Rockies Circle Pt 4: Mountain Paddling

Boy have things changed in the Rockies since we were here last. We discovered that access to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in the peak of summer are now essentially only by shuttle. The parking lot fills up by 6am apparently. We haven’t looked at the web site to see how the shuttle bus works, but we got out of dodge as quickly as possible. This is as close to Lake Louise as we got. A view of the Plain of 6 Glaciers from the parking lot of the Visitor’s Center

But not to despair.  We saw the beauty of Bow Lake yesterday, as we drove along Hwy 93, and the kind lady at the Visitor Center confirmed that it has a great beach and would be a great place to paddle. 

She was not wrong.

We had a spectacular day of paddling on the lake. The parking lot was right by the put-in on a small beach.  We pulled the PakaYaks out of the van (we left the trailer in the campsite), assembled them and got on the water.   

Bow Loke is surrounded by mountains, and has up-close-and-personal views of Crowfoot Glacier.  Paddling  on turquoise water, along the bottom of soaring mountains, with huge talus slopes, craggy outlines and oh, yes glaciers was amazing.  In a 14’ boat on the lake, one feels a little small, but that is the allure of the mountains.  Feeling the majesty and strength.  Seeing the huge talus slopes also reminded us that it’s ever-changing. 

This one is for Brad!

So we feel we aced the day.  I think paddling here was much more pleasant than Lake Louise.  We were closer to the mountains, didn’t have to fight crowds or other paddlers/canoers on the lake (although there were a few people here) and could park close to the put-in and didn’t need the trolleys.

The weather was perfect:  mid 20’s with a slight breeze meant that we never got hot.  No winds to battle.  Bluebird skies. Company was pretty good!  And the scenery was jaw-dropping gorgeous.  

All in all, an A+++++ day.  

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