Yoho National Park
After a few days of climbing up over 100 flights of stairs (no really, we tracked it) we were joyfully greeted by the Yoho Valley hikes. Key word being "valley". As in, we got to walk between the mountains, instead of up them. The Falls
First stop: Takakkaw Falls. These falls are Canada's second highest, and you can hear the roar of them before you even park your car. We were excited to be able to see them, as this part of the park is actually closed October-June due to high-frequency avalanches during the winter months.
Canada's Parks celebrated 150 years while we were there, and these red chairs were placed in various parks. We ran into them a couple times, and we happened to arrive early enough in Yoho to have them to ourselves! Something Tom was thankful for when I made him take this extra cheesy picture in them!
We explored the rest of the trails around the falls, and I wish I could put into words how beautiful this park is. We almost didn't go to Yoho because we didn't think we would have time to fit everything in. So I want everyone planning a trip to Banff to hear me say, "MAKE THE TIME TO GET TO THIS PARK!!!"
We did our best to make this trip as "budget friendly" as possible. We brought our own pop, water and snacks in the car with us and spent most of our time hiking...which is free. But one splurge we knew we had to make was renting canoes on Emerald Lake.
We had a picnic lakeside while we waited for our rental. It was another way we justified the rental-we skipped the restaurant and munched on meat, cheese and crackers instead.
Tom did most of the heavy rowing, and I mostly debated jumping into the lake the entire time.
I could have stayed out on the boat all afternoon. It was so peaceful, and you honestly hardly noticed the other people out in canoes. I would love to rent canoes for the entire trip, and just float around the different lakes napping, eating and reading. Doesn't that sound amazing?!
The Natural Bridge
We wanted to get back to Banff in time to visit the brewery and get dinner, so we made one last pit stop at the Natural Bridge and headed back to the hotel.
Some hippies in bare feet were brave enough to hop their way across the bridge, which doesn't actually connect all the way across, but neither Tom nor I were feeling like defying death that afternoon, so we we snapped our pictures and got back in the car.
I said it earlier this post, and I'll say it one more time. Don't discount Yoho National Park. It is hard to fit everything into a Banff vacation. We didn't make it to every spot we wanted to go, but I am so, so happy that we went to this park. And the canoe rental was definitely worth it. You get a view of the mountains from the middle of the lake that you just don't get anywhere else.