Banff to Kananaskis to Whiteswan Lake - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-27-2015, 01:40 AM   #1
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Banff to Kananaskis to Whiteswan Lake

In mid-July we took our May 2015 Escape 21 to Peter Lougheed Park in Kananaskis, Alberta, stopping on the way to enjoy the scenic Bow River Valley Parkway. In Peter Lougheed we saw a grizzly, fortunately from the safety of our truck, as well as mountain sheep and deer.

After several days touring the area with friends, we drove about 5 hours back through Banff, down past Radium and Fairmont Hotsprings, then east to Canal Flats, where we took the gravel road to Whiteswan Lake and Lussier Hotsprings. At this point we were on the west and opposite side of the Rockies from Kananaskis, and about 80 kilometres further south. I took a Hyperlapse video of the road in, speeding up the few kilometres of the journey that traverse the steep canyon with a reputation for giving passengers on the right side of the vehicle a thrill. Note that the video was shot with an iPhone, so the video is wide angle so trees and peaks appear smaller than they really were. The vehicles on the right at the end of the video are parked at Lussier Hot Springs. About 10 km further in, at Home Basin Campground on Whiteswan, we pulled into the last campsite with a view of the lake and RIGHT BESIDE ANOTHER ESCAPE! Through touring each otherís trailer and a few more chats we got to know Rob and Yvonne from Cranbrook, BC, owners of a 2011 Escape 17B.

Bob K
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:42 AM   #2
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More pics...

Along the Bow River Valley Parkway.
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:44 AM   #3
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Kananaskis

More pics.
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:46 AM   #4
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Whiteswan Lake/Lussier Hotsprings

On arrival at Whiteswan we learned that the rainbow trout population was much diminished, due to resident trout disappearing into the river via a spawning channel (unable to get back to lake) and no fish stocking for 7-8 years. So fishing was tough for all, but we did manage to catch one decent fish and play a couple of big ones that threw our barbless hooks. The Sport Fishing On The Fly episode that drew us to this lake was apparently 4 years old and before the fish stocks were depleted. The gorgeous scenery and nice neighbours made up for the mediocre fishing.
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:49 AM   #5
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Took me a few minutes to recover from the video. Nice still pix.
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:04 AM   #6
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yeah me too, I don't like those kind of roads especially on the passenger side!!

But it did look like a nice trip...
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the great video, pics and description of Whiteswan PP. Diana & I have thought about going there later this summer. Your info has made it a "must do".

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Old 07-27-2015, 11:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for the pics -- and the memories. Whiteswan is a very beautiful place, we used to camp there lots when we lived in Kimberley decades ago. One particular memory stands out -- on a particularly baking hot camping weekend (we were in our 70's Westfalia, and were either the only people in the park or one of very few!), we decided to sleep on the swimming raft -- with our two girls who were around 5 & 7 or so. We waded out to the raft, carrying sleeping pads & bags over our heads, and unrolled them on the wooden decking. Wendy lay awake for a long time worrying about the girls rolling over in the night and off the raft, so we positioned ourselves on the outboard sides -- only to have Wendy still lay awake for ages worrying about HER rolling over and into the water! But eventually we all ended up having a great sleep, cool, bugless, and with the lake breezes refreshing us! And an amazing awakening the next morning.

Video won't play on my iPad, looking forward to having a chance to see it once I get back to a regular computer.
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:02 PM   #9
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Thanks for the pics -- and the memories. Whiteswan is a very beautiful place, we used to camp there lots when we lived in Kimberley decades ago. One particular memory stands out -- on a particularly baking hot camping weekend (we were in our 70's Westfalia, and were either the only people in the park or one of very few!), we decided to sleep on the swimming raft -- with our two girls who were around 5 & 7 or so. We waded out to the raft, carrying sleeping pads & bags over our heads, and unrolled them on the wooden decking. Wendy lay awake for a long time worrying about the girls rolling over in the night and off the raft, so we positioned ourselves on the outboard sides -- only to have Wendy still lay awake for ages worrying about HER rolling over and into the water! But eventually we all ended up having a great sleep, cool, bugless, and with the lake breezes refreshing us! And an amazing awakening the next morning.

