We just returned from 5 wk. on the road to AB visiting family and touring through some NP we hadn't visited in quite a few years. We put 7200 mi. on the truck, somewhat less on the trailer's new LT tires which performed perfectly. I'll add to the LT tire thread when I get caught up. In the meantime I've got some 1500 photos to sift through. Here are a couple of favorites in chronological order:
SD about an hour north of Rapid City, just off US85. Record June/July rain has made a banner year for ranchers with green pastures, lots of water and hay. Farmers, on the other hand, couldn't have gotten the rain at a worse time and thousands of acres washed/drowned out and were too wet to replant.
Jasper NP--a small glacial lake at the base of Mt. Edith Cavell. No single picture does this spot justice. It is one of the most serenely beautiful spots in the Rockies and a fitting memorial to a WWI nurse executed by the Germans.
Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff--Waterfowl Lake. The turquoise color is typical of glacial lakes and is due to very fine sediments from the glacier grinding on rock.
Banff NP--Moraine Lake.
Yellowstone NP--West Thumb Geyser Basin on the shore of Yellowstone Lake.
Grand Teton NP--Colter Bay on Jackson Lake.
And, a totally gratuitous Sunline picture, especially for Kitty:
Kananaskis Hwy. SE of Banff.
The parks were busy. We had reservations and needed them especially for our 46 ft. rig. Yellowstone is on track to have its second busiest year. Last year was the busiest. Visiting popular spots like Mt. Edith Cavell and Old Faithful need an early morning or late afternoon strategy to avoid cruising the parking lots. We got to Old Faithful at 9 am and parked in the outside row of the closest lot. When we left at 1 pm, people were just cruising looking for a spot, but some of that may have been "mall parking lot" cruising because they didn't want to walk too far.
On a trip like this, gas is best bought on a credit card so you don't have to think about it. We paid around $3.70/gal. in the US and $1.25/L (4.73/gal.) in Canada. The most expensive gas is in the NP. You tow in on a full tank, drive around solo for a couple of days and then don't have enough gas to tow back out. Gas in Jasper wasn't more expensive, but there's one station half way between Jasper and Banff for RV'ers like us who get very nervous trying to tow 200 mi. through the mountains. Their price was $1.69/L, a whopping $6.39--luckily we only needed half a tank. The most expensive gas in the US was at Grant Village in Yellowstone--$4.09.
We camped in Jasper with our family and it was the first major camping trip for 3 little guys. They, and we, had a blast. It was fun sitting back and watching the kids do all the work--putting up a tent, cooking, changing diapers etc. Been there... done that... well, we did help a little.