About Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta
Lake Louise is a glacial lake in the Canadian rockies which sits at an elevation of 200 vertical feet above the valley floor.
Called ‘The Lake of the Little Fishes’ by the Stoney Natoka First Nations, the Lake was named after Princess Louise, a daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of Governor General of Canada, Marquess of Lorne.
The greenish colour is due to the rock silt which flows into the Lake due to the melting of glaciers.
What to do at Lake Louise ?
Things to do at Lake Louise
- Enjoy the panoramic splendour of Lake Louise surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
- Hike Lake shore trail (2km) from Fairmont Chateau to the back of the Lake to get a closer view of the glacier hanging on the mountain at the back, which causes the emerald colour of the Lake.
- Canoe in the lake.
- Go trail riding .
- Go Hiking. Lake Louise is the trail head for many trails.
Lake Louise Hikes
Fairview Lookout is an easy one. Climb this 1km trail from the boathouse and enjoy the view of the Lake with the historic chateau at the background.
Lake Agnes, the most popular hike of Lake Louise area is moderately strenuous with a distance of 3.4 km one way and 385 m elevation gain. Finish this hike and reward yourself with soups, teas and sandwiches from the tea house while enjoying the view of Lake Agnes. If one is not interested in hiking upto the Tea House, you can go on horseback riding.
- Mountain bike on Ross trail (7.3km one way). Trail head : Behind the Chateau Lake Louise.
- Visit Fairmont Chateau, built by the Canadian Pacific Rail; appreciate the architecture and gardens in front of it.
- Be brave and take a Polar Bear Dip in Lake Louise during Canada Day celebrations (July 1).
- Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival @ Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – January 18-28, 2018
Experience the incredible talent of international ice carvers as they delicately balance gruelling physical labour with precision artistry in a 34 hour International Ice Carving Competition.
Ice skate on the the spectacular ice rinks on the Canadian rockies.
Play a pick-up(shinny) game on the hockey rink set up on the Lake. Annual Pond Hockey Classic in February.
Admire and take picture of the intricate Ice Castle made by Fairmount Lake Chateau chefs.
Snowshoe on Lake Louise.
Experience Lake Louise in all its winter glory by going on Cross country skiing.
Who all can go to Lake Louise ?
How to get to Lake Louise?
Lake Louise Location/directionsThe address given on the sidebar is actually that of the Fairmont Chateau, which is located on the Lake shore.
During the height of the tourist season, July – September, there will be traffic restrictions and other related congestions.
Lake Moraine to Lake Louise
Head northeast on Moraine Lake road. Turn left onto Lake Louise Dr and continue for 1.8 km to reach the lake.
Take the Bow Valley Parkway exit toward Lake Louise/Promenade de la vallée Bow from Trans Canada Highway /AB1 W. Turning left to Bow Valley Parkway and merge on to Lake Louise drive and continue for 3.9 km to reach the Lake.
If you want to take a scenic route take Bow Valley Parkway immediately after Banff Town. Then travel on Bow valley Parkway.
Travel south on Ice fields Parkway, take the AB1 east exit and travel on Trans Canada Highway towards Calgary. Take the exit towards onto Bow Valley Pkwy. Turn right to Lake Louise drive continue for 3.9 km to reach the Lake.
Getting to Lake Louise without a Car:
- During the height of tourist season (July – September), the parking lots are mostly full, unless you visit before 9:00 AM or after 07:00 PM.
- Park at the overflow parking lot ( 5.5 km east on the Trans-Canada Highway) and take free shuttle bus during May 18 to October 8., 2018
- Schedule of free shuttle to Lake Louise from overflow parking area: Every 15 minutes from 08:00 AM to 04:30 PM to Lake Louise and every 15 minutes from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM from Lake Louise to overflow parking area. If you miss the shuttle call – Mountain Park Transportation at 403-522-2525 until 3 a.m.
Getting to Lake Louise from Banff without a Car:
Park and ride with a daily shuttle service between the Banff Train Station and the lakeshore with a quick stop at Samson Mall in the Village of Lake Louise. Service is offered daily from May 18 – October 8, 2018. 75 min travel time.
Price: $10 round trip, free for youth 17 and under.
How much will Lake Louise visit cost?
Admission/fees Lake Louise 2018
Free with National Park admission.
Admission is free on Canada Day – July 1.
$115 per hour | $105 per half hour. Canoe rentals are available at the boathouse, located on the west shore of the lake. Each canoe may be rented at an hourly rate and can hold either three adults or two adults and two small children under 55 pounds (25 kilograms) each.
Hourly trips : around $60.00 per person.
More expensive packages like Destination Lakehead Ride, Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House Ride, Full Day Expedition Ride are also available.
Adult : $30.00 plus 5% GST
Child (<8) : $ 27.00 plus 5% GST
When to see Lake Louise ?
Lake Louise Hours / Timing
Trail Ride Hours
Boathouse Summer Hours (canoe rental)
11:00 am – 7:00 pm (last boat at 6:00 pm) Weather dependent until mid October.
Sleigh ride Hours
Mid-December and to early April, weather (and snow cover) permitting. See exact sