States

Kootenay National Park

We actually went to Kootenay National Park before my parents met us to visit Banff and Jasper, but we went back for a quick visit with Mom and Dad so I decided to write about it last in my series of posts about our time in the Canadian Rockies.

Prior to heading to Banff we stayed at Redstreak Campground in Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia. This campground is part of Kootenay National Park. The campsites were huge and Jesse was excited that we had trees where we could set up the slack line kit.

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The campground is set up high above the town of Radium Hot Springs and the views of the town below were beautiful.

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There were also big horn sheep frequently hanging out at the campground.

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We hiked to Dog Lake one evening. It started pouring when we arrived at the trailhead, but quickly stopped so we were able to hike, but the hike was super muddy. There were a couple of suspension bridges over the Kootenay River, then the rest of the hike was through the woods until you get to Dog Lake. The total hike was 3.2 miles out and back.

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Kootenay River

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The kids thought the bridge was pretty cool, but the muddy hike, not so much. Jesse complained most of the way. πŸ˜‰

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Dog Lake

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On the way back to the campground we stopped at this beautiful viewpoint!

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Kootenay Valley Viewpoint

Kootenay River is such a brilliant shade of turquoise blue, especially on a sunny day.

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Kootenay River

When we went back to visit Kootenay with my parents we first stopped at the Continental Divide. At this point the rivers on the east side flow towards the Atlantic and the rivers on the west side flow towards the Pacific. This point was also the province line between Alberta and British Columbia, and the line that separates the 2 nationals parks, Banff and Kootenay.

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Continental Divide

Then we did a short, easy 1.2 mile out and back hike to the Paint Pots which were basically mud pots that look like paint.

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Paint Pots

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Paint Pots

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More gorgeous views along the hike.

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That wraps up my posts about our time in the Canadian Rockies. I was sad to see that come to an end. It’s hard to describe in words just how amazing that part of the world is. How can we ever top that adventure?

 

Categories: canada, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Icefields Parkway and Jasper National Park

We left the RV at the campground in Banff, and took a couple of days to drive up the Icefields Parkway and see Jasper National Park. This is yet another thing that you might want to add to your bucket list. The Icefields Parkway is 230 kilometers (or as Americans would say 140 miles), but there are so many amazing places to see along the way that you should really plan to spend an entire day making the drive between Banff and Jasper.

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Our first stop was a quick stop to see Herbert Lake

Then we made another quick stop to see Bow Lake.

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Bow Lake

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Bow Lake

The next stop needed more time and involved a fairly short hike to Peyto Lake. Definitely do this hike and spend some time admiring this breathtaking beauty.

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Peyto Lake

The hike to the main viewpoint is 1.7 miles out and back. It’s uphill the entire way there so be prepared for that. The viewpoint is ridiculously crowded, so based on a tip from some other hikers, we ventured up the trail to the left of the viewpoint. You don’t have to walk very far to find some spectacular views away from the crowds.

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(A side note for anyone who may be visiting this area for the rest of 2019, unfortunately you won’t be able to see Peyto Lake. The parking area and hiking trails are closed for the rest of the year, but will re-open next year).

After Peyto Lake we continued on up the Icefields Parkway and stopped for lunch at a picnic area at the Saskatchewan River Crossing.

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Saskatchewan River Crossing

Next we splurged on a really cool adventure. We went on the Columbia Icefields Adventure to tour and walk on the Athabasca Glacier and the Skywalk. This was definitely the highlight of our trip up the parkway.

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View of the glaciers from the Columbia Icefields Center — Athabasca Glacier is on the right

To get on the glacier, you ride in an Ice Explorer. We had an excellent tour guide named Bruce.

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Ice Explorer

More ice explorers on the glacier.

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Once you get on the glacier, you get to spend about 25-30 minutes walking around, taking pictures and even trying a drink of the ice cold glacier water. They had country flags from several countries around the world for pictures.

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Americans representing on the Athabasca Glacier

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Dad is originally from Nova Scotia, proudly displaying the Canadian flag

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Chris filled a cup with glacier water for us to try

After the glacier tour, the Ice Explorer returns you to a shuttle bus which takes you to the second part of the tour, the Skywalk.

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Glacier Skywalk

Views from the Skywalk:

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After the glacier tour we were all pretty worn out from all the excitement of the day, so we decided to leave some other explorations on the Icefields Parkway for the drive back to Banff. We drove to our hotel in Jasper National Park and enjoyed a delicious dinner at Jasper Brewing Company.

