A Winter Journey through the Canadian Rockies

The following is my photojournal from a four-day whirlwind winter road trip through the Canadian Rockies. A full photo gallery can be found here. 

We left home in the early hours of December 15th amid a rare cold snap, bringing temperatures of -30 to the mountains of BC and Alberta. We set a course for the quiet BC mountain town of Valemount by way of Kamloops and frozen waterfalls of Wells Grey Provincial Park. The next morning we set out for Mount Robson, Jasper and the great Icefields Parkway through the Alberta Rockies along the Athabasca River to the small mining town of Nordegg on the edge of Lake Abraham.

The day after we ventured off to windy Lake Abraham, the frozen cascades of Crescent Falls, a frozen yet spectacular Lake Louise and finally the Johnston Ice Canyon in Banff National Park. We passed through Yoho National Park in the evening on our way to the town of Golden for the evening.

On our last day we caught some wild snowstorms while passing through Glacier National Park and Mount Revelstoke before reaching calm in the town of Salmon Arm, where we enjoyed some lunch. After a coffee break in Kamloops we make our way down the treacherous, snow-covered Coquihalla Highway to Hope and then on to slushy Vancouver. 

What a wild, stunning, dramatic, awe-inspiring adventure. Words simply cannot do it justice. I'm not sure the photographs can either, but I'll try. Enjoy. 

Two hikers walk across a frozen, snow covered Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta. 

Two hikers walk across a frozen, snow covered Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta. 

Water tumbles behind the icy walls of a frozen waterfall in Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta. 

Water tumbles behind the icy walls of a frozen waterfall in Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta. 

Sunshine peaks from behind the trees near Athabasca Falls, Jasper National Park, Alberta. 

Sunshine peaks from behind the trees near Athabasca Falls, Jasper National Park, Alberta. 

Trees pop up from the deep snow along the Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Trees pop up from the deep snow along the Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Few vehicles pass through Alberta's Icefields Parkway in the heart of winter, giving us time to find solace along the quiet roads. At -30 degrees, the snow snakes across the parkway, recoiling into dust with each passing vehicle. Jasper National Park, Alberta. 

Few vehicles pass through Alberta's Icefields Parkway in the heart of winter, giving us time to find solace along the quiet roads. At -30 degrees, the snow snakes across the parkway, recoiling into dust with each passing vehicle. Jasper National Park, Alberta. 

Two alpine skiers are dwarfed by the sheer size and power of the mountains in Banff National Park, Alberta. 

Two alpine skiers are dwarfed by the sheer size and power of the mountains in Banff National Park, Alberta. 

Crescent Falls outside of the mining town of Nordegg, Alberta appears to have been frozen solid; however, underneath this icy surface water continues to flow downstream. Clearwater County, Alberta. 

Crescent Falls outside of the mining town of Nordegg, Alberta appears to have been frozen solid; however, underneath this icy surface water continues to flow downstream. Clearwater County, Alberta. 

Sunshine pokes through the snow covered trees and moss as the sun begins to lower towards the horizon at Wells Grey Provincial Park, British Columbia. 

Sunshine pokes through the snow covered trees and moss as the sun begins to lower towards the horizon at Wells Grey Provincial Park, British Columbia. 

A car approaches from the distance on a remote stretch of Alberta's Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Alberta. 

A car approaches from the distance on a remote stretch of Alberta's Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Alberta. 

A mostly frozen river meanders through a valley surrounded by mountains and trees. Jasper National Park, Alberta. 

A mostly frozen river meanders through a valley surrounded by mountains and trees. Jasper National Park, Alberta. 

Snow crystals form into small balls on a frozen Pyramid Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta. 

Snow crystals form into small balls on a frozen Pyramid Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta. 

A trail through the snow covered trees leads to a new world of exploration around Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta.

A trail through the snow covered trees leads to a new world of exploration around Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta.

Sunlight illuminates the mountain sides along the Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Sunlight illuminates the mountain sides along the Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta.

A setting sun's rays burst through the trees onto a frozen section of the Athabasca River, Jasper National Park, Alberta. 

A setting sun's rays burst through the trees onto a frozen section of the Athabasca River, Jasper National Park, Alberta. 

TravelMatthew Reichelblog