Entries tagged with: parks

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*notcot in travel - 1 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Off-roading Arches National Park

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There’s an incredible 20+ miles of unpaved/4x4 trails in Arches National Park! And it’s especially spectacular on a sunny, snow covered winter day! Also incredibly - while there were tons of tourists packing ever view point on the main roads, we spent hours off-roading and taking in the stunning rock formations without seeing another car - or person! The funny thing is that we’d tried to go find some of the off roading trails around Moab, but many of them were heavily snowed in and pretty unpassable, so on the way home we figured we’d cruise through Arches quickly to get a peek at what to explore next time… but then we looked down at the map… noticed the 4x4 trails… and a few hours later we popped back out of the park! The trail put our NOTFZJ80 (and our driving skills) to the test - and it handled fantastically. Take a look at our adventure - and if you find yourself that way, we definitely recommend it. Lots of pictures and videos on the next page.

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Maligne Canyon Icewalk

ice0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Firstly, wow. ICEWALK!!! Today we went on an Icewalk in Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park with Maligne Adventures and it was unbelievably beautiful. I’ve always known ice is beautiful - who doesn’t love or admire an impressive ice ball in their drink? But WOW. I’m still spinning with how inspiring and impressive the ice formations we walked over, under, and through are! From the walls of ice forming on the mountainsides, to the shelves of ice we precariously walk across, to the incredible patterns of what almost looks like bubbles of ice that form from water dripping down… I honestly can’t find the words to tell you how beautiful it all is - so go see the pictures on the next page!

Side note - while you can go wander Maligne Canyon on your own, i’d definitely suggest doing a tour the first time. They provide you with crampons/boots if you don’t have them, and the experienced guide is a wealth of knowledge… not to mention there are a lot of beautiful areas to see off trail as well as more precarious areas that an untrained explorer may not know about. Anyhow - to the next page for all the pictures!

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*notcot in nature - 0 Notes

Elk Island National Park

elk0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

You know i’m not one to pass up a visit to see some bison! (Remember the baby ones at Waterton?) When I found out that Elk Island National Park is just outside Edmonton (maybe a half hour drive), I had to go see! While we were warned to keep our eyes open as we cruised the highway through the park for Bison, and as promised, on the highway we saw a good two dozen or so bison along the fences! Both when coming and going! I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that once inside the park, we only found one - seeing as we knew exactly where most of the others were. It was also surreal to see a coyote jumping so high as it ran through the snow across the road! The visitors center is a must stop too - so many funky taxidermied creatures and fun gifts. I adore their stress bisons - see the stress bisons above in lieu of the herds of bison along the highway i couldn’t get pictures of.

According to the Elk Island National Park site, “Elk Park was first established in 1906 as a federal game preserve to protect the declining elk populations of the Beaver Hills. Some of the last Plains Bison in the world were reintroduced to Elk Park in 1907. In 1913 Elk Park joined the Parks Canada family. Since that time Elk Island National Park has been Canada’s source of disease free bison for re-introduction and conservation initiatives throughout its former range.”

On a longer trip (or the next time we’re in Edmonton), we’re definitely coming back to Elk Island National Park - perhaps to camp, hike, or snowshoe around the lakes! See what we saw on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Edmonton Silver Skate Festival

snow0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

When i think winter and snow - first things that pop to mind are skating on a frozen pond and making a snowman. So when we first got in to Alberta for this Winter adventure, it seems only appropriate to start things off at the Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton at Hawrelak Park - and on Family Day no less! The free festival was a plethora of all things winter fun - so many families skating together on the frozen lake (even pulling each other on sleds across it), bundled up kids running around through snow mazes and sliding down ice slides, beautiful huge snow sculptures, snow blocks you could move and build forts out of… and watch out for the dogsleds coming around the lake! (FYI, that ringing bell, isn’t a bike behind you - the dogs are coming! Learned that one fast!) In addition to all the demos (from blacksmithing to curling and more) there was live music in a few spots, ongoing performances, and even a zombie 5k and triathlon. With an incredible staff of volunteers and supporters, Silver Skate Festival is now in its 25th year and still free for all to enjoy. It’s hard not to love the snow with such a vibrant, energetic festival! Take a peek on the next page for my highlights…

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Inspiration: LA to Yellowstone to Glacier

precanada0.jpg Almost a week into our adventure to go explore Alberta, Canada… and first time curled up in a hotel (now in Calgary!) to catch up and give you a proper update. As the last post told you, Bucky, Shawn, and I are adventuring north in the NOTFZJ80. A mix of remote roof top tent camping and hotels as we work our way around. Here’s the update from LA blowing through Las Vegas and Salt Lake City heading up into Yellowstone, around Montana, into Glacier as we got ready to cross the border to Canada into Waterton as our first Alberta stop. Here’s a peek at everything from what we saw on the road to the magical sites in national parks to roadside bison, sunsets, pasties (and cocktail pasties!), google map detours that turn into off road courses to get around highway closures, dozens of miles of dirt roads to get to the perfect camp spot by a lake, unexpected little towns, ridiculously good huckleberry pancakes and pie, and one of the most epic drives i have yet to experience (Going-to-the-sun Road!)… ready to get the quick version of the last few days? To the next page!

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