“Discover your backyard series”
Episode 1: The Canadian Rockies
Deciding the Volkswagon Jetta wasn’t up to the task of transporting 5 people and our loadout gear all the way through to the Canadian Rockies. We collected our bright orange Jeep Wrangler in downtown Vancouver, finally departing around 1 pm as we embarked on our adventure through to Banff National park. Heading East we traversed through the Fraser Valley and started the climb through Meritt, via Kamloops and on to Revelstoke, or #Revelstoked as the locals have aptly named it.
Arriving late, we were amazed at the mountains surrounding Revelstoke when we awoke from at our AirBnB the next morning. It was a little cold for camping too so we decided to indulge ourselves this trip. It was mid-December and the temperature and snow coverage was significant when compared to B.C that time of year. Heading down to the local town for a bite and brew we loaded up and headed off towards Canmore which would be our home base for the next few days.
For someone who’s spent much of my time in Canada based in the East, the vista’s you see as you leave the Western point of the Canadian mainland and head East is truly remarkable. The sheer volume of the mountain ranges, the wildlife that perilously attempt fate to cross the highway, the snowcapped mountains and grit covered highways make the experience an emotional journey as your eyes enjoy the immense beauty of the Canadian wilderness.
Arriving in Canmore, we explored the area and prepared for our trip to Johnston canyon which is a has a variety of short to medium hikes:
0.0 – Johnston Canyon Lodge (1430 metres)
1.1km – Lower Falls
2.71km – Upper Falls (1565 metres)
3.2 1km- Junction. Intersection with Johnston Creek trail at km
2.71km (see Sawback Range Circuit). Keep right for Ink Pots
5.31km – Trail narrows. Gradual descent to Johnston Creek meadows
5.8 1km- Ink Pots (1645 metres)
The day we hiked it was -20 celsius so were grateful for our Under Armour Tac Stealth 2.0 Beanies and our Mechanix Cold weather winter impact gloves (we were also grateful that we could help ourselves to “samples” from the shop too). The perks of the job!
The hike to the lower falls traversed through a gully and followed a mostly frozen river, amazing colour water & a uber slippery path, highly recommend a good solid set of footwear and the National parks service highly recommend crampons … spectacular is an understatement & we highly recommend you check it out at some point in your life.
We then headed out to Lake Louise. While it’s a magical place, we highly recommend it being summer to enjoy the turquoise waters of the lake. By this time the temperature had dropped to a coll -23 celsius and our trip was brief. We had ice forming on the inside windows of the Jeep whilst we explored and were grateful to get back into the warmth.
The team at Tactical Gear Experts all enjoy travel, both domestic and internationally (pre-covid 19 of course) and highly recommend you invest in luggage that will last the rigours of both a wilderness and urban jungle! Our go-to for long term trips is something similar to the 5.11 Rush LBD coupled with a Rush 24 as a day pack.
After 48 hours in Banff we jumped back in the bright orange Jeep and made the 8 hour journey back to B.C. Exploring that part of Canada, even only for 48 hours was amazing & we look forward to heading back for a camping trip in the summer one day soon.
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Until next time….stay safe & enjoy your next adventure!