The next day it rained most of the day, so unfortunately we didn’t get to explore very much of Jasper. The only thing we did was the Valley of Five Lakes hike, and we did that in the rain. I know there is so much more to see in Jasper, so that just means we have to go back again someday.

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One of the 5 lakes at the Valley of Five Lakes

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Another one of the 5 lakes

The next day we headed back to Banff down the parkway again, visiting some other spots along the way. We stopped at the Athabasca Falls which was beautiful!

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Athabasca Falls

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Athabasca Falls

We did another challenging uphill hike to Parker Ridge, a 3.2 mile up and back hike. The climb was worth the beautiful views at the top! Are my parents amazing or what?! Both of them in their 70s and still joining us for hikes like this. πŸ™‚

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At the top of Parker Ridge

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Saskatchewan Glacier

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Beautiful views along the hike

One of the most exciting things we saw on the parkway was bears! We’re always on the lookout for bears, from a safe distance of course. But, it’s very rare that we see them. We saw several on the Icefields Parkway, and were able to get pictures of some of them on the side of the road.

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Adorable cubs following Mama Bear off the road!

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Mama Bear making sure her cubs made it safely off the road.

The drive along the Icefields Parkway was quite the adventure, I’m only sorry we didn’t have enough time to explore more of Jasper. So it just goes on my never-ending list of places to return to someday.

I have one more post about our time in the Canadian Rockies about Kootenay National Park which I’ll write about next.

Categories: canada, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Banff National Park

Have you ever been to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies? If not, you may want to put it on your bucket list. It is literally the most beautiful place I have ever seen. So much so that I don’t know how we’ll ever top that trip!

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Lake Louise

Each summer my parents like to pick a place on our travel route to meet up with us, and this year they chose to fly to Calgary in Alberta to meet up with us to visit Banff and Jasper National Parks. I must say that was an excellent choice! This just may be the most amazing place we’ve ever been.

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We stayed at Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court right in the super cute town of Banff.

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Our campsite was very nice and spacious

One day we were treated to some special guests at our site.

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Elk relaxing at the campsite

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The scenic town of Banff is surrounded by mountains

Besides being the most amazing park we have ever been to, it’s also the most crowded. I guess we’re not the only ones who wanted to see this incredible gem on God’s beautiful Creation.

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The parking lots at Banff fill up so early, and just barely clear out in the evenings. Chris worked most days, so we ventured out for hikes and exploring in the evenings. But even then, it was challenging to find parking. The night we went to Lake Louise (which is very likely the most popular area at Banff), we took some pictures at the lake and then ventured out for a hike to Lake Agnes. The hike is 4.7 miles out and back. It’s a challenging hike uphill then back down after you reach the lake. Uphill hikes always challenge me with getting out of breath, but I sometimes think going back down is more difficult. It’s harder on the knees, and also you have to try not to slip and fall going down if the trail has loose gravel.

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Lake Agnes

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Lake Agnes Tea House

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My parents admiring the beautiful views along the hike

Another evening we went to Moraine Lake. I think this lake was even more incredible than Lake Louise. The parking there is even more limited though, and there are park rangers blocking the entrance to the road. They only let people through when others have left the parking lot. Since we got there around 6:30 in the evening we didn’t have to wait too long, and it’s worth it for this view!

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Moraine Lake

If you visit Moraine Lake, be sure to hike up the 1/2 mile Rockpile trail. It’s made of rock steps and other than the climb, it’s not too difficult. You can see Moraine Lake from down at the shoreline, but the best views are from the top of the trail.

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From there we hiked to Consolation Lakes. This hike was 3.6 miles out and back. It was not difficult, but mostly through the woods on a dirt trail. I had read that there are frequent bear sightings on this trail, and sometimes it’s required to hike in groups and carry bear spray. We had that covered, but we didn’t see any bears. Once you get to Consolation Lakes there is a lot of rock scrambling to actually get to the lake shore. Of course, our kids love that part.

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Consolation Lakes

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Johnston Canyon was another fabulous place to visit. The hike to the Lower Falls is an easy 1.5 miles out and back. But, you can also hike further to see the Upper Falls making it 3.1 miles round trip. The trail is well maintained and paved. There is a 3rd option to hike to the Ink Pots making the total hike 7.3 miles, but we did not go that far.

