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David Thompson Highway

9:09 a.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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The David Thompson Highway provides access to the centre of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, but because it's far from the large cities of Calgary or Edmonton or Calgary, it's often overlooked. 

Unlike the main corridors to the mountains, it's largely unpopulated, with large areas of wilderness and few tourists. Great scenery, though. 

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Forest fire terrain

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Roadside pond

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Crescent Falls on the Ram River

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North Saskatchewan River where it turns into Abraham Lake. White water where the current is fast enough to suspend the glacial silt, and blue where it starts to drop out. 

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Mt. Michener, across Abraham Lake
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Abraham Lake, 30 miles long,  was created when the North Saskatchewan River valley was flooded to make a reservoir for a power dam. 

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The result was the displacing of the local Stoney Nakoda band. Now squeezed into a smaller reserve, a copper teepee with a plaque is the only reminder that they once owned the whole valley. 
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Abraham Lake: Outflow
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Coal beds exposed by the river
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Widlife: Black Bear
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Whitetail Deer
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Wild horses

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Nordegg: Mostly abandoned, an old mining town.


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If you're headed this way, consider avoiding the tourist routes to get to the Rockies. Head to Red Deer, then Rocky Mountain House, then keep going up the David Thompson. You'll still get to the National Parks, but the drive will be a lot more interesting!



















2:51 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Great Pictures!! great report!! Makes me want to get out of East Tennessee sometime and see more of the backpacking world....

5:47 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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There's a lot more to the world than East Tennessee, Shyne! :-)

6:15 a.m. on August 22, 2013 (EDT)
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We will be in Banff for several days in mid-Septemer and will now look for the David Thompson - thanks for the heads up!

9:34 a.m. on August 23, 2013 (EDT)
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Hello, Mimi. The David Thompson is halfway to Jasper, or a two hour drive from Banff. If you want some tips on what to do in Banff, let me know via PM, but you may prefer something closer to where you're staying. 

11:56 a.m. on August 23, 2013 (EDT)
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Truly a scenic place peter.Thanks for sharing it.I dont get why more people don't go there..

1:03 p.m. on August 23, 2013 (EDT)
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Well, Denis, we get somewhere around 10 million visitors each year to the four national and three provincial parks that are included in the Rocky Mountain World Heritage site. The David Thompson highway provides access, but the more direct routes from Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver are more heavily used. 

A significant percentage of visitors are from Europe and Asia, and another large group are from the US. According to Parks Canada surveys, they are all looking for untouched wilderness, something that is apparently in short supply in their home countries.

10:33 p.m. on August 24, 2013 (EDT)
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Beautiful!!!!

April 21, 2014
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