Video won't play on my iPad, looking forward to having a chance to see it once I get back to a regular computer.
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:25 PM   #10
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Great timing on your post. We are currently staying at Redstreak CG in Radium and went up to Lussier Hotsprings this morning for a dip. We were last here about five years ago. Hotsprings were very busy today. Will be back in about a month when we paddle the Kootenay River on our labour day whitewater canoe trip. Looking forward to relaxing in the Hotsprings at the end of each day of paddling.
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:31 PM   #11
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Thanks for the great photos! Such a beautiful country! Can't wait til we get out there in September!
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:29 PM   #12
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Can't get the video in the first post to load on an iPad or iPhone, is it located anywhere else?
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Old 07-28-2015, 03:53 AM   #13
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Banff to Kananaskis to Whiteswan Lake

Sorry about the video. It plays fine from my iMac, but not on my iPhpne. I see also that the images are only visible on my iPhone using Tap-a-talk, not when directly accessing this forum. I used Photoshop to decrease the resolution of the photos and further compressed them to more easily fit within the file size limitations. I will see about making the video available on my Vimeo account tomorrow and maybe try less compression on one or two of the photos so I don't limit viewing with future photo uploads. BTW I was driving the canyon VERY slowly, in case you get the wrong impression. The Hyperlapse APP offers speeds between 1X and 10X, but this one I used the default 6X. The iPhone was mounted on the inside of the windshield. The APP was free.

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Old 07-28-2015, 11:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bobbito View Post
I was driving the canyon VERY slowly, in case you get the wrong impression. The Hyperlapse APP offers speeds between 1X and 10X, but this one I used the default 6X.
Thanks for the information, Bob. I wonderered about the speed factor, because I was thinking that the speed I was seeing would be a good actual speed (1X) for a "sporty" drive - without trailer - down that road.
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:58 PM   #15
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So here is a video link to my Vimeo account.



You will have to enter the password "Escape" to access it.

I notice now that my attached images only show up if you are logged in to the forum, so there is no issue there.

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Old 07-28-2015, 06:19 PM   #16
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Thanks for the information, Bob. I wonderered about the speed factor, because I was thinking that the speed I was seeing would be a good actual speed (1X) for a "sporty" drive - without trailer - down that road.
You must have been, or are, or wannabe, a rally driver! I'd love to try it in a Subaru WRX or an Audi Quattro.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:26 PM   #17
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:14 PM   #18
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You must have been, or are, or wannabe, a rally driver! I'd love to try it in a Subaru WRX or an Audi Quattro.
My only rally driving has been in navex events; my only performance rally experience has been in service and marshalling... but yes, that's a rally road!

AWD would be fastest, but this sort of road is more fun in rear-wheel-drive... and without a trailer.

Seriously, actually driving as if in a performance rally on open public roads would be illegal and unsafe.

I guess this is the Whiteswan Lake Forest Service Road
From the provincial park web page:
Quote:
Use extreme caution on the Whiteswan Lake road at all times. Extreme care must be taken when driving the canyon portion (km 15 to km 18) of the access road to the park. For improved safety turn your headlights on. Be aware that mine ore trucks and oversized loaded logging trucks are on the route. Always give them the right of way!
From Bivouac.com:
Quote:
WARNING: Logging trucks ply the entire length of this road and often drive at reckless speeds. Since the road is occasionally obscured by the dust of passing vehicles and since the trucks utilize the entire width of the road, it is essential that motorists drive slowly and carefully, watching for oncoming traffic and pulling out when necessary into waiting zones that appear from time to time on the righthand side. An encounter with a fully loaded logging truck would undoubtedly be fatal to the smaller vehicle (and the larger might not even notice the inconvenience).
Were the pull-outs big enough for the Escape and tug?

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That's how I beat the life out of my Fiat 128 Sport Coupe.
That would be a blast
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:39 AM   #19
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My only rally driving has been in navex events; my only performance rally experience has been in service and marshalling... but yes, that's a rally road!
My rally experience is mostly as a navigator in TSD events around BC & Alberta, in the late sixties. Boy are we ever off-topic now! Remember Halda Twinmasters & Curta calculators?

In 1986, at the time of the transportation-themed Expo86, one of my co-workers in Vancouver, who had been a Ford works rally driver in UK, didn't want to let the chance for a world-class rally in his backyard go unchallenged, talked Toyota into giving him a rally-prepped Corolla, and he went on to win the CanAMex rally, 25 days from Vancouver to Acapulco to Prudhoe Bay & back to Vancouver, over 90% on closed dirt roads. First stop after leaving the Vancouver start was Santa Fe, and getting there involved less than a hundred miles of pavement.

Nowadays Bobbito's video, and the occasional YouTube rally video, have to satisfy my Walter Mitty impulses -- I'll never ever drive like that again, though I'd sure love to be able to.
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:47 AM   #20
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I never entered a rally. I just ran up roads used for practice ( sure surprised that family out for a Sunday stroll ) and drove stages to take pix.
I was following a real driver up in the hills near Merritt in my week-old Fiat and just about put it in a ditch full of stumps.
That experience turned me into an old man who puts on his turn signal two blocks before turning.
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