Each year for our wedding anniversary, Levi and I have been able to go on some sort of getaway in the mountains for the weekend. For our first anniversary, we went to Fairmont Hot Springs in British Columbia. For our second, we stayed in Canmore. This year, we stayed near Jasper National Park. I’m so thankful for the opportunity we’ve had every year to be able to take these trips. I cherish the time spent together, especially since Levi’s job takes him out of town quite often. It can get very lonely being at home without him for a week or more at a time… but it makes weekends like this all the more special.
We drove to the mountains on the Friday evening after our anniversary and returned Sunday afternoon… it was short but sweet and oh, so wonderful. This year, thanks to some accumulated rewards points, our hotel stay was free… which is pretty awesome. And we had a beauuutiful view from our room.
(I’m gonna warn you before we go any farther… there are over 100 photos in this post! So grab a coffee or an energy drink… maybe a snack… this one’s a long one.)
Saturday morning, we did the Maligne Canyon hike. Being that it was a weekend and we didn’t arrive until 10am, I expected it to be fairly crowded. To my surprise, it wasn’t at all. We chose to start at the 5th bridge and we were actually the only vehicle in the parking lot when we headed out.
The views were just stunning.
The signs weren’t super informative (it looked like they used to be, but a lot of the information had faded) so we mistakenly took the “upper path” which took us away from the canyon on the hike up.
Eventually, the path we were on connected to the one next to the canyon… and we were kind of amazed at just how deep it was. These photos just don’t capture the scale.
Normally this water is a gorgeous icy aqua blue colour, but with the spring runoff it was very muddy.
Can you see it? It’s the first bridge! Nearly there.
Sap droplets on a tree… I thought this was pretty cool looking. And also a huge boulder lodged between the canyon walls. I think it looks like a heart!
Aaaand we made it to the first bridge! This was quite a feat for me. This was probably the most challenging hike I’ve ever done.
Weird pose/facial expression photo to prove I made it.
And selfie! Also a love lock! Not ours, but it made me smile to see it.
On the way back down, we took the path by the canyon and came across a very Canadian tree, a waterfall, some beautiful blue pools, and a couple of fallen trees in the path.
We ate the lunch we’d packed back at the car and headed for our next destination… Pyramid Island! We saw this cute creature on the way…
Pyramid Lake amazed me. I would love to see this in the summer… but just look at how even the ice is that gorgeous aqua blue!
Fake smiles for daaayyys.
The iconic view of the island. Obsessed. Also, on the left side of the island you can see a bench peeking out. I’ll get to that in just a second.
Remember that bench I mentioned? I turned a corner to see this. Embarrassing as it is, I gasped out loud. In front of strangers. This is one of the most beautiful ceremony locations I’ve ever seen… and I’m already making plans for a 10 year vow renewal here. ha. Just look at the view though!
We took a picture here… and as you can tell it was very cold and windy.
We stopped at Patricia Lake so I could grab a few photos. The aqua colour was even more intense. Like I said… I really want to come back in the summer! Camping trip in Jasper maybe?
And our last stop in the park for the day… Miette Hot Springs!
We’d been to both the Banff hot springs and the Fairmont hot springs and were a tiny bit disappointed in the Banff ones. These however were amazing! There were four different pools at four different temperatures (the natural spring water has to be cooled for even the hottest one!) The view was amazing and so was the water. It felt so good to soak our muscles after our hike. We’ll definitely be back again.
Sheep right outside the Miette cabins!
And a grouse!
And finally back to our hotel to freshen up and go for supper. We went to Mr. Mikes steakhouse… a favourite of ours!
The sunset back at the hotel was amazing. (All these photos taken through the window!)
The next morning we checked out of our hotel and drove through William A. Switzer Provincial Park just outside of Jasper. I was hoping to hike up to a lookout but the path was still under quite a bit of snow and we weren’t equipped for it. Next time! The view on our drive was still absolutely incredible though.
More animal friends! I saw so many deer in this park.
These geese really made us laugh. The ice was very thin… but also very blue and they were very confused as to where the water was. And they kept trying to get up on the ice but as soon as the second one would follow, the ice would cave in and they would both sink again.
Finally! They both made it! ha.
And from here we made the drive back home. I’m so thankful for our adventures together and the ability we have to travel to as many beautiful places as we do. Weekends like this one leave me completely in awe of the fact that I get to call this beautiful place my home!