Over the past two years I’ve been fortunate enough to have done quite a bit of traveling (for work & pleasure) across the United States.
Honestly I never thought of myself as the "wanderlust" type until I took up a job that required me to be on an airplane constantly. It's been such an incredible experience being able to see & explore so many places across the country.
So, I’ve decided to take up blogging about my experiences & highlighting my favorite places. I’ll be going in reverse for a while & catching up on the nooks I’ve already been to. Hopefully you dig this, if not then you don’t have to read it. (Lol that’s the beauty of the world we live in)
Most of these blogs (besides this one) will be for work trips. Which means that I have maybe 24-48 hours in the location. My absolute FAVORITE thing to do when I travel is go hiking. Second to that is finding cute & local coffee shops, desserts & burger spots. But mostly I like to do long & strenuous day hikes.
First stop is the FREAKING WONDERFUL week long trip I took to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada back in August of 2018. (Can you tell how much I loved this trip already)
Let’s start off by saying that I will absolutely be going back. The hiking is endless & the views are so beautiful that the pictures can’t do it justice. I stayed in an AirBnB in Canmore, which is about 10-15 minutes from Banff National Park. Talk about a perfect location. Waking up every morning to a cool, crisp mountain air & a fresh cup of coffee was absolutely wonderful.
Day one was spent in exploring Canmore. The main hike was Ha Ling Trail to Ha Ling Peak. HOLY COW IT’S LITERALLY A STAIR STEPPER THE WHOLE WAY. 5 Hours of hiking, 21,000 steps taken & 310 flights of stairs is what my FitBit logged by the end of the day- but hot damn was it worth it. The views were just spectacular. It’s an out & back trail thats about 5.6km has an elevation gain of 762m. 120% worth every minute.
Day two was spent inside of Banff National Park with the Plain of the 6 Glaciers trail, Lake Louise & Moraine Lake. The two lakes are definitely more iconic hikes in the area so they were PACKED with people, but the cool thing is the more you went farther back into the trails the smaller the crowds were & the better the views. (IMO) But I still recommend going & checking them out just because they are so beautiful regardless of the tourists. Oh & the earlier you go in the day (before 10am) the more likely chance you won’t get caught in the crowds or have to deal with parking. The Plain of the 6 Glaciers was an out & back trail that started at Lake Louise & totaling about 13.8km with an elevation gain of 587m. Honestly it wasn’t that bad in terms of climbing because it was such a long trial I didn’t even notice the elevation gain. Moraine Lake were more like a stroll around with some side trails that gave you a better birds eye view of everything.
Lake Louise & The Plain Of The 6 Glaciers
By day 3 I had THE WORST BLISTERS ON MY FEET due to not fully breaking in my hiking shoes before the trip. (Stupid) So, that day was spent with some lighter hiking in the foothills of Kananaskis Country. Still beautiful though.
Day 4 was the last day of exploring… so it went out with a bang by attempting to summit Mount Temple. If you want to do this hike you HAVE to start early to give yourself enough time to 1. Get a parking spot & 2. Not have to rush up to the summit. POLES & PROPER HIKING BOOTS ARE AN ABSOLUTE MUST. Along with layers of clothing because the temperate fluctuates throughout the hike. Mount Temple has a total distance of 14.3km (my watch logged 24km with all the detours & side trails) & an elevation gain of a whopping 1,670m. It starts out at Lake Louise & tracks back from there. The first 1/3 of the trail is a nice stroll through the woods, but after that sh** gets real. The remainder of the hike is spent trekking through Sentinel Pass & then scrambling up the side of Mount Temple over loose rocks, large boulders & the occasional patch of ice. There’s a couple “false summits” on this trail & sadly we never made it up to the actual summit. Before this trip, I had never done such intensive hiking so this trek threw me for a loop. I’d say now I’m prepared to fully summit Mount Temple, but back in 2018.. lol nope. The part of the trail that stopped my hiking partner & I was a spot where you literally had to side shimmy/rock climb between the crevice of two open faces of rock. We tapped out at that point. All in all- the hike (& entire trip) was gorgeous & such a good challenge, but I’ll definitely be coming back to fully summit.