17th-18th July 2010 What:
A couple hikes from the Rocky mountain guide book Firsts:
hiking with S(& Amma) for 8.6km...
Leaving relatively late for a walk-in campsite at Tunnel Mountain, we were pleasantly surprised to find one(& many more) at 10.30am. Turns out the Calgary Stampede was the dampener taking people away from the parks.
It was a HOT day! Not the ideal climate to hike, specially at noon. But we were not the only people on the trail. Haven't been to this part of the park, so was excited to be here & Ganesh was more than happy to strike off some hikes from the book.
The hike to Sundance canyon starts off at the Cave & Basin area. It can be biked for 3.2km & is a pretty setting for biking, I should say. With the Bow river & the mountains on the right, the trail was relatively cooler than some other parts.
The canyon itself begins at km3.5 & the trail definitely gets interesting from here on.
S did her part & hiked. Probably did a little more than her usual 2 km this time.
Total distance hiked: ~9km
After such a
long day, the oldest & the youngest fell asleep almost immediately. Sunday, 18th July
The night was fairly pleasant. Nightime low: 7C.
After wrap-up, we found ourselves at the Tunnel Mountain parking lot. A short 1.8km hike up the 700ft mountain & we were looking down at Banff, Bow River & Spray river. Looking up we identified Mt.Rundle(of course), Sulphur mountain-the Gondola at Banff, Cascade mountain & Sundance range. The view is well worth the climb. S walked down almost halfway that approximates to 500ft downhill. She is learning to protest asking "thooku" after a while, but calling out a gift of ONE BIG POTATO chips did the trick for now. That & watching a couple kids & dogs climbing up.
Bribing? Maybe. For 1 potato chip, I think we are willing to carry it on.
We soon found ourselves at the picnic area just outside the town by the 40 mile creek. Amma was in mood for another hike & so we took the short 2 km fenland loop. The hike was informative, but a lot of bugs made us(read "me") run in places. What are fens?
The creek is a flow off from Cascade Mountain &
is so refreshing. Fenland is a kind of habitat very unique & rare in Banff.
On our way back to the end of the loop, we saw the trail that branched off to the Vermillion Lakes. A wonderful place for photography, but since the weather played havoc & also because we were short on time, we turned back...keeping the lakes for another day on bikes. Distance hiked:
On our way back to Calgary, we witnessed so many people returning home too. No bottlenecks, though. Info:
-Tunnel Mountain campground has 760 campsites & 50% of them are reservable. On this weekend, the RV-only campground was full. We were informed earlier that on any normal weekend, if we go fairly early, we should be able to find one.
There are more RVer's here so the tent sites are fairly free.
-Anne Newness apparently had climbed up Tunnel mountain some 8000 times in 40 years. Sometimes twice in a day!
ps: Added are some pictures from the very famous Calgary Stampede.
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