A trip to Banff National Park is not complete without a visit to Lake Louise. The lake is named in honor of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (fourth daughter of Queen Victoria) and has an elevation of 1,536 meters (or 5,039 feet). With its blue-green water set against the backdrop of Victoria Glacier, Lake Louise is probably the most photographed scene in the Canadian Rockies.
The Chateau Lake Louise provides lake-side views of the towering Victoria Glacier and offers old-world charm and elegance amidst the wilderness. In the lower village of Lake, there is a fine array of fine dining, first class accommodations and shopping.
this lake is really beautifull - just clear blue water , and victoria mountain surrounding the lake , and all the snow around it - just amazing
we hiked there to the big beehive and to lake agnes tea house (i hope that was the name)
you can also go further to plain of 6 glaciers
you can also rent kayaks there but notice the sign at the rentals place telling u the water temp (it was around 2 C when i was there at july)
Although one of the premiere attractions in the National Park, I was thinking that Tuesday afternoon in late-September would not likely be too bad for crowds. I was wrong. When we arrived shortly after 1 PM, we had to circle the main parking lot a couple of times waiting for someone to pull out so we could get a spot.
The congestion, this time with people, continued on the boardwalk along the shore of the lake. Compounding matters, the sun was in our eyes as we looked down the length of the lake, that is, when it was not completely obscured by cloud banks that were now rolling past, taking all the colour with them.
As a result, the best I could do for a photo was this shot across the lake instead of down its length. At least, it does show a glimmer of that famous Turquoise colour that its waters are famous for. We decided not to tarry too long there, but to head instead to the supposedly less-busy Moraine Lake only 15 km (9 miles) away. Hey, I'd been to Lake Louise 22 years before anyway (see my Travelogue for details)!
Lake Louise is located some 50 kilometres north of the town of Banff. The lake with a glacier at the far end is one of the major tourist attractions of Banff. However, to me this spot seems a bit overrated. It is nice but not nearly as good as close by Moraine Lake. This could also have to do with the busloads of tourists that are all coming for that one same picture: the one you see here. Moreover, the beautiful Chateau Lake Louise hotel is located in this spot as well. Allthough the hotel must be great, with the same great view of course, it adds to the touristy atmosphere, which is a pity.
To reach the Big Beehive, first take the Lake Agnes trail until you reach the Lake Agnes teahouse. Then head west along north shore of Lake Agnes and climb steeply to Big Beehive. 500m high above Lake Louise, you have this stunning view of the lake from the Big Beehive viewpoint.
Lake Louise is probably the most visited place in Canadian Rockies. Each year more than a million visitors come here to admire its beauty.
Most tourists don't venture far beyond this point, but actually there are quite a few things you can do here. Canoes can be rented at the boat house on the left. The 1.9km long shoreline trail is on the northwest side of the lake.
For those with energy and half a day to spend, you can either hike up to the Big Bee Hive, where you can view the lake from above, or you can hike all the way to the bottom of Victoria Glacier (by Plains of Six Glacier trail). It's possible to do both trails (like what I did) but it will be a long day hike.
If you have extra time to stay around, don't miss the sunrise at Lake Louise. You will experience a very different scenery from what you have seen during daytime. Wait for the moment sun comes out from the mountains behind you, Mount Victoria will appear in incredibly beautiful golden color.
Lake Louise definetly lived up to expectations!
Unfortunately the day we visited Lake Louise was wet and miserable, but the weather wasn't going to stop us having a look around..... we are Scottish after all ...we are used to the rain! ha ha ha!
The clouds were halfway down the mountains around the lake and it was very dull, but in a way it was kind of cool to see Lake Louise in a way that you don't see it in every Canadian holiday brochure ever printed.
The road to Lake Louise is well signposted along Highway 1, and driving from Banff it only takes around 20-30 minutes. You do also have the option of going to Lake Louise via the Bow Valley Parkway which is much nicer than the highway!
There are quite a few things to do while at Lake Louise - Canoeing, hillwalking etc.
You can also have a wander around Chateau Lake Louise - the massive hotel on the edge of the lake. In itself it is a stunning building, but you can't help think that the lake would be better off without it!
Lake Louise was named in 1884 in honour of Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria. This is a VERY popular destination for all visitors to Banff NP, your first clue will be all of the tour buses in the parking lot.
Try to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. Despite this, it is still a worthwile destination and if you take the hike up to the tea house (or even part way) you will find more space the further you walk.
You can also rent a canoe here for a paddle on the lake, get information from the Visitor's Centre or grab a snack at Chateau Lake Louise.
After check in, we visited Lake Louise. It was absolutely fascinating as everyone and every guide book says. It must be the main attraction of the Canadian Rocky. It is a must to see. We visited this magnificent lake many times during our stay.
Be prepared for reams of people and even traffic congestion. We were directed by traffic control to parking lot number three. It is somewhat ridculous. Lake Louise is the second most visited attraction in Canada after Niagra Falls. The lake itself is pretty, but there are other spots in Banff that are more spectacular (neighboring Moraine Lake is one and Peyto Lake on the Icefields Parkway is another). Yet people continue to stream to Lake Louise and they all clamour to take their photos at the same spot. My advice is to take the lake walk for a couple hundred meters. You wont lose all the tourists, but you will leave behind several hundred who get no further than the grounds of the Chateau Lake Louise.
Lake Louise is the icon of the Canadian Rockies. Before the trip I had seen countless Lake Louise photos taken from the same angle. The fact that the lake has been photographed to boredom makes it more difficult to get something satisfactory. When I got to the Lake it was already getting dark, and the lake was half frozen (early June). So it's hard to see its turquoise color and the nice reflection of mountains/glaciers behind. But since a photo at Lake Louise is mandatory, here it goes. In the summer you can rent a kayak/canoe and paddle about.
Lake Louise is stunning. The water is bright turquoise beautifully offset by the white snow. The area is relatively unspoiled and there are many lodges and hotels. The skiing is supposed to be excellent.
Continue on your road trip to Lake Louise. It is 184 km from Calgary and 56 km from Banff. The emerald color of the lake will amaze you! You can walk around the lake, canoe in it, have a picnic in the area, go hiking or simply just take in the scenery.
The Chateau Lake Louise is also worth taking a peek at.
Lake Louise sits in a hanging valley above the Bow Valley, one of several scooped out of the Bow Range by the huge glaciers that flowed down from the Great Divide in past ice ages.
Gorgeous, isn't it?