X is for Xerxes Peak {Blogging Through the Alphabet}


Wow, the letter X was quite a challenge for me this week but after spending a lot of the summer in the Rocky Mountains I decided to start looking for names of mountains and peaks in the area. I did manage to find one that fit the bill. Located in Jasper National Park, Xerxes Peak can be viewed from the Icefields Parkway, Highway 93N.

Glacier Parkway

EJ and I decided to take the drive from Canmore out to the Glacier Parkway to see the sights and let him take some pictures. We weren’t sure if we had time to make it all the way to Xerxessince we started out late but we knew we would see some glaciers and possibly some wildlife.

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We found some nice Day Use areas where we stopped to take a break plus a number of viewpoints where we experienced breathtaking vistas of mountains and lakes surrounding us. The water is an amazing color thank to the run-off from the various glaciers.

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Living so close to the Canadian Rockies is a blessing of riches for our family. It’s impossible not to feel a sense of peace while visiting there. We took time to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the river that rushed past our picnic table and the wind that was rustling through the trees. Even though there were other families in the area as well, the trees between each sight created privacy for each of us.

Local Wildlife

We did have some furry visitors as well. This fellow was quite interested in watching EJ opening his peanut bar. None of them came very close and, of course, EJ knows better than to feed any wildlife. It’s wonderful to visit but we need to be cautious of interfering with the local inhabitants 🙂

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Saskatchewan Crossing

Driving along we made stop at Saskatchewan Crossing. The gift shop and snack bar have clean bathrooms and you can stop for a bite to eat if you haven’t packed lunch (I always buy something since I don’t like to use their facilities without being a paying customer). It is pricey but there is nothing else around for miles. They also sell gas which could be a lifesaver if you’ve miscalculated your mileage. There is also a pub and motel.

Saskatchewan Crossing is at the crossroads of Highway 93 and 11. Besides the gift shop and cafeteria, there is also a pub and motel. Highway 11 heads off to Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site and the City of Red Deer. Another great area to adventure in Alberta’s David Thompson Country.

Xerxes Peak

We didn’t quite make it to Xerxes Peak on this trip since, as we suspected, we had stated out too late in the day. That said we did still have a nice time on one of the most beautiful drives in the world. I did find a photo on Flikr to share.

And I can give you a little information about the mountain. The first ascent was in 1936 by Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Kramerand A. McKay. It was named in 1936 for Xerxes the King of Prussia during the Fifth Century B.C.

If you look up the Fryatt Creek Valley from the Icefields Parkway you will be able to see it.

By Neil – Flickr.com

Crowfoot Glacier

On our way back to Lake Louise we decided to stop at Bow Lake and have a look at Crowfoot Glacier. Again this area is amazing with its aqua blue glacial water and an interesting glacier that you can easily see from the road.

We would have liked to make it to see Xerxes Peak since I was writing this post for the letter X but we still managed to have a terrific day. And X is for Xerxes Peak 🙂

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