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Johnston Canyon Lower Falls

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Johnston Canyon Upper Falls

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Hiking along Johnston Canyon

Lake Minnewanka is gorgeous! We had fun just walking along the shoreline, while Chris & Jesse played frisbee.

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Lake Minnewanka

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Chris & Jesse playing frisbee on Lake Minnewanka

More pictures of Lake Minnewanka:

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We also drove up Mount Norquay where you can see a beautiful view of the town of Banff down below.

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I love this adorable picture of Jake & Jesse at Mount Norquay. I can’t believe how quickly they are growing up, and it seems rare to get a good picture of them together like this anymore. Sometimes they like each other! πŸ˜‰

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Lastly we went to Vermillion Lakes, yet another beautiful place to see at Banff.

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Vermillion Lakes

We explored a few other areas as well, including a hike to the Hoodoos from the campground and another hike in the town of Canmore. The hiking opportunities in and around Banff are endless!

I cannot even describe how incredible it is to visit a place like Banff National Park, and my pictures really do not do it justice.

But there’s more! The trip up to Jasper National Park involves an incredibly scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway. Stay tuned for that next.

 

Categories: canada, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Coeur d’Alene and Farragut State Park

I never realized how much beauty there is to see in Idaho. This must be one of America’s best kept secrets. It has all the beauty of the other surrounding states and national parks without the crowds. Maybe I shouldn’t be blogging about it, I’m sure the locals don’t want the secret to get out. πŸ˜‰

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Farragut State Park

We stayed at Farragut State Park which was so beautiful. The cell signal there was pretty bad so we had to leave the park and go find other places to work during the week so that was a little frustrating.

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So much beautiful scenery at Farragut State Park!

More pictures from the state park:

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Coeur d’Alene is just 30 minutes south of the campground and we spent a lot of time working there that week. There is an abundance of hiking opportunities in Coeur d’Alene so after work we headed out on some hikes. Based on a friend’s recommendation we headed to Mineral Ridge which was amazing!

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Mineral Ridge

It’s a steep uphill climb but so worth it for this view!

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More pictures from the Mineral Ridge hike:

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Another hike we did in Coeur d’Alene was Tubbs Hill.

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Tubbs Hill

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There are numerous points along this hike where people were jumping off the rocks into the water. Our kids had lots of fun with that!

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These Florida boys said the water was freezing!

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Another view from Tubbs Hill

Another benefit of going to Coeur d’Alene during the week was the abundance of stores like Walmart, Kohls and even a Buffalo Wild Wings! It’s the little things you miss when you’re traveling around national parks and don’t see those types of stores/restaurants for a long time. πŸ™‚

Sandpoint Beach was about 30 minutes north of our campground, another great place to visit (and work if you need a cell signal).

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Sandpoint Beach

Northern Idaho is so amazing and gorgeous, but let’s keep the secret to ourselves, okay? We don’t want it to get too crowded.

Next we headed to Canada where ironically we had a much better cell signal!

 

Categories: Idaho, Roadschooling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Beautiful McCall Idaho

After leaving one of our least favorite campgrounds in Arco, Idaho we ended up at one of our new favorites, McCall RV Resort.

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Long, level site with lots of space between neighbors

We had really nice neighbors, in fact everyone at this campground was so nice, including all the people that worked there.

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Beautiful indoor pool and hot tub

Even Fat Cat loved it!

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Besides the fabulous RV park, McCall is such a great place to visit! There are so many wonderful recreational opportunities in the area.

My favorite thing we did was the hike to Louie Lake in Payette National Forest on the 4th of July. It wasn’t crowded at all and Louie Lake was breathtaking!

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Louie Lake

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Beautiful views on the way to Louie Lake

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Lots of wild flowers in bloom

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And some fun obstacles along the way

Another day we hiked to the Peninsula at Ponderosa State Park where we were rewarded with some spectacular views of Payette Lake.

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Hiking to the Peninsula at Ponderosa State Park

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Lots of wild flowers in bloom on the hike

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Taking a rest, it’s a steep climb up to the Peninsula

These views were worth the climb!

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Payette Lake

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Admiring the view

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More views of Payette Lake along the trail

We also went to Brundage Mountain to play some disc golf. I’m terrible at this game, but the kids love it.

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We had a blast in McCall Idaho, it is definitely on our very long list of “places to return to someday”.

 

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Craters of the Moon

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Craters of the Moon National Monument is in Idaho, but it literally looks like you have just landed on another planet. In fact, we learned by watching the park movie that NASA astronauts actually visited there to train for moon missions in 1969 and later spent time there researching missions to Mars. Is that cool or what?!

