Day 6 of our Banff Adventure was a lot slower paced as we made our way down the Bow Valley Parkway and did the drive up to Lake Louise.
I feel like Silverton Falls are a bit of an undiscovered treasure in Banff National Park. Just up the Bow Valley Parkway from the busy Johnston Canyon, I would argue that the actual waterfall is just as impressive and the hike was much more pleasant without the large crowds of people to contend with.
This was the perfect walk/hike for our young family. The path was open and shady, with all kinds of different trees and rocks and flowers to discover along the way.
For the dogs, there was a slow moving stream partway through the hike that we were able to easily let them wade in without worrying about keeping them safe from rushing waters.
From the creek, it was a relatively short hike up to the falls, and was easily manageable for our 4 and 6 year old without having to worry about bringing a stroller along for tired legs. Be warned that there is one section of the path along the hill side that is quite narrow and steep, but we just took it slow and managed to get everyone safely across.
The Falls are located on the Bow Valley Parkway, right near the Castle Mountain Junction, and on the hike to Rockbound Lake.
Fireside Day-Use Area
After our short hike to Silverton Falls, we continued up the road to try and find a spot to stop for lunch. We were hoping for somewhere with a firepit so I could try out these Camp Cooker Pizza’s. We were out of bread for sandwiches and we forgot to pack the small propane tank to be able to use our barbeque, so we didn’t really have a back-up plan for lunch that day.
We weren’t that hopeful, but luck seemed to be on our side that day when we decided to pull into the Fireside day-use area. It had everything we needed and our lunch turned out fantastic. The pizza’s were easy to put together with store-bought dough and toppings, and they cooked up perfectly into a delicious crispy pocket of pizza goodness.
There were plenty of picnic tables and fire pit spots available at the site and there was a clean and bright outhouse nearby. There was lots for the kids to explore with a small creek running alongside the picnic area and the neat stone fireplace in the middle of the day use area. It turned out to be a lovely spot for a picnic.
Our next big stop of the day was Lake Moraine. On the road to the Lake, there was a Parks Canada representative controlling the number of cars coming and going, so we knew to expect it to be quite busy.
Parking was a bit of a nightmare, mostly due to a very impatient car behind us riding our bumper and getting very angry at the long line of traffic moving their way slowly through the parking lot to find a spot. My husband ended up dropping the kids and I off near the lake and parked the vehicle quite some distance up the road.
The lake was a beautiful sparkling aqua color and we were able to get a fantastic view thanks to a short trail, right off the parking lot, that led you up the cliffside. There were also canoes available to rent and paddle across the calm, clear water and a trail that ran around the entirety of the lake if you were up for a longer hike.
We did the drive up to Lake Louise afterwards, but opted not to get out of the car and explore. I was tired at that point in the day and both the kids and I agreed that we had seen enough lakes. We did stop in the village below for a few groceries and souvenirs, and then headed back to Johnston Canyon Campground to enjoy our evening at the campsite.
We wrapped up our evening by taking in the evening program at campground amphitheater. We learned about the history of Banff National Park in the program entitled Treks, Trails & Epic Tails, with my son helping out as the role of the ferocious (and adorable) lynx!
Next up, a day filled with wildlife sightings as we leave Banff National Park to check out the nearby Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.