The countless parks spread across the Kootenay Rockies are an outdoor enthusiasts dream. You can spend weeks hiking, biking, snowshoeing or skiing the endless trails. This weeks guestagrammer @beckylynnsim is sharing some of her favoutite backcountry camping photos of the Kootenay Rockies.
“From the first time I saw a picture of Berg Lake, in Mount Robson Provincial Park, I dreamed of being there. Last June my daughter and I hiked in and spent one night at Emperor Falls and three nights at Berg Lake. We hiked every day, 88km (55 mi) over four days and couldn’t get enough of the spectacular views. This picture is from the Mumm Basin route overlooking the incredibly blue Berg Lake. Bookings on the Berg Lake Trail open October 1st and fill up quickly, so make sure you book well in advance.”
“This sunrise was on our last morning at Berg Lake. It rained most of the night, and the predawn sky was clouded over and didn’t look promising for sunrise. But I grabbed my camera, crawled out of the tent and stood alone on the shoreline. The moon hung over Mount Robson as the clouds scudded away, and then the light broke out, first in soft pinks and then vermilion and finally in gold. It was an amazing show. The rain began falling softly again, as if it had paused for the sunrise show.”
“The Lake O’Hara area in Yoho National Park is in a fragile alpine environment, so summer access is limited. It really was winning a lottery to get a camping spot there last summer. We made the most of it by hiking alpine trails, along ridges, by glacier-fed lakes and over flowering alpine meadows. Tip: Stop at Le Relais shelter for a huge wedge of the best carrot cake you have ever tasted (get there early, because it does sell out.) This was my favourite lake of the trip: Lake McArthur…so blue.”
“Watching the sun go down. The views from the Opabin Plateau above Lake O’Hara are spectacular. Little lakes fed by tiny streams are scattered around and if you want to find golden larches in September, this area is heaven.”
“Mount Assiniboine stole a piece of my heart the first time I went there…and it keeps drawing me back year after year. I have lost track of how many times I’ve hiked up to this point for see the sunrise, sunset, or to the Milky Way. This sunset didn’t have a lot of clouds but the golden glow was beautiful.”
“The hikes at Assiniboine are spectacular. This is from Wonder Peak, looking over Marvel Lake with a view that goes on forever. The hike is steep and rocky. You will need good hiking boots and some snacks for the top.”
“The 55 km (34 mi) Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park is a tough but spectacular 3-5 day backpacking trip. We only had a weekend, so a trip in to Floe Lake seemed like a good option. The weekend weather forecast for that first weekend of October was dismal. We hiked in rain, and mist and were the only people at the campground when we arrived. By the time we had set up our tents and put food in the lockers, huge snowflakes began to fall. Overnight there was a mix of snow, thunder and lightning, but the next morning was stunning.”
“When can you call yourself a photographer? I’ve always loved the outdoors and photography, but over the last 2-3 years I’ve focused on developing as a photographer, and have spent more time in wild, outdoor places. I now work 60% at my job in medicine, and the rest of the time trudging through the mountains with my camera, or editing at my computer. I’ve hiked through snow. I’ve been half frozen by icy winds. I’ve slept on mountaintops under the stars. I’ve slept in my vehicle at a frozen lakeshore and listened to the ice crackling. I’ve spent nights where I’ve wandered around all night and haven’t slept at all. I think you can call yourself a photographer when you know it is your passion, your obsession. And I think now I can call myself a photographer. And my life feels more balanced.
Backcountry camping in the mountains is my idea of an ideal vacation. It combines my love of hiking and the outdoors with my love of photography. I live in Calgary. The British Columbia Rockies are right next door to Alberta, and I camped from North to South at Berg Lake, Lake O’Hara, Assiniboine, and Floe Lake from June to October last year.”
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