Credits- Template by Shabby Miss Jen’s Designs; Paper by Jessica Sprague Blue Solid paper from Cr8 Mini Kit; Elements: Stapler Pair and Heart Sticker both by KPertiet; Alpha by Jessica Sprague from Grand Intention Kit
Trains fascinate me because it evokes a feel of the olden days. It is the only means of public transportation to Vancouver from Jasper unless one drives to Edmonton and fly out from there. An opportunity I cannot pass up and so I booked us on the VIA Rail Canada and got ourselves to Vancouver via rail!
Not without some 7-hour delay. While VIA Rail owns 223 kilometers of tracks, most of the infrastructure used by the passenger service is owned and managed by the freight railways operators. In short, the train will be late and it is not their fault. So looking at the glass half full, we took the opportunity to see more of Jasper. How can one get tired of this quaint town anyway? So off we went to Maligne Canyon… and got back way before the train arrived. No complaints from us!
The 20-hour (thereabout) train ride offered beautiful sceneries. The high-level coaches and lounge cars have big windows for better viewing pleasure.
VIA Rail Canada
This marks the end of my series of lakes and other bodies of waters around Jasper. The many glorious lakes is clearly a major reason why Jasper has become a favorite.
Unsure which lake this was but scuba diving in glacial fed waters? Are. You. Kidding!? Kudos to them!!! 🙂
For more scenic scenes, click here.
Pronounced “mah-leen”, is riddled by an extensive karsts system – a geological formation of caves above and below ground level. In the case of Maligne Valley, no one knows where the water for Maligne Lake goes. Located at the south end of Maligne Road, this gorgeous wildlife-filled, glacier fed lake is one of the largest in the Rockies. Watch for elk, sheep, moose along the road, we were told and bears are usually spotted around the lake.
Completing the Maligne Valley highlight is Maligne Canyon where the river has eaten away at the limestone of the valley eroding the softer rocks. The result is a smooth, steep walled canyon bringing forth one of the most spectacular gorge in the Canadian Rockies. Waterfalls, fossils, potholes are just some of the wonders of the canyon.
There are lots of glorious lakes within Jasper National Park but there is one lake that lured us no end. Medicine Lake, just approximately 20km southeast of the townsite. A geological rarity. Why? you ask. We all assume that Medicine Lake is a normal mountain lake but it isn’t. It is perhaps best described as a sinking lake that has holes in the bottom like a bathtub without a plug. During intensified runoff of summer, too much water flows into the lake filling the drain. Before long, the lakebed begins to fill and by late spring, early summer (which was about the time we were there), Medicine Lake is in its full glory.
Medicine Lake is located along the road to Maligne Lake, a lake almost synonymous with Jasper. On our way to Malign Lake one evening, the still water perfectly reflecting the mountains and the sky caught our attention. And so we stopped and admired its glory.
A great road route to spot wildlife, we were told, was also probably the main reason why we ply that route more often than once during our stay in Jasper. It is Caribou land and we got word from a tourist we met earlier that there were caribous and bears (ok maybe he was exaggerating and there was only one) lurking around. More than enough reason to go back again and again even if we were out of luck as far as caribous and bears were concerned. It is, after all, a glorious lake, er, body of water(?) during the summer months.
Credits: Paper – Jessica Sprague Green Diamond paper (Grand Intentions Kit)
After the breathtaking Sunwapta Falls, we took another turn and found ourselves in yet another dramatic and powerful waterfall.
Considered among the most impressive falls in the Rocky Mountain, it is not surprising to note that Athabasca Falls could quite possibly be the most popular in the Canadian Rockies. Lucky for us, we were there at a time where visitors, sometimes overflowing, were few.
A short access trail surrounds the falls and allows for a glimpse of park. A lookout spot and a bridge provide vantage points for photos.
Speaking of which, the falls is a deafening combination of sound and spray and even if it is not raining, a rain-jacket might be a good idea. Not because we were soaked but I worried more about my camera lens and wished I brought something to cover up.
The Athabasca River is the largest river system in Jasper National Park and the heavy flow of volume from that river pours over a hard layer of rock, cutting deeply into the soft limestone below creating potholes and medicine bowls.
This odd rock formations thousand of years in the making is also a take off point for white water rafting. Sadly though, A’s 18 day stint in the Colorado River left him with no desire to be in cold water any time soon. Oh well… 😦
Visit more Scenic Sundays here.
Not far from the Icefields Parkway, south of Jasper, is the aptly named Sunwapta Falls meaning “turbulent waters” in the native tongue of the Stoney Indians.
Originating from the Athabasca Glaciers, the volume of water caused by the glacial meltdown was high in early summer, when we were there.
The small island in the middle of the Sunwapta River just up stream of the falls is, in my opinion, what makes the upper Sunwapta Falls beauteous.
Make sure to detour to this falls when in the area. For more Sepia Scenes, click here.
A photo gallery of downtown Jasper:
Via Rail Station
Credits: Template: Katy Larson Kiseed Studio; Paper: LivEdesign Sing4Spring PP3 and SP2; Elements: LivE S4S Spring String 2; Alpha Tags: LivE Sing4Spring Alpha Tags
“Must not miss Jasper,” my well-traveled friend advices. “It is a town you will adore.” Anyone who knows me knows that I love quaint, rugged towns and this little town where peaks crown the horizon in every direction is indeed a town I have regarded as one of my top picks. The largest and the most northerly of Canada’s Rocky Mountain National Parks and one of the group of 4 national park and 3 provincial parks which together are designated by UNESCO as the “Canada Rocky Mountain Park World Heritage Site”.
Quieter then the 2 previous towns, Jasper feel more like a friendly small town than a tourist town. It is because nearly one quarter of Jasper’s population is not dependent on tourism. Canadian National, Canada’s largest railroad, employs hundreds of people who call Jasper home.
If you’re into small quaint towns (filled with abundant wildlife) as I am, this rugged, not-so-little piece of wilderness will become your favorite spot as well once experienced. In my next few post, you’ll see why. So consider this an intro to one of my favorite places.
Connecting the two towns of Lake Louise and Jasper is the extremely scenic Icefield Parkway. To travel it is to experience a world where snow and ice dominates the land. Stretching 230 km between the two towns, the parkway offers easy access to one of the most spectacular mountain landscapes.
The largest of the chain of icefield stretching more than 25 km across the Continental Divide, Columbia Icefield straddles the boundaries of Alberta and British Columbia, as well as Banff and Jasper National Parks.
The massive Brewster Ice Explorer is a modern marvel specially designed to clamber up the glacier, which took us out to the slopes of the Columbia Icefield, the Athabasca Glaciers for an up-close glimpse of icy crevasses and ice-fed streams.
A driver-guide led the 90- minute journey sharing information about glaciers and icefields. We get to step out midway onto the glacier and stand on ice of yore.
Columbia Icefield is a surviving remains of the thick ice mass that once covered most of Western Canada’s mountains lying on an elevated plain. It is North Amercia’s largest sub-polar ice park.