Return to Bow Lake Area

July 30 , 2008

After a delightful morning at Morraine Lake, we headed out about noon to drive back up the Ice Fields Parkway to Bow Lake, which we had enjoyed briefly yesterday. It was a nice drive, about 35 km from Lake Louise. Along the way, we passed this beautiful green lake, Crowfoot Lake I believe. In Crowfoot Glacier above the lake you could see a subtle bluegreen color.

The distinctive shape of Crowfoot Glacier stood out on the mountain above the lake. From several angles, the name "crowfoot" looked plausible. There were three extensions you could see, sort of like a crow's foot.

When we reached Bow Lake, we could see Bow Falls and Bow Glacier above it, although clouds were moving in.

We had lunch at Simpson's Num-ti-jah Lodge at Bow Lake. Num-ti-jah is the Indian language for the pine marten - we presumed Jimmy Simpson once trapped them.

It is a large rustic log lodge constructed in 1950 and run by Jimmy Simpson's family until almost 2000. We had nice views of the lake from the lodge.

There was a very nice trail that ran around the lakeshore, all the way to Bow Falls. We didn't make it that far, but enjoyed what we did. There were lots of flowers in the meadow, the most common being a yellow flowering shrub shown above right. It must be sort of deer resistant since we saw it growing openly in Banff, whereas everything else was surrounded by wire. It looked sort of like gorse from a distance, but not as prickly.

It was still stormy with rapidly changing clouds over the lake and periods of hard rain. We walked out on the lakeside trail a bit, but another rain shower came and we retreated to the car. It was so beautiful and relaxing there, we decided to just sit in the car and see if we could wait out the rain. That was a suprisingly relaxing and enjoyable time with the rain beating on the car and the changing views of the Bow Glacier and Waterfall across the blue lake. I read a bit, and Brenda took a nap.

We got a break in the rain, so we geared up to walk part of the trail around the lake toward the Bow Falls. Brenda put on her raincoat and I had a rainproof jacket, so we walked about a mile around. But then the rain got harder and looked threatening, so we walked back to the car and waited a bit longer.

Brenda and Rod on the lake trail. The Bow Falls and Bow Glacier are behind him, but you can't see them for the cloud that was moving in on us. It was exhilirating to walk around the beautiful lake, even in the rain. It reminded us of some of our hikes in rainy Wales and the English Lake District.

This is on the trail further around the lake end during a later clear spell. The trail was easy and you got good views of the falls and glacier all the way around. A glance backward on the trail below shows the extraordinary blue water.

There were still storm clouds and showers on the south end of the lake during this hike. At times the storms really looked dark. The dark speck you see on the blue water below is actually a fisherman in a rig that looked like waders wrapped around an innertube. He was out there the whole time.

This is the view of the lodge back across the blue lake near the end of where we hiked.

Later I headed out for a fast walk around part of the trail and got around a couple of further points of the lake where I could look back on the red-roofed lodge.

I did some closeup photography while Brenda wrote postcards. These are some of the wildflowers that were in the meadow in addition to the abundant yellow-flowering shrub. Above is one of the meadows looking southward over Bow Lake. Below is one of the streams flowing into the lake.

Both the morning and the afternoon had been exhilirating and we were very grateful for the blessings as we drove the 90 km back to Banff and our Bed n Breakfast. Our cup runneth over.

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