Day 9: Johnston Canyon Campground, 4464.2 km

Moraine Lake

For our trip through the beginning of the Rockies the weather was uninspiring.  We had cloud and scattered rain for two days while trying to visit Banff National Park.  We also somehow ended up arriving just before the long weekend which meant that the campgrounds would be full, the animals would be scarce, the prices would be high and the police would be out.  We visited two of the nicer campgrounds but found only waiting lists, even though we had arrived in the morning on the Thursday before the long weekend.  We ended up at Johnston Canyon Campground on a site overrun by mosquitoes with some special neighbouring campers who wanted to share their bad hip-hop and drunken conversation with everyone until midnight.  Banff itself is a quaint mountain town with many boutique shops and nice places to spend your money.  Although we had several good meals out we ultimately decided that it wasn’t worth $50/day for park pass and camping fees to sit around waiting for the weather to change.  On the way out of Banff we did see the beautiful Moraine Lake and a large male elk with full antlers on the side of the road, as well as some adorable golden-mantled ground squirrels.

Elk in Banff National Park

Sawtooth mountain range in Banff National Park

Golden-mantled ground squirrels greeting

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