The surprising gem of the canadian rockies   With our friends gone we did the now fairly normal half-sad drive away.  It's tough to describe this as sad...we're always excited to be moving on to another set of sights we haven't seen before, but we also always miss the camaraderie and fun that come from experiencing new places with our closest friends.  This exact feeling is why we constantly finding ourselves trying to convince our friends to quit their jobs...pure selfishness really.

We pointed the van back west towards Yoho and embraced the views along the way.  This day turned out to be by far the best weather we had in our trip to the rockies.  Sunshine, blue skies and warm weather...and we didn't want to miss a second of it in case it decided to turn again!

Our list of must see items in Yoho National Park wasn't huge,  but each and every one somehow made its way to the top of our favorites list.

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IMG_2107We first hiked into and around wapta falls, which is immense and very impressive.   The entire are at the base of the falls is cloaked in mist from the pounding of the falls.  I scrambled all around the base looking for great photos, but the camera doesnt even begin to do the 30m high and 150m wide falls any justice.

We eventually continued on to the natural bridge, which is almost more impressive in shear force than the famous rock formation, and then just up the road to the tall cascading, takakkaw falls, where we enjoyed a sunset happy hour before camping for the night.

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The real winner for us though hands down, was the colorful, peaceful views and experience we had at Emerald Lake.  We spent a significant amount of time here, walking around the lake, snapping photos and taking it all in.  This was absolutely the most colorful, photographic place we visited and those snapshots will remain in my mind for a long time to come.

Next time we are highly likely to simply stay at the lodge right here on the lake or at least plan a meal around sunrise or sunset at the gorgeous restaurant overlooking the water.

IMG_1714 IMG_1717 IMG_1721IMG_1731Yoho left us peaceful, calm, and astounded by the beauty (and all of it without the crowds and madness of the crowds in Banff).  It also left us rather upset at ourselves for not planning a few more weeks in to backpack into the other more removed beauty of the park... but thats exactly why we get to plan another trip back!!

That's kind of been the norm for our summer.  Excitement building as we plan a trip to a certain area, adding a few keypoints/highlights to hit while we're there and then driving away with a list twice as long of things to come back for and wishing we had 2-3 times as much time to stay and see them now.

But for now...onward to Jasper.