America · Canada

BEARS, Canyon Hikes & White Water Rafting

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Carrying on our journey in Banff National Park, we spent the next couple of days seeing the natural wonders the park had to offer.

And there’s one aspect that doesn’t get any more natural – the wildlife.  I was totally obsessed with it out here in Canada as is it on a complete different scale to what you can find in the UK.  Chipmunks.  Elk.  Moose.  Deer.  Eagles.  BEARS.

Yep, you that’s right.  Bears.  And although I did catch a glimpse of a bear last year whilst exploring Yellowstone National Park, a proper bear sighting was still on my bucket list.

Luckily for me I had the opportunity to see them twice whilst exploring Banff.

My favourite is the one below, who sat for a good while picking at berries, totally unbothered by the cars that had slowed down to take a few photos.  It was a very rare moment to see something so wild, so up close and personal.  And on a main road too!

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Next stop: Johnston Canyon.  And if you like easy hikes, then this stop is definitely for you.

Although a little long, there are two falls – upper and lower – you can see, both which are pretty incredible.  Most of it is a raised boardwalk at the canyon’s edge, so you get to watch the bright blue water come tumbling past as you hike up.

If there’s one thing I’ll always remember about Canada, it’s that all it’s rivers and lakes seemed to be their own intense colour.  Kinda made ours in the UK look a little murky (soz England).

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One of the crazy activities lined up for me whilst I was in Canada was white water rafting.  We took a two hour trip along Kicking Horse River with Hydra River Guides which sure as hell delivered more than I was expecting!

I have to admit, I was a little hesitant as I’d heard horror stories about sharp rocks and icy cold water.  And, well, I don’t think I know anyone who jumps at the idea of having to force on a wetsuit.

But I can definitely, hands down, say that it was one my best experiences of the whole trip.  It was full of adrenaline and laughter and copious amounts of water splashing around.  A little crazy, but something I would fully recommend if you are faced with the opportunity.

A particular highlight was when we spotted a bear and it’s cub at the edge of the river, poking out behind some shrubbery.  This was our first bear spotting of the trip so the excitement levels were out of the roof.

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Now, as for Banff’s town centre, it’s quite a small little place, but is still bubbling with tourists.  And of course, wherever there’s tourists – there’s souvenir shops.  So we spent a good hour or so looking at some cute yet some ridiculous things, whilst picking up a few to take home

We stumbled across a wonderful waffle & frozen yogurt place called Skoki’s.  This place is very much self serve, with dozens of different toppings ranging from cookie dough pieces to strawberries to gummie bears to scatter over your icecream.

You pay by weight (I think my first pot came to $10 CAD yikes), but was absolutely delicious.  So much so that we came back a second time the next day.

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Thank you so much for reading.  Also, check out my CANADA VLOG.

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