Day 4 – July 12 // Columbia Lake viewpoint, Radium Hot Springs, Olive Lake, Banff // Mountain Tunnel RV Park
Day 4 – July 12
Columbia Lake viewpoint, Radium Hot Springs, Olive Lake, Banff
Mountain Tunnel RV Park 4/5
Woke up at around 9 for breakfast and started packing, and left at about 12. It took us a while to decide on whether we will stay overnight in Banff, or go straight to Lake Louise. With the weekend, finding an RV park that could fit a 32 ft. motorhome was not an easy task, but, luckily the Mountain Tunnel 1 in Banff had one open spot. I made a reservation via reservation.pc.gc.ca, and off we went.
With a few stops at Columbia Lake and Olive Lake, Radium Hot Springs and an occasional viewpoint we made it to Banff in one piece at about 7 pm.
Olive Lake is a smaller lake (a pond, even), with the portions of it seeming blue, and some portions being emerald green. The water is so clear you see the bed – amazing! On the left side of the lake is a natural spring with (hopefully) drinking water.
After the Olive Lake, we stopped at Radium Hot Springs for a couple of hours.
Radium Hot Springs review:
There are 3 pools on one level, two large ones – hot and cool, and one colder jacuzzi tub. The regular admission includes access to all three. You can either get a single-entry, or a day pass. The cool pool has a deck to jump from, and the depth varies from 4 to 9 feet. The other 2 pools are of a set depth (about 3 feet). Both large pools have lifeguards.
The pools are a few steps away from each other. The hot one is shallow, and has some spots in the shade. The cold jacuzzi tub is right next to it. Across is the cool pool – it’s a colder once you get in, but you should get used to the temperature very fast. This pool has a jumping deck, and swimming lanes one day a week (I believe, on Thursdays).
There is a gift shop and a small cafe on the entrance, but we chose not to eat or buy the souvenirs.
Mountain Tunnel Park review (4/5):
The massively overrated RV park didn’t have Wi-Fi, the showers were cold, but clean overall; though the views were incredible. To me, Banff is really just like Whistler, with the typical drunken youth, plus the Rocky Mountains. The spots are evenly spaced out, so you don’t hear your neighbours. The park is located in a coniferous forest.
There was someone’s stuff in out spot – a few folding chairs, a tent, some towels and speedos, so I called the warden so they could come and collect it. Checkout was 11 am, so it has been at least 8 hours since they should have been back, but the warden told us they would send to look for them if they don’t come to pick their stuff up by the following day. We helped her to load the stuff up onto the trailer, and she left.
The next day another warden came back to drop the stuff in the nearby bush.
In the evening we went for a dinner to Elk & Oarsman (the park warden’s recommendation), where we tried elk meat for the first time.
To sum up an Elk & Oarsman review, I give it a 2.5/5. The food was meh: our steaks were overdone (we asked for medium-rare) and the salmon was burnt on the bottom side; the service, however, was very courteous.