We departed from Redstreak Campground and charged forth through Kootenay National Park enroute to try to get a decent spot at Marble Canyon Campground. Ever since I started going to BC to meet up with Thor, I've always been curious about that campground, but never drove in to investigate it. It's a small campground with about 30 or so sites in it and the sites are a little bit on the smallish side. Not a campground I would recommend for a large motorhome, but for a smallish trailer or for tenting, or for a short motorhome, it is ok. So here's a photo of the trailer, as it's making the initial climb out of Radium, going past this fabulous red mountain-scape.
I usually see a ton of deer along the highway through Kootenay, or bears.. but this time we spotted a moose. I took several photos, this one is probably the most decent, as it doesn't show his testicles hanging down. I was actually surprised at how small his testicles were, considering the size of the animal, and comparing them to any of the bighorn sheep's testicles that I've seen. I'm probably pushing my luck here, with all this testicle talk, so I'll move on. It was cool to see the moose.
We arrived at Marble Canyon Campground and got all set up and then I was eager to actually go do the Marble Canyon hike. It's all very beautiful. If you get the chance, you should stop and walk the man-made path up to the top and see the falls and the canyon. I think it's better than Red Rock Canyon in Waterton National Park. There was a forest fire there some 20+ years ago, I think, and it created a really neat landscape. The canyon itself was difficult to get a good photo of, but seeing it with your own eyes is quite brilliant. I recommend this stop on your way through. It can take as little or as long as you want it to, and there are several different longer hikes that branch off from the starting point of this one, so you could have a full day of wilderness exploration if you wanted to. But bring your bear spray!
The Canyon was full of these little chipmunks. This one was just sunning on what is presumably its favorite tree stump. If I were a chipmunk, I couldn't really think of a nicer place to call home.
These are the falls at the top of Marble Canyon. Tragically, there was a little grave marker stone at the top. Two little girls initialled R & B who were 5 and 8 years old must have fallen into the falls and it took their lives. so the lesson is please be careful if you go here. Any of the wet rocks are VERY slippery and it only takes a millisecond to have an accident here. Tragic. But the falls themselves are really beautiful and worth going on the whole walk up for. The water is a very light aquamarine color. It's a lot more vivid in real life. We sat on a rock opposite the falls and enjoyed a snack and the view for a while before heading back down.
The boulders that line Marble Canyon are really interesting. There are many different types of rock, many different colors and sizes and compositions. I liked this one, and how it paired with the mountain behind it off in the distance.
This is a view from up, on our way back down, nearly at the bottom again. The clouds had started to roll in and a few rain drops were beginning to fall, but it was still warm and beautiful. Colors are all around you, blues, greens, pinks, yellows, purples and tans. There is an abundance of wild flowers in bloom this time of year. My favorite is probably the Fireweed. I wanted to bring some back with me, but I think it's illegal to take anything from the parks. Plus, I remembered there's a patch of it in the north side of my city in a vacant lot, so I'll just transplant some from there.
Daisies tickle the landscape and blanket other places in their full glory. Here is a photo of some healthy daisies in perfect bloom being fed by the fertilizer of some bear scat. I think the bear scat totally makes this picture. :)
At the end of a day of hiking, or even in the middle of it, Thor loves to find a cold stream to dip his feet into. I thought I'd join him. This glacial stream was so fresh and so clean I couldn't resist, but holy dyna!! It was sooooo cold I couldn't even keep my feet in it long enough to snap this photo without the pain of the ice cold water taking effect. I don't know how Thor lasts so long in icy water like that. Kudos, Thor... kudos.
We had a nice supper and fire to close out the evening back at the campground and then got ready to break camp in the morning.