photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Steve, Katherine, and Norah | profile | all galleries >> Rocky Mountain Adventure 2009: Yellowstone, Beartooths, Glacier, Banff, Lake O'Hara, Assiniboine tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Rocky Mountain Adventure 2009: Yellowstone, Beartooths, Glacier, Banff, Lake O'Hara, Assiniboine

During August 2009, Kathy and I had a unique opportunity to take one full month off from work as part of a new HR program. We decided to avail ourselves of this opportunity and travel to the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Alberta, Canada.

Our strategy was to rendezvous with Kathy's parents, who are from Nebraska, at Cooke City, Montana for the first week. Cooke City is located just outside of the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park and also lies adjacent to the Beartooth Wilderness. Cooke City was a perfect location to meet for a family vacation as it provided excellent hiking (for Steve), excellent fishing (for Kathy's dad), and a lot of opportunities to explore the region and view wildlife. Everyone enjoyed their week in Cooke City for sure and we are already contemplating a return trip in 2010.

Our next stop after Cooke City was a five day jaunt in Glacier National Park. We made the six hour drive to Glacier (Montana speed limit of 80MPH!) and settled into the St. Mary campground for the next five nights. Kathy, Norah, and myself got in four wonderful hikes during the five days, picking our spots around mixed weather (three days pretty good, two days not so good). The highlight in Glacier National Park was definitely the Highline Trail where we enjoyed great scenery and saw a grizzly bear with two cubs. We also enjoyed a second longer hike that traversed two high passes including Siyeh Pass, the highest trailed point in Glacier.

The final two week leg of our Rocky Mountain vacation took us to Alberta, Canada home of the Canadian Rockies. The final two weeks were divided into three mini trips; three days hiking in the Lake Louise Area of Banff National Park, three nights/four days backcountry camping at Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park, and six days/five nights backcountry camping in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, which shares a border with Banff to the southeast. Kathy and I both agree that the Canadian Rockies are the most spectacular of the Rocky Mountain Range. I favored Mount Assiniboine as the "best", while Kathy thinks O'Hara and Assiniboine are tied. Regardless, the Canadian Rockies are simply stunning and we had unprecedented favorable weather for our two weeks. With the exception of one hail storm we did not have ANY precipitation in the Canadian Rockies. The ranger in Mt Assiniboine remarked while we were there that it was the first time he had seen Mt. Assiniboine on five consecutive days in his career.

Norah was a fantastic traveler and enjoyed the trip as much as we did. She's a great trail companion - we did over 125 miles hiking with her! I have to say Norah the Explorer is well on her way to becoming a little wild[erness] child.

Visiting family, observing wildlife, hiking in such stunning landscapes, spending a whole month outdoors with Norah -- it was definitely the trip of a lifetime!
Yellowstone National Park & Beartooth Wilderness
:: Yellowstone National Park & Beartooth Wilderness ::
Glacier National Park, Montana
:: Glacier National Park, Montana ::
Lake Louise, Banff National Park
:: Lake Louise, Banff National Park ::
Lake O'Hara, Yoho National Park
:: Lake O'Hara, Yoho National Park ::
Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park
:: Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park ::