Yesterday we decided to drive over into British Columbia along Highway 93 which takes you through Kootenay National park, down to Radium Hot Spring. We had heard that the drive was very scenic, so as it was going to be a lovely day we packed our lunch and set off early.
The journey from our apartment to Radium Hot Spring is 259 km and takes us via Highway 1 which is the Trans Canada Highway to just north of Banff where we turned off onto Highway 93 for the rest of the journey.
The scenery along this road is amazing and the first place we stopped off was beautiful. There was a river running through the mountains and a pretty little bridge.
Some more scenery along the way.
Our next stop was at a large pull in where there was access to the river, which was much wider here. There were quite a few people here, some with kayaks ready to head into the water. The first thing I spotted was a prairie dog sitting on a rock. When we got out of the truck he jumped off the rock and disappeared into his hole, but I just managed to get a quick photo.
As you can see from the following set of images, this area was so beautiful and a great place to chill out and take photos. Just a pity a lot of other people thought the same thing!
After spending a short time here, we got back into the truck and found another very picturesque spot, this time we had it to ourselves. There was a lovely bridge crossing the river and some stunning scenery all around. There seemed to be a trail at the other end of the bridge, but unfortunately, it was taped off for some reason. But the area was so pretty, even our truck looked at home here.
It was just after this point that we spotted some mountain goats. We had never seen these before, so it was really great to finally see them up close. They are so cool with long shaggy white coats. They didn’t seem at all bothered by us and just carried on running up and down the rocky slope and munching on flowers.
A little further along the road, we spotted several people pulled over and taking photos across a large lake. This is a sure sign of wildlife spotting, so we too pulled over. It turned out to be a moose grazing over the other side of the lake. He was a long way off, but we managed to get some decent photos of him.
Eventually, we arrived at Radium Hot Springs which is a small town that is mainly made up of motels and eateries. There are only about 700 residents and I’m guessing that the vast majority work in the tourism trade, one way or another. The town is named after the hot springs which naturally occur there. They contain trace amounts of Radium, hence the name.
People travel for miles to visit here and take a dip in the pools. When we arrived in the town there weren’t too many people about, but from the number of overflow parking areas around, I’m guessing it gets very busy in the summer. I got a quick photo of the springs as we drove by.
We stopped off at the Big Horn Cafe for some hot chocolate and some cake. Very nice place and the snacks were tasty.
It was as we were leaving Radium that we spotted him. He was running across the road in front of a truck – a grizzly bear. I have done a separate blog post about him and a black bear we saw a bit further along the road on the way home. There are photos and videos at this link.
On the way home we decided to take Highway 1A instead of the Trans Canada to see if we could spot anything else. Sure enough we spotted dome deer and these elk grazing up the slope.
As if we hadn’t travelled enough, we then went down Highway 40 and although we didn’t spot anything more exciting than deer, we did see some Merganser Ducks.
It was pretty late when we eventually got home, but what a day. Our first grizzly sighting, plus lots more wildlife and some absolutely stunning scenery. In total, we travelled over 600 km! We will definitely be taking this journey again and hope to spot more bears.