As a photographer, I love discovering places that are less well-known and off your typical tourist radar. There’s always something magical about exploring a new area for the first time…even better if the place is outside the ever-expanding reach of cell towers and Wi-Fi.

The Tonquin Valley in Alberta, Canada is one such place. Located right on the Continental Divide, precisely at the border of the British Columbia and Alberta’s border, the valley is home to the surreal Amethyst Lake which sits at the bottom of a huge mountain range called The Ramparts. This summer, I had the chance to explore the area for 3 days with a group of friends. The fact that we were totally off the grid allowed us to disconnect completely and explore this amazing place.

We stayed at the Tonquin Valley Lodge and, to be honest, one of the highlights of the trip were the homemade blueberry pancakes we had for breakfast every morning. That and, the rush of adrenaline we got every morning when we jumped out of bed to photograph sunrise on The Ramparts!


The end of the hike into the valley, welcomed by the misty Ramparts.


Sunset didn’t happen on our first night in the valley, but the sight of the towering peaks in the clouds definitely made up for it.


The lodge horses resting after their trip into the valley, all loaded with food and supplies.


Witnessing the sunrise over Amethyst Lake left us speechless.


All we could hear was the sound of the wind blowing on the lake’s surface.


Boating on Amethyst in search of its secret sandy beach.


Tyson, looking for wild elk after a hearty breakfast.


Post-dinner sunset ride. The feeling of peace and freedom is captivating here.


After slowly making your way across the lake you realize that the Tonquin Valley makes you feel very small.


Tyson on our way back from the other side of the lake. No bears spotted.


Taking a break on the way back from the valley. I couldn't believe how fast those 3 days went by.


At the end of the trail, Cavell Lake was here to welcome us back to "civilization."