Going Beyond Our Borders

Guest Blogger: Amanda Turner

The Northwest is not lacking in trees, trails, or terrain. Any outdoor enthusiast from this area can attest to that fact. I have lived in Oregon all of my life, and been lucky to have such easy access to so many amazing hiking trails.  I am attending college up in Spokane; just a stone’s throw from the Canadian border. It was mid May, and the start of my summer break. I decided that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to embark on a road trip to the Canadian Rockies. 

The adventure kicked off by traveling up to Kootenay National Park. There I stopped to take a quick hike along the Juniper Trail to Sinclair Canyon. The area is truly stunning and provided some amazing views.  Now, this is bear country, so naturally as soon as I saw a bear warning at the trailhead; I took note. The general advice is to make a lot of noise so that they know you are there. I took this advice to the extreme.  Make a lot of noise; sure, I can do that.

I proceeded to sing for the duration of the hike. My singing ability must have scared any bears in the area away, or maybe it was my eclectic mix of songs. Woefully unprepared, my “playlist” included anything from, The Beatles “Help!” to Disney princess soundtracks. The moral of this story is, of course, have an awesome mental playlist!

I then headed towards Banff National Park and stopped at the famous Lake Louise. For anyone who is thinking of visiting Canada but not sure what destinations to go to, this one is a must. This is one of the most stunning places I have been to and people travel from all over the world to get a glimpse of it. I met people all the way from Australia and New Zealand while hiking along the lakes rim.

While in Banff, I had heard about Johnston Canyon. It is an easy hike and a more heavily trafficked location, but I completely understand why. There are steel walkways built into the side of the canyon and they guide you through a series of upper and lower falls.  As it was late spring, snow still covered the ground and blanketed the canyon walls. This trip was an amazing start to my summer and motivation to explore more scenic spots.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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