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Craters of the Moon

This park is very easy to visit as it’s not large and you could easily visit in a day. There is a 7 mile loop drive through the park with plenty of beautiful places to stop and admire the views. You also have the option to hike and explore some caves.

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Hiking up Inferno Cone

Our first stop was a short hike up the hill to see Inferno Cone.

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The next stop was Spatter Cones and Snow Cones.

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Spatter Cones

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Our favorite was exploring the caves. The first cave we explored was Indian Tunnel. That is an easy cave to explore if you didn’t bring flashlights. There is plenty of natural light in this cave.

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Staircase down into Indian Tunnel

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Indian Tunnel

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Lots of natural light coming into Indian Tunnel

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We went back another evening to explore the dark caves and remembered to bring flashlights.

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Some of these caves had some tight spots to squeeze through!

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Inside one of the caves there was a lot of ice, and somehow we got a good picture of some of it by shining a flashlight on it.

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I’m not gonna lie, it was creepy in those dark caves. The kids loved it and kept wanting to go further into them. I went along with them because I didn’t want them to get lost, but I have to admit I was a little nervous. Sometimes Chris stayed out of the caves just in case someone needed to call for help to come and rescue us. At least that’s his story, and he’s sticking to it. πŸ˜‰

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Craters of the Moon is such a beautiful and unusual place to see and explore!

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We stayed at Craters of the Moon KOA in Arco, and I’m sorry to say it was one of the worst RV parks we’ve ever stayed at. I wouldn’t recommend it, however ironically we moved from there to one of the best parks we’ve ever stayed at. Stay tuned for that next.

 

Categories: Idaho, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Yellowstone National Park

In my last post about Grand Teton National Park, I mentioned that it snowed the last day we were there. As we drove to Yellowstone the next day we noticed a lot more snow on the drive and saw that Yellowstone got even more snow than we did the day before. It’s amazing that this was June!

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Driving to Yellowstone from Grand Teton

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Amazing snow in June!

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Okay, so I guess I went overboard on taking pictures of the snow on our drive, but it was so beautiful, and after our winter in Breckenridge I just can’t get enough of snow.

Anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about Yellowstone. This is another park that we are repeating this year because it’s just so awesome and definitely worth repeating.

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Old Faithful

This time of the year it’s so nice that it stays light so late at night because we can easily go for a hike in the evenings after work. The night we went to Old Faithful we hiked the trail from there to see several other geysers.

One of my favorites is Artemesia Geyser. We saw this one erupting last time we were there, which was good timing since it doesn’t erupt as regularly as Old Faithful. We didn’t see it erupting this time, but it was still beautiful.

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Artemesia Geyser

Another favorite is Morning Glory. Even though the colors in this one are beautiful, sadly the colors are the result of visitors throwing items into the geyser. That’s just not a good thing to do.

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Morning Glory

The river walk was beautiful with little spots of steam coming up everywhere.

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I forget what this one was called, but it started erupting just as we walked by. That was pretty cool!

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Another view of Old Faithful erupting again as we finished up our hike.

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I couldn’t believe how many bison we saw this time. It was weird when we were there 3 years ago with my parents, we hardly saw any bison. This time they were everywhere! Several times blocking traffic.

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Another night we went to Grand Prismatic Spring, another one of my favorites. On the hike to the overlook we saw this aggressive bison. We know he was aggressive because we saw him chase 2 ladies that had just walked by. We stood back and waited until he was well off the path before we continued on.

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Grumpy bison

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Grand Prismatic Spring from the overlook

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Grand Prismatic Spring up close

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Hiking along the boardwalk next to Grand Prismatic Spring

A few more pictures from the Grand Prismatic area.

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Another evening we went to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This area is so beautiful and the hike along the canyon offers some amazing views.

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Artist Point

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I see that Jake is now taller than me πŸ˜‰

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Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

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Lower Falls

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I was disappointed to find that Uncle Tom’s trail that takes you down over 300 steps to get a closer view of Lower Falls was closed. That turned out to be a blessing though because we went around to the other side and went down a trail to see it from the other side. This is something we didn’t do last time so it was cool to see it from a different perspective.

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Top of Lower Falls

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Another view of the canyon

Lastly we went to see the Artist’s Paint Pots. This is something we did not get a chance to see last time.

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We stayed at the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone, MT again. We love that park and the little town of West Yellowstone is so much fun. We also got to spend some time with 2 other Fulltime Families that were there.

