(elevation gain 690m or 2265 feet)
Round trip: 12.8 km (Iceline highpoint)
This trail climbs quite steeply to a rocky ampitheatre below Emerald Glacier, which is a spectacular highpoint. Most people end their hike here, or you can carry onto the 21 km loop. It is quite a slog uphill, but once you reach the glacier, it's the greatest pain reliever. You feel like you are in a playground as you explore the moraines and tiny to big waterfalls that surround you. The rock formations are formed in steps, and you can relax on your on big Fred Flinstone couch.
One of the best hikes I've ever experienced.
To reach the Iceline, head west on the Trans Canada past Lake Louise, and after about 20 minutes turn right on the signed Yoho Valley Road. You can park at Takkakaw Falls which will add at least another km, or just park on the side of the road at Whiskey Jack Hostel. You cannot park in the hostel parking lot. The trail starts just past the hostel.
Lake Louise is a perfect location to enjoy hiking in the Rockies due to it's close proximity to Yoho, Kootenay, and Jasper National Parks. Here are some great hikes to enjoy:
(elevation gain 1014m or 3328 feet to the summit of Fairview Mountain)
Rating: Moderate to Challenging
10.6 km return
Ifyou can only do one hike in Banff National Park, and have a moderate level of fitness, I really encourage you to hike Saddleback/Fairview.
Located conveniently behind the canoe house on Lake Louise, this trail climbs steadily to The Saddleback, a plateau behind a saddle-shaped mountain, appropriately named Saddle Mountain. You can end your hike here, but you will have a vague sense of something unfinished. Fairview Mountain will loom to your right, and it's no picnic to the top. The very challenging 414m climb will cost you an hour and hopefully no blood, plus a lot of sweat and maybe some tears . However, be patient as the stunning views will last you a lifetime.
(elevation gain 365 m or 1200 feet)
Rating: Easy to Moderate
8.4 km return
This trail is short and quickly takes you into a hanging valley with a few interesting waterfalls. You can admire the glacier from afar, or can go right up to it. This trail tends to be somewhat popular, so come early as the parking lot is fairly small. Most people do not venture past Stanley Creek, so you won't have much company past that point.
Located on Highway 93 south, just into Kootenay National Park, 3.2 km south from the park boundaries.
Arguably the best skiing in Canada (the main competition being Whistler-Blackcombe BC) Lake Louise Ski Resort is located across the highway from Lake Louise Village. Most locals and Calgarians just refer to it as "Louise".
Many of the hotels in the area have transportation to the hill so you don't have to worry about lugging your equipment.
Skiing Magazine has voted it consistently every year as the resort with the most value in North America, and the most scenic.
The canadians ( unlike the britts who seem to hibernate for the winter) grasp the cold weather with both hands and use it as an opportunity for some serious fun!.Consequently , you will be spoilt for choice as to the different winter sports on offer in the Lake Louise area, downhill skiing, (Lake Louise area offers some of the best and most scenic skiing in the world) x country skiing, snowboarding,snowshoeing, iceskating, curling.ice hockey, ice-climbing, snowmobiling etc etc.... you name it, its all there, tuition and guides are easily available, and if that all sounds too strenuous how about a husky sled ride where you just sit back and let the dogs do the work.
Equipment: All winter sports equipement is freely available for hire, The chateau has its own hire shop in the basement, in the village I can reccomend monod sports shop, and for downhill skiing/snowboarding all equipement(including salopettes and jackets) is available to hire at the bottom of the ski hill.
minimum hire period is two hours- so you can just pop up the hill for a bit even if you werent planning to ski that day!