Lake Louise is a town in Banff National Park located in the Alberta province of Canada, in the lapse of the immensely popular Canadian Rockies.
The lake with a similar name is a glacial lake that is world-famous for its turquoise blue colour water that looks ethereal, as if you are in a fairytale.
1. Things to Know About Lake Louise
Lake Louise’s colour is so blue because of the light reflected on the rock deposition on the lake by glaciers.
Moreover, it is fed by the mighty glaciers. The lake is surrounded by the gorgeous Mount Victoria, which gives it a majestic background.
1.1 History of Lake Louise
Lake Louise was initially one of the settlements for Canadian Pacific railway construction. It was originally called the ho-run-num-nay, which roughly translates to “the lake of the little fishes’ by the Stoney Nakoda First Nations people, who were the native and indigenous people of the region.
Lake Louise in Alberta was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. The evidence does not provide the specific date of when this naming occurred.
1.2 Where is Lake Louise Located?
Lake Louise is in the Banff National Park, Alberta’s UNESCO world heritage site. It is primarily divided into two regions. The greater part is the Lake Louise village, while the upper Lake Louise is near the lake.
1.3 How to Reach Lake Louise?
Since Banff National Park is such a popular tourist destination, it is busy throughout the year. Therefore, you must have good planning beforehand to ensure a smooth visit. You can reach Lake Louise by booking the Parks Canada shuttle, which is considered a relatively more accessible and easy mode of travel and is available from May to October.
You can also use public transport if you live in or around the Banff region, which is also one of the easiest ways to reach Lake Louise. The best part is that it is available all year round. You can easily access Lake Louise by car if you live or stay in Louise Village.
The best way to reach is by shuttle buses, which are easy and hassle-free. There are two shuttle buses to reach Lake Louise Lakeshore. The first shuttle bus runs all days of the week from the park and rides to the lakeshore.
You need to have a reservation to ride the shuttle bus. The reservation includes a one-hour window for departure from the Park & Ride. If you wish to travel by car to Lake Louise, you will have to pay for parking.
1.4 Best Time to Plan a Trip
Since the lake is such a stunning work of nature, you can visit Lake Louise almost any time of the year to enjoy the breathtaking landscape. Therefore, there is no hard and fast rule as to when you should visit Lake Louise.
However, the best time is between the end of June and mid-October. Especially during winter, as in winter, you can enjoy many sports activities such as skiing, ice climbing, ice- skating and snowshoeing.
If you want to avoid being part of a crowd and don’t want an uneasy experience, then the off-season would be the best time to visit, which will be less crowded. The lake looks gorgeous in summer as its colour changes according to the temperature.
1.5 Where to Stay in Lake Louise?
1.5.1 Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Fairmont Chateau is the most well-known luxury resort in the heart of Banff National Park in Lake Louise. This resort offers spectacular views surrounded by the beauty of Lake Louise, Victoria Glacier and the Canadian Rockies.
1.5.2 Lake Louise Inn
It is well-known for its world-class indoor swimming pools, one of its main attractions.
1.5.3 Paradise Lodge and Bungalows
Paradise Lodge and Bungalows is a hotel about 500 metres from Lake Louise.
It is a beautiful place if you are looking for accommodation away from the noisy and busy lake, which is always bustling with incoming tourists throughout the day.
1.5.4 Deer Lodge
Deer Lodge is one of the best accommodations for enjoying a scenic view of Lake Louise. It is famous for its state-of-the-art hot tubs and stunning picnic spots.
It always offers a free parking area, a plus point here. There are a lot of beautiful restaurants nearby, such as the well-renowned Mountain Restaurant and Lakeview Lounge.
2. Things to Do in Lake Louise
Lake Louise is a perfect destination if you are always looking for adventure, from hiking to skiing and even horse riding.
This place has abundant natural beauty and is full of exciting activities. We have curated a list of things to do in Lake Louise.
When it comes to hiking, you can go for guided hikes, which is a relatively better choice if you are a beginner, but if you are an experienced hiker, you can explore hiking spots yourself.
Lake Louise offers a wide range of hikes that vary in their difficulty level, such as short and challenging.
2.1.1 Fairview Lookout
Nothing can be better than the Fairview lookout hike if you are a beginner. It is only a 2-kilometre round trip, starting from the lakeshore.
It offers a spectacular view of Lake Louise and the stunning Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. This makes for a beginner-friendly trail which families with children can enjoy.
2.1.2 Lake Agnes Hike
Another famous lake, Lake Agnes, is a popular hiking destination in the Lake Louise region. This 7.4 kilometres round trip hike starts at Chateau Lake Louise.
It is along the lakeshore, and from there, it ascends through the forest. Lake Agnes hike is a must-visit trail if you come to Lake Agnes and are a hiking lover.
Lake Louise is extremely popular for canoeing because of its stunning and enthralling sights. It is only possible to rent a canoe if you ever come to Lake Louise, as it provides the best canoeing experience you can ever get around the world. You see the magnificent scenery as you paddle through the majestic Victoria Glacier and mighty Mount Victoria.
However, you are only supposed to rent a cameo available at the boat dock, and you can rent it from Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, which runs it.
You can not miss skiing when you come to Lake Louise. Skiing is one of the best attractions of Lake Louise, and Lake Louise ski resorts are known to be one of the best skiing resorts in Canada. One can purchase the tickets online in advance, which is the preferred option considering Lake Louise’s high demand and popularity.
The Lake Louise ski resort is in the Banff National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. It is spread across 4000 acres and is one of the largest ski resorts in North America. The Lake Louise ski resort offers spectacular views of the beautiful mountain ranges and the panoramic view of landscapes.
This place is just a few minutes away from Lake Louise village. It even offers lessons based on your levels ranging from beginner to intermediate to expert, which takes care of the needs of each visitor, so you don’t have to worry about it. You get to enjoy the beauty of the gorgeous mountains, wildlife and flora and fauna.
Lake Louise offers all kinds of adventures, from extended cruising and gentle slopes to meadows and the great Canadian Rockies’ wide bowls.
3. When Does Lake Louise Freeze?
The lake usually starts to freeze in November and then gets covered with many layers of snow until it starts thawing again in late spring, that is, in early June.
4. Things to Do Around Lake Louise
4.1 Visit the Beautiful Moraine Lake
It makes no sense if you come to lake louise and don’t visit moraine lake. Although moraine lake is somewhat similar to Lake Louise, if you talk about the turquoise blue hue it gives, the way it sits is what sets it apart from Lake Louise.
Piles of rock surround it at one end. Moraine Lake is surrounded by a mountain range called ten peaks. You should definitely make a trail to its shoreline and walk up to the beautiful rock pile.
4.2 Visit Samson Mall
The small village of Lake Louise also accommodates a small shopping district known as Samson Mall. Samson Mall is a hub of a series of stores with several different retail stores. The Park Canada visitor centre is also located there.
At a short distance is the Samson native gallery, which has a distinct collection of art, jewellery and sculptures. It also has a candy shop, which is the best to satiate your sweet tooth craving during your trip.
4.3 Visit Bow Lake
Bow Lake is another comparatively lesser-known lake in the Banff National Park. It is a small lake in the Bow River that sits at an altitude of 1920 m.
This place is located in the north of Lake Louise and is also famous for its natural beauty, scenic landscapes and blue hue. It also offers a range of diverse activities, such as hiking, skiing and canoeing, and you can even plan a picnic.
5. Best Campings Near Lake Louise
Lake Louise is home to some of the most scenic camping grounds. There are plenty of camping sites near Lake Louise. Here is a list of some of the best camping sites you can refer to.
You can also check the Parks Canada website if you want to know more details about reservations.
5.1 Lake Louise Camping Ground
This is a campsite with around 206 grounds and the facilities of washrooms and shower rooms, and hot and cold water supply. They also offer fireboxes; however, most provide picnic tables.
They also offer fences for safety to protect in case any wild animal likes to give you a visit. You can easily reach it by car, and it takes only a few minutes from Lake Louise village.
If you love to hike and ski, then you will love this site as it is very near Lake Louise’s actual location. Ensure you arrive here early as there is always a crowd here, and you may not find a spot otherwise.
5.2 Two Jack Lakeside
Two Jack Lakeside Campground is one of the most famous campgrounds in the world.
This camping site is relatively more minor and located near Lake Minnewanka, along the shore of Lake Two Jack, Banff National Park, and is a 40-minute drive from Lake Louise.
5.3 Mosquito Creek Campground
Mosquito Creek Campground is a good option if driving is not a big deal. Suppose you are comfortable with driving outside Lake Louise.
However, there are only 32 campsites so you need to be early and fast. It is close to the shoreline that flows directly through the campsite, giving you a scenic view that will make you forget everything else.
5.4 Lake Louise Soft-sided Trailer/Tent Campground
This campsite gives you the best sights and views you can ask for. From here, you can access all the breathtaking sights and visual spots. It offers all the basic amenities, and because it is so high in demand, it fills up pretty quickly, too, so make sure to book early.
Endnote – Lake Louise
Lake Louise is one of the best landscapes in the world, known for its stunning lake, flora, fauna, majestic mountains, and Victoria glacier that adorns it.
You can enjoy various activities here, from hiking to horseback riding and canoeing or simply enjoying beautiful sunsets. Lake Louise also has some unique resorts and restaurants that you can enjoy to make your trip even more memorable.