Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive

July 02, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive is a 24-km loop and is part of Banff National Park. There are a number of recreational lakes and ponds that are accessible from the loop. The weather was quite bad when we first went to the drive. Later in the day, when the weather got a little better, we revisited one of the lakes.


Lake Minnewanka is one of the largest lakes in the Canadian Rockies. Being so large, the water is supposedly always choppy, so photographers evidently don't pay much attention to this lake. Of course, this made it a challenge for me to see if I could come up with something interesting. With the weather as bad as it was, and the clouds swirling around Mount Girouard, the somewhat-choppy water fit right in. The rocks on the shore sort of mimic the mountains in the background.


Lake MinnewankaLake MinnewankaLake Minnewanka Scenic Drive


The first time we went to the Two Jack Lake picnic area the weather was pretty gloomy, but at least the rain had stopped. I used the visit as a scouting opportunity, with hopes of coming back some other time. Fortunately, the weather cleared later in the day and I was able to get some nice photographs. The lake really is a nice place to visit when the weather is not so bad.


Mount Rundle Looms Over Two Jack LakeMount Rundle Looms Over Two Jack LakeLake Minnewanka Scenic Drive


Mount Rundle and Two Jack LakeMount Rundle and Two Jack LakeLake Minnewanka Scenic Drive


Clouds Clearing Off MountainsClouds Clearing Off MountainsLake Minnewanka Scenic Drive


We got to see some of the hams of the critter world while we were there. This guy let me walk to within five feet of him before he scurried into his hole. There were a bunch of these guys all over the place. If you weren't careful, you could easily have put your foot in their hole and tripped and sprained an ankle.


Columbian Ground SquirrelColumbian Ground SquirrelTwo Jack Lake - Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive


On our morning tour of the scenic drive we stopped at Lower Bankhead, which was the business part of Bankhead, a coal mining operation and town. The town was abandoned in the 1920s after the Canadians decided parts should focus on conservation of Canada's natural resources more than using their natural resources. We walked the interpretive trail that contained portions of a number of old buildings and kiosks that talked about what it was like to live and work there. One of my favorite parts was the old coal train and cars.


Old Coal Train at Lower BankheadOld Coal Train at Lower BankheadLake Minnewanka Scenic Drive



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