Day 25, Banff to Coleman leg.
A great night’s sleep; we’re up at first light and quickly on the trail. I’m amazed at how much this area has been “improved”. I used to hike in here to fish some of the small mountain lakes 25 year ago. The parking area was very small, the trail was not much more than a singletrack. Now it’s a parking lot and very wide, graded main trail with many cross-country ski trail offshoots. A hike into a good fishing lake always thins out the crowd, but I’ll bet the fishing isn’t nearly as good as it used to be. Yup, definitely got lots of “I remember back in the day…” stories to dazzle the grandkids with. In the meantime, gotta keep adding to the adventures and story bank, because someday, TODAY, is gonna be back in the day.
We get back on to the Great Divide Trail and ride 15 km, up the Spray River valley. It’s wide, covered in plentiful mountain grasses and willows. The trail is great, and travel is easy. There’s a bit of an uphill grade, but barely noticeable.
Then it’s up and over Palliser Pass (elevation 2087m), where we leave Banff National Park, cross the border from Alberta into British Columbia and Height of the Rockies Provincial Park. We ride past Palliser Lake and descend 550m into the valley where we call it a day and set up camp, grateful for good trail, easy travel and no weirdness. 31 km travelled today.