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Kelowna/Jasper/Banff/Glacier Trip

Day 15 of 17

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Friday, July 31st
Avalanche Lake hike

In the morning, the storm rapidly cleared out. Despite the stormy weather, it had actually been much warmer last night than the previous night. It now looked like a nice sunny day was in store for us.

Clearing storm at St. Mary campground

Aspens at St. Mary campground

After breakfast we drove up to Logan Pass. We could have taken the shuttle, but there's no direct shuttle from the St. Mary visitor's center to the Avalanche Lake trailhead. I didn't want to deal with a transfer, and I knew driving would be faster. However, I had read that parking at Avalanche Creek (the trailhead) was limited, so we parked at Logan Pass and took the shuttle bus from there to Avalanche Creek. Then we hiked to Avalanche Lake.

View from shuttle bus on Going-to-the-Sun road past Logan Pass

View from shuttle bus on Going-to-the-Sun road past Logan Pass

View from shuttle bus on Going-to-the-Sun road past Logan Pass

We caught the 5:30pm bus back up. We were the only ones on the bus, so we sort of had a private tour. Thankfully, we didn't have to stop for any construction on the way up the road. By the time we arrived at Logan Pass around 6:15pm, the parking lot was half empty. We started the drive back to the St. Mary visitor center. Along the way, near Siyeh Bend, I saw a woman sitting on a wall in a roadside pullout. I then saw a bighorn sheep next to her and quickly pulled into the pullout. I normally wouldn't stop for animals by the side of the road, but since there was a pullout here I felt comfortable doing so this time.

Bighorn sheep

Bighorn sheep

Let me say that I don't think the woman should have been that close to the bighorn sheep, which was busy eating some foliage next to the road. He was standing just on the other side of the short 2-foot high rock wall. I took some pictures and then kept driving.

We stopped at the St. Mary visitor's center to turn in the junior ranger pamphlets. The ranger verified them and then had a swearing-in ceremony for the two boys to become junior rangers and receive their badges. They were pretty excited, as this is the first time they've done it (despite us visiting many national parks in the past).

After dinner and a campfire, we were off to sleep on our 11th straight and final night of camping on this trip.


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