Now that we’ve been to Yellowstone twice, would I go there again? Most definitely! This is one of those places I could visit over and over again.

Categories: Montana, National Parks, Wyoming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Grand Teton National Park

After traveling for over 4 years, it was inevitable that we would eventually start repeating some favorites. Grand Teton National Park is one of those favorites we repeated this year, and it was just as awesome as the first time. If you’d like to read my post from our first time at Grand Teton you can see it here:Β Grand Teton National Park.

We tried a new hike this time to Taggart and Bradley Lakes. The views along the hike and the picturesque lakes were incredible.

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Starting our hike to Taggart Lake

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Waterfall along the way to Taggart Lake

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Gorgeous Taggart Lake

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Enjoying a snack break at Taggart Lake

Then we continued on to Bradley Lake which was a lot of uphill hiking making for a very good workout.

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Another snack break at Bradley Lake

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Bradley Lake

We also repeated some favorites like visiting the Chapel of the Transfiguration which is stunning!

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Chapel of the Transfiguration

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View from inside the Chapel of the Transfiguration

Another repeat was the hike halfway around Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls, but it was a little different this time. Last time the hiking trail was down by the lake, but this time that part of the trail was being repaired so we ended up hiking a different trail that was up much higher over the lake.

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Jenny Lake

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Hiking to Hidden Falls

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Hiking along Jenny Lake

Seeing Hidden Falls was also new because the last time we were there the trail to the Falls was closed. I’m so glad we got to see it this time! It was a beautiful and powerful waterfall, we could hear it long before it came into view.

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Hidden Falls

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Hidden Falls

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It started to look like stormy skies on the way back

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Another view of Jenny Lake

One evening we hiked along Jackson Lake from the campground and saw a beaver come out of the water, then he chewed down a little tree and started to swim away with the tree. It was so cool to watch this!

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Beaver getting back in the water with the little tree he just chewed down

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Beaver swimming away

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Hiking along Jackson Lake

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Jackson Lake

We stayed at Colter Bay RV Park which is inside of the national park. We stayed there last time and had Verizon access from our campsite so we could work, but this time Verizon didn’t work from our site at all except in the middle of the night. Yikes! How are we supposed to work like this? We had to get creative that week, that’s for sure. Sometimes we got up in the middle of the night to get some work done while Verizon worked, sometimes we worked at the campground laundry room or the Jackson Lake Lodge where the internet worked great, and other times we worked at the Colter Bay marina and enjoyed this view.

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Not a bad office view, right?

It’s not often we get to a place where we have no cell coverage at our site. Usually I know about it ahead of time and we plan our vacations around lack of cell coverage areas. This time we were surprised to have no coverage especially since it worked last time we stayed there. Another surprise was waking up to snow one day while we were there, in June!

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A snowy day at Grand Teton in June

Grand Teton National Park is such an incredibly beautiful place, and my pictures definitely do not do it justice. You just have to come and see it for yourself.

 

Categories: National Parks, Wyoming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Back to Ridgway State Park

Ridgway State Park is my favorite Colorado State Park, and probably my favorite state park in America. We stayed there back in 2016, and I was so excited to stay there again this year.

Ridgway State Park has 3 different campgrounds. We started out at the full hookup campground called Pa Co Chu Puk. Interesting name, right?

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View from our campsite at Pa Co Chu Puk

Can you believe that view? It was incredible. Last time we stayed there I made some notes about which campsites I would like if we came back, and that was one of them.

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Uncompahgre River at Ridgway State Park

Fat Cat loved this park the last time we went there because there were so many chipmunks for her to hunt. She loved it again this time, but didn’t catch any chipmunks; she must be losing her touch!

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She loves to hide in the grass and wait for critters to pass by.

While we were at this campsite Jake and I went for a beautiful bike ride on the Enchanted Mesa. Last time we stayed there I had to go for bike rides by myself; this time it was so nice to have Jake join me. I’m sad he’s growing up so fast, but at least there are some benefits.

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Enchanted Mesa bike trail

This bike trail is really hard to get to. We had to push our bikes up several switch backs, stopping frequently to catch our breath, until we finally made it to the top where we could ride and enjoy these incredible views.

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On the other side of the trail, Chris and Jesse met us to give us a ride home. But first the boys (all 3 of them) had to try out the giant slide.

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One of my favorite mountain towns in all of America is Telluride. We went there twice before, and while staying at Ridgway we went there for a third visit.

