak Holidays is a local company based in Canmore, just 5 minutes outside of Banff National Park and can help you find a suitable guide. There are also group hiking tours available.

Have you had a bear encounter you would like to share with us and our readers? Please post it below!

 

Black Bear Brown Cub

23 Jul

Original photo has been deleted but can be viewed HERE.

These pictures were taken just outside of Banff on the old highway, Bow Valley Parkway 1A, between Banff and Lake Louise.  It is interesting as the two cubs were brown, and the mother a Black Bear.  Just to confuse things, a Black Bear, can actually be brown.  In Canada we call the Brown Bear a Grizzly bear.  There are only 3 types of Bear in Canada: Black Bear, Grizzly Bear and Polar Bear.  You will only see the Black and Grizzly in the Canadian Rockies.  A Grizzly can be identified by several features including distinct shoulder hump. This hump is due to large muscles necessary for digging roots, tubers and ground squirrels.

For photographs of bears and other animals in the Western Canada, visit the summer photo gallery.

Please remember to keep at least 100 metres away from a bear if you see one, even if you are in a car.  Use a telephoto lens if you want to take a picture and give the bear plenty of space.  What sadly happens, know as a “bear jam” to locals, is that cars and RVs hold up the traffic to see the bear and the bear gets familiar with humans being close. Familiarisation is not good as we want them to stay wild! As soon as a bear is familiar with humans, it is much more likely to run into problems. A fed bear is a dead bear and it is a serious offence to feed any wildlife in a National or Provincial Park.
If you see a bear, cougar or wolf near Banff, please call the Warden’s office immediately on 403-762-4506
 

Santa Claus is coming to Banff and Canmore!

23 Nov

Where to catch him:

1) “Light up Canmore” on FRI Nov 23 2007 (tonight) from 6-8pm at the Civic Centre Plaza. There will be hayrides, hot dogs and hot chocolate to celebrate this annual event in Canmore.

2) “Parade of Lights” in Banff on SAT Nov 24 2007 at 7pm. Please note that Calgary has cancelled it’s parade due to construction this year, so the turn-out in Banff is likely to be high.

The “Parade of Lights” in Banff will be preceded by “Christmas in the Rockies” which includes an afternoon of activities including Ginger Bread decorating!

3) Photo opportunities with Santa are from 2 to 6pm on SAT Nov 24 2007 in Banff. Just follow the reindeer tracks or the trail of cookie crumbs to find him!

Good luck with finding him and remember to be good!

 
 
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