On Canada Day we like to head into Banff National Park when the weather is good because the park entrance is free on Canada Day, and where better to celebrate our Country’s birthday than by being in a national park.
The trail reports didn’t look that good for the national park; snow at elevation and wet/flooded trails in the valley’s didn’t leave a lot of choice for a mid-distance hike, so we ended up going to the Benchland trails in Canmore instead. We chose to do the Montane Trail and then to loop back along the Silvertip Footpath along the edge of the Silvertip Golf course. According to the area maps the hike should be about 7.4 km in length. The walk tracker app I recently downloaded for free from iTunes had us at 8.0 km when all was said and done.
The view of the Three Sisters is spectacular from most places in town. This view is from along Cougar Creek looking back towards the day use parking lot, just before we pop into the woods on Montane Trail.
I think CB and Kona appreciated being in the trees as it give them some shade. The skies varied from overcast to clear during our walk, weather can change here so quickly and we only had a little sprinkling of rain while we were out.
This is a really pretty trail and there is a lot of opportunity to see wild flowers, such as this western wood lily. There were also purple and yellow columbines and crimson paintbrushes along the trail, as well as many flowers I don’t know the names of.
I feel pretty lucky to have had a chance to get a picture of this butterfly. I think it’s an Atlantis Fritillaria but I’m not completely sure although I do know that this is a Fritillaria and the flower it’s visiting is an Arnica.
You can see some crimson paintbrush just off the side of the trail beside Kona.
There was also ample opportunity to stop and think for a while, just enjoying the scenery.
For most of the Montane Trail you are walking above the Silvertip golf course and you can see parts of it from along the trail. It’s a pretty course as one would expect in this part of the Rockies. We encountered some mountain bikers but overall the trail was pretty quiet. From the Montane Trial you then turn onto the Silvertip footpath along the western edge of the golf course which leads you back into the neighborhood and to the day-use parking lot.
Along the way we ran into this guy. He was so cheesed that we were there he even yelled at us with his mouth full. All in all a nice walk and a great way to spend the afternoon.