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The funny thing is there was a snow storm the day we visited Telluride in late May!

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The last 2 times we visited there we went for a hike, but not this time. It was a little too cold, but we still enjoyed the scenic gondola ride.

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The view from the gondola wasn’t quite the same during a snow storm. But I actually enjoyed seeing what it looked like in the snow. Below is a picture of the view from the gondola on a clear day, the first time we went back in 2015.

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I could never get tired of visiting this beautiful mountain town.

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Beautiful Telluride

During our stay at Ridgway we moved to a second site at the Elk Ridge Campground. Like I mentioned before, there are 3 campgrounds at Ridgway, and even though it’s a pain to move, we love staying at the different campgrounds in the state park.

On moving day it happened to be snowing, yes in May!

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Elk Ridge Campground

A few days later it cleared up and we were able to see this amazing view from the campsite that we couldn’t see the first day.

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I was glad the weather warmed up while we were there so Jake and I could go on another bike ride. This was my favorite bike ride in the country, and I was glad to do it again and share it with Jake.

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Start of our bike ride and the amazing views

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Riding along the Uncompahgre River

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Dennis Weaver Memorial Park, a stop along our bike ride

Another one of my favorite mountain towns is Ouray. One thing I love about Ridgway State Park is that it’s close to both Telluride and Ouray.

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Ouray, Colorado — Switzerland of America

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State parks only allow us to stay for a max of 2 weeks. It’s too bad because I could stay in that area for much longer. Can you see why it’s my favorite state park in the country? If you are interested in reading my first post about this park from 2016 you can see it here:Β Ridgway State Park.

We thought we were done with snow when we left Breckenridge, but we were surprised to have snow a couple of times in this area in late May. Do you think that would have been the end of it? No! We had more snow in June at Grand Teton National Park. Stay tuned to hear about that next.

 

Categories: Colorado | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Glenwood Springs and Rifle Falls

After our Epic Winter in Breckenridge, we headed west towards Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Fat Cat was so happy to be back outside again in the warm sunshine!

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Jesse was also happy to be done with snow and be able to play ball outside again with Chris.

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Rifle Gap State Park

I was happy to be back at a state park again. I just love the spacious campsites and beautiful views we have at state parks. We stayed at Rifle Gap State Park where we had an amazing view from our campsite!

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Fat Cat was in heaven; finally back outside hunting for critters.

There was a lot to see and do in the area. We went into Glenwood Springs to see Hanging Lake and take a soak in the Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

Hanging Lake is a beautifully clear, turquoise-colored lake situated high up on a mountain.

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Hanging Lake

Too many visitors to this precious gem resulted in damage to the fragile eco-system; therefore, starting May 1st of this year visitors are required to purchase a permit and ride a shuttle to the trail head (May 1st-Oct 31). When we visited, it was $12/person and we needed to reserve a spot in advance. There is now a limit of 615 people per day, and each shuttle accommodates 44 people. The nice thing is the trail was not overly crowded. Hanging Lake is such a popular spot that I could see how it would have been frustrating sharing the trail and lake views with hundreds of other people at the same time.

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The hike starts in Glenwood Canyon on a flat, paved trail running along the Colorado River.

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Colorado River

Soon you will arrive at the start of a steep uphill climb. The hike up is a little over a mile, but it’s difficult because you climb over 1000 feet in elevation. Once you arrive at the top and catch your first glimpse of Hanging Lake you realize it was worth the climb!

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Just a little further up and you can see Spouting Rock, a magnificent waterfall!

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Behind Spouting Rock

On our way to Glenwood Springs we ran into a little traffic jam. We thought it was hilarious to come upon a huge herd of cows wandering down the highway like they own the road!

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Iron Mountain Hot Springs was incredible! It is surrounded by Rocky Mountain views and sits alongside the Colorado River. There are 16 geothermal soaking pools as well as a larger family pool. We enjoyed an afternoon trying out several of the pools.

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Iron Mountain Hot Springs overlooking the Colorado River

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Jesse lined up rocks along my arm, maybe to make it more like a spa experience? πŸ˜‰

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Our campground was just down the road from Rifle Falls State Park which was yet another beautiful spot.

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Rifle Falls State Park

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Rifle Falls also has caves to explore that the kids enjoyed climbing.

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This is another one of those areas in Colorado that I would love to visit again someday. Colorado certainly has no shortage of incredible places to visit!

Categories: Colorado | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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