Lake Louise in Banff National Park – Alberta, Canada
I love working on this blog and the work I do every day outside of it, but every once in a while, you really just need to take a break. Well I took a two-week break. Honestly, it was almost too long, but I don’t regret a minute of it. Trevor and I both really needed to spend the time together and recharge.
So, what did we do with all that time? We went camping in five National Parks in the US and Canada! We’ve been planning this trip for about a year and half, so it was incredible and a little surreal to finally do it!
Our itinerary looked like this:
Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)
Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
Glacier National Park (Montana)
Banff National Park (Alberta, Canada)
Jasper National Park (Alberta, Canada)
Vancouver, British Columbia
It was A LOT to do in 14 days and it really was sort of exhausting. Camping is a lot of work, and although the time with no technology was incredibly welcomed, all the unloading, setting up, tearing down and packing back up was tiresome. I feel like I sound like a whiner, that’s not what I mean to do, I just didn’t have a ton of experience camping before this and had no idea what to expect.
We saw some absolutely gorgeous places and tons of wildlife. The only thing we didn’t see that we really wanted to was a moose, otherwise we saw quite a few bears, elk, antelope, deer, mountain goat and buffalo.
I also want to share a few of the logistics with you.
We didn’t want to spend the time driving home, so we actually rented an SUV to drive to all the places I listed above, and then we flew home from Seattle. I made the reservation through Enterprise, we picked up our Jeep Renegade, took it home and loaded it down, then hit the road!
A lot of people asked about being able to drive a rental car across the international boarder, and you absolutely can no problem. Most large rental car companies allow you to cross into Canada, but not Mexico unfortunately. Always ask though, just to be safe.
So how did we get our stuff home if we flew back? We were very strategic when packing our suitcases and flew Southwest so we could check two bags each for free. We also ended up tossing our air mattress on account of several leaks and our folding chairs because they were super cheap ones from Wal-Mart and had previously spent the winter on our back deck. What we couldn’t check on the airplane, we shipped back via FedEx.
There was quite a bit to figure out ahead of time, but as for the trip itself, we pretty much flew by the seat of our pants. I did this on purpose since I’m normally such a planner. I didn’t want to stress about times, dates and all those details when there was absolutely no need to.
Biggest takeaways from this trip: Find your campsite as early as possible because they fill up FAST (reservations are definitely a thing). Second, Be prepared to pay for said campsites. Last, bug spray, lots of bug spray.
Enjoy the photos!! I’ll try to caption most of them with the location. Don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments! Check out my other post about this trip, which gives advice and tips for the non-camper, here.
Our first stop, Grand Teton National Park – Wyoming, US
Our first campsite at Grassy Lake (outside of Grand Teton National Park) This hammock was THE BEST purchase ever! Ok maybe these Tevas were the best purchase for the trip!
Jackson Lake – Grand Teton National Park – Wyoming, US
Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park – Wyoming, US Casual lunch in the Tetons Heading into Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming, US Our amazing campsite in Yellowstone at Slough Creek The creek just steps from out campsite in Yellowstone Thermal ground in Yellowstone Thermal ground in Yellowstone Thermal ground at Yellowstone Mammoth Springs at Yellowstone Heading into Glacier National Park – Montana, US Our INCREDIBLE campsite in Glacier, Bowman Lake Bowman Lake, Glacier National Park – Montana, US The GORGEOUS Lake McDonald at Glacier National Park – Montana, US Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park – Montana, US
Bowman Lake With my bae at Bowman Lake The most adorable bakery and shop in Polebridge, Montana near our campsite at Glacier Inside the Polebridge Mercantile The bar in picturesque Polebridge, Montana Heading into Banff National Park – Alberta, CA Lake Louise at Banff National Park – Alberta, CA
We went on a great hike around Lake Louise called Plain of Six Glaciers and the views were INCREDIBLE View of Lake Louise from Plain of Six Basins trail
Probably one of my favorite views/pictures from the whole trip!! Another amazing view from Banff National Park (yes we hiked in snow!) Out final national park – Jasper in Alberta, CA Pyramid Lake, Jasper National Park – Alberta, CA Pyramid Lake
Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park – Alberta, CA