How We Executed the Perfect Day of Adventure in the Canadian Rockies

Brad Willetts

Blue lakes, snow, elk, sheep and a grizzly!

The day started with a 6am wake up call. We got in the van and headed out of Calgary and straight for Lake Minniewanka, with hopes to catch a great sunrise. 

Luckily for us we got exactly that, perfect conditions! We hung around the lake shooting some photos and skipping rocks before getting back in the car to drive the Minnewanka loop. It's a fairly short drive but provides stunning scenery and wildlife.

First stop was a roadblock provided by some friendly sheep and then some even friendlier Elk! This was our first time seeing Elk in the wild and lets just say it was a magical experience. They are such amazing animals, I probably spent about an hour taking a million photos of them haha!

After pretending to be a Nat Geo photographer for awhile, we continued on through to Two Jack Lake and the rest of the Loop. 

After driving for some time we headed for Lake Louise to hike up to Lake Agnes. Arriving at the Lake Louise Carpark we sorted out our bags, and then hit trail. Climbing up the icy hill for 3km and then the even more icy stairs, made us wonder why we hadn't bought micro spikes (I can confirm i've bought some now. 10/10 investment) But nevertheless we managed to get up there in one piece. Lake Agnes was frozen solid and we'd missed the teahouse being open by just a few days but this didn't really bother us as we were the only ones up there at first. It is incredible to have views like that to yourself. We hung around taking some photos, ate some lunch and taking in the beautiful scenery. 

We continued on from Lake Agnes and starting walking towards the Plain of six Glaciers, what felt like several hours later we winded up back at the Lake Louise carpark (15km of hiking later). We hopped in the car and started heading home (Calgary). On the way home we joked at how cool it would be to see a moose on the way home because that would just top the day off, we'd basically been told by our landlord that its extremely rare to see a grizzly bear so we hadn't even considered it really. Anyway, there we were driving down the Trans Canada HWY and suddenly we saw a bunch of cars on the side of the road, our first thought was there's been a crash or something, but as we got closer i burst into excitement because I could see a grizzly just hanging out on the train tracks near the road. 

Here's a photo!  

I wish the photo had turned out better but i guess you cant have everything haha! All in all this was a crazy day, on more recent trips we have seen moose, and a whole bunch of other stunning things which I will write about soon. This is my first time writing a story about my adventures, but I hope you liked it. Feel free to leave any constructive criticism below or some helpful tips! 

Published: November 7, 2016

Brad Willetts

Photographer making his way around the world.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.

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