20110820 Morant's Curve

[twitter]One of the coolest places in the Rocky Mountains is Morant’s Curve along the Bow Valley Parkway.

Drive the road between Banff and Lake Louise and you’ll notice a number of cars at the side of the road at this point, and many people with cameras on tripods pointed down the valley.

They’re not spying wildlife, or taking pictures of the mountains. They’re waiting for a train.

That’s not usually a very long wait, trains pass here a couple of times an hour, 24/7/365.

Morant’s Curve is named for Nicholas Morant, a staff photographer for the Canadian Pacific Railway. For 44 years, he crisscrossed the country on passenger trains. He photographed hotels, steamships, trucks, airplanes, oil wells, and mines, for the CPR. He chronicled the times, writing for the company magazine as well as photographing developments on the railway. His photos have been used on the backs of $10, $50 and $100 Canadian bills. Morant and Yousuf Karsh are the only photographers named to the Order of Canada. More than 12 000 of his images can be found in the CPR archives.

Where Is Morant's Curve?

Despite all his travels across the country, this unique spot in the Rocky Mountains was his favourite to capture trains, and is now called Morant’s Curve. It’s perfect. You have the majestic slopes of the Rockies in the background, and the track bends beautifully with the Bow River. The valley is a huge carpet of majestic trees and the train just pierces it all, a magnificent contrast of hulking machine and pristine beauty.

20110820 Morant's Curve

Morant’s Curve is just a few minutes outside of Lake Louise and just about an hour from Banff.

There is no sign marking the spot. The easiest way to get there is take the Trans Canada to Lake Louise and then double back along the Bow Valley Parkway.  Morant’s Curve is about 5 minutes driving time east of Lake Louise along the Bow Valley Parkway.

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