Waterfowl Lakes and the Icefields Parkway - Windermere Studios

I took an image in a trip through the rockies in 2002 that has stuck in my head ever since. It was along the shores of Waterfowl Lake, and Mount Chephren loomed in the background. I've lost the originals for the panorama that I stitched and I would love to recreate it. With this in mind, I hoped that we could get a campsite at Waterfowl Lakes campground even though it was only a short distance up the Icefields from Banff. We got to the campsite mid day, and had no problem picking our spot. It's a really lovely campground, and one I could see staying at for several days if I were just camping and the weather were nice. 

We stopped at Herbert Lake, then Peyto Lake as well as at a selection of viewpoints overlooking the various glaciers along the highway. We had lots of time to enjoy the views. And we had great views as the skies were absolutely cloudless the whole way. After establishing our camp, we drove north, stopping at Mistaya Canyon and then at the intersection to the David Thompson highway. We walked down to Mistaya without tripods and regretted it. Mistaya turned out to be the hidden gem, unknown secret spot of the trip for me. At the North Saskatchewan river crossing we were witness to the damages done by the huge forest fire this summer. Miles upon miles of charred trees line the slopes. 

  • Reflections on Herbert Lake

  • Fire ravaged mountain side near North Saskatchewan river crossing.

We explored the shores of Waterfowl Lakes, scouting sunset and hoping to find a great location to recreate this mystical photo in my memory. That was not to be, but we did find sweet light over lower Waterfowl that evening. The cloudless sky resulted in a pretty unremarkable sunset but the rays of sun peaking around Mount Chephren made for a beautiful subject. 

Sunset at Waterfowl Lakes. Mount Chephren.

Sunset at Waterfowl Lakes. Mount Chephren.

I skipped sunrise the next morning! After breakfast and packing up we headed out with the full day available to explore as we had reserved our spot in Whistlers Campground already. We went back to Mistaya Canyon with tripods and filters this time. I played with long exposures, messed around with in camera white balance, and generally enjoyed being able to take pretty pictures. 

  • Mistaya Canyon

  • Mistaya Canyon

  • Mistaya Canyon

It was another glorious sunny day in the mountains and we hit all of the usual spots on the drive: Tangle Falls, Columbia Icefields, Sunwapta and Athabasca Falls. I took very few photos since I'd visited all of these spots in October 2013 and still haven't processed those images! I was surprised at the color of water in Sunwapta and Athabasca Falls - a milky, murky grey instead of the beautiful glacial green of the fall due to the volume of melt water in them. It was a great day to be in the Rockies. 

  • Tangle Falls

  • Sunwapta Falls

We were set up at Whistlers by late afternoon, then headed in to Jasper townsite for foods, followed by a trip up to Pyramid for sunset. Off to Jasper.

Back to Banff.

Icefields Parkway

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