Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hiking: Tower Lake and Rockbound Lake

On Sunday we decided to tackle a slightly longer hike in Banff National Park – Tower Lake and Rockbound Lake.DSCN6086The first 4.5 km is a good climb on on a wide path through the trees.  Every once in awhile you get a fleeting glimpse of the mountains through a break in the trees, but otherwise it looks like this for the first half of the hike.DSCN6095As you keep going you start to see some neat improvements that have been made to the trail in some of the wet spots. DSCN6110Eventually the pathway narrows.DSCN6111The trees give way to meadows and views of the mountains.DSCN6114And wildflowers are in bloom.DSCN6092DSCN6136Finally 2.5 hours in at 7.4 km (4.6 mi) we reach destination #1 – Tower Lake!DSCN6141At this point we were ready for lunch!  We picked a comfy spot with a good view and spread out our picnic.  DSCN6144We had my father-in-law over for dinner the night before and we brought some leftovers for lunch: grilled beef tenderloin, fresh buns, roasted eggplant dip, pita chips and some sliced red peppers.

With fuller bellies it was time to continue on to Rockbound Lake!  Only 1 km left to go!DSCN6157Check out the view of Tower Lake on the trail up to Rockbound Lake.DSCN6164The trail definitely gets more difficult on this final stretch.  In fact, just after this point I said that Rockbound Lake better be beautiful because it was certainly tough work getting up there.DSCN6163Finally, we finished climbing, entered a meadow and Rockbound Lake came into view.DSCN6187DSCN6178It was well worth it!  It was such a beautiful clear day and it was so stunning.Rockbound Lake PanoramaWe couldn’t stay too long as we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to make it back to the car.  All in all, it was a stunning and amazing hike on a beautiful day in September!

Tower Lake and Rockbound Lake in Banff National Park, AB
11.69 mi (Round Trip)
3,956 feet of elevation gain
2.5 hours to Tower Lake, 3 hours to Rockbound Lake, 5 hours 20 minutes round trip (not including our lunch break)Tower Lake & Rockbound Lake 11-09-2011, Elevation - DistanceTower Lake & Rockbound Lake 11-09-2011

4 comments:

Alisa said...

You've been a hiking fool lately. SOOOOOOOOO pretty!

Alexandra said...

After reading your story and seeing your photos, I now want to go to Rockbound Lake.

Bettie Bullet said...

Sooo I'm not really a hiker, but I've been talked into doing this hike with some friends with weekend - Is it really intense? In your opinion, is it a trail someone who walks a lot and runs occasionally could do without dying horribly/looking really silly? (I walk all the time and am a novice runner...)

Leana said...

Bettie, the hike has a fairly steady uphill, but if you are reasonably fit I think you'll be fine. It is a long slow grind, but not technical to the first lake.