Lake Louise/Chateau Lake Louise., Banff National Park
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)!
Try & spot how many Swiss influencies infaltrate the tourist spots.
The Horn Blower introduced both himself & Lake Louise to the gathering tourists.
We were entertained with a few melodies on the Swiss Horn & then invited to buy his many CD's. All good fun
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.
Once you get past the crowds & walk the lake shore the view is stunning - Lake Louise is very well advertised & holds great beauty often missed by other tourists who read the information have a quick look then head off - she deserves more time!!
Lake Louise is Banff National Park's crown jewel and in park so packed with scenic beauty, that is saying a lot. As with most things renowned as the best, one should not expect to find it to themselves. It's not a remote lake that requires many days to hike to. As with all things that have parking lots with a short wheel-chair accessible path leading right to their edge, it can be crowded.
Lake Louise is not particularly large at less than a square kilometer. What sets it apart is its emerald color, the result of sediment in its water due to it being a glacier fed lake. Of course, it does not hurt that is has some incredible craggy peaks as its backdrop. Despite its grandeur it is very accessible and user friendly, only 5 kilometers from the small town of Lake Louise and just off the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park.
It is named after the fourth granddaughter of Queen Victoria. One feature that perhaps spoils some of its natural wonder is the presence of Chateau Lake Louise right on its shore. Obviously, those staying in the hotel will likely feel differently about that. A very well maintained trail suitable for all hikers runs along its northwestern shore and quite a network of trails leave from here into many directions.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Even though at times it gets crowded as a busy city street, Lake Louise, known as "The Jewel of The Rockies" has retained its stunning beauty. The tiny village of Lake Louise is located just off the Trans Canada Highway, and consists of mainly a few hotels, a couple of gas stations, and a small strip mall. The lake is located 5km up a steep two-lane road not far from the village. There is a huge, 3-level parking lot located at the lake, but often during midsummer it can be full. This is not even due to the tour buses, as they have their own parking lot. Avoid the crowds by getting here very early in the morning, or at 5 or 6 pm.
Most people are content to stroll the walking path around the lake and visit the world-famous Chateau Lake Louise. The hotel is worth seeing, and is decorated in the grand style of the Banff Springs Hotel. Built in 1890, the hotel had major renovations done in 1990. If you want to canoe on the lake, there is a small log cabin located near the hotel where you can rent one.
If you are ambitious, and want to do more than stroll around the lake, there are many hiking trails that start in this area the most popular and easiest being Lake Agnes. Inquire at the Parks Information Centre for hikes appropriate to your ability. The Parks Information Centre is located in Lake Louise Village, just by the strip mall.
The International Ice Festival is held annually on the grounds of the Chateau Lake Louise, during the last week of January.
It is an ice sculpture competition. The talent is remarkable, and the carvings are outstanding.
The carvings remain to be seen by the public for as long as weather permits.
My camera really doesn't do these carvings justice - we were there late in the day and the light was bad. They really are incredible to see, make sure you go if you get the chance.
A section of Lake Louise is kept cleared of snow in the winter, so that people can come here to go skating. It's free!
There are benches by the lake where you can sit to change into your skates, and sometimes they have a bonfire going to warm you up.
Lake Louise must be the most popular, most visited and most photographed place in the Canadian Rockies. Despite all the big crowds (especially in the summer) Lake Louise is a must see. Reflected in the usual calm waters - which range from emerald green tot aquamarine - is a spectacular amphitheatre of high peaks crowned by Mount Victoria (3,464m / 11,365ft) and the Victoria Glacier on the crest of the Great Divide. Scenery-stunned visitors are often brought to their senses by the rumbling of ice crashing down the glacier in the summer.
Lake Louise was knows as the "Lake of the Little Fishes" to the local First Nation people and was discovered for the western world by CPR survey scout Tom Wilson in 1882 when the natives guided him there. He named it "Emerald Lake", but it was later renamed Lake Louise to honour Queen Victoria's daughter.''
There are several trails here as well with the most popular the lakeshore trail. If you wish you to go beyond the lakeshore you can continue this trail to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse or the Lake Agnes Teahouse. These are both quite popular and you may encounter quite some people, but if you start early enough you might be able to avoid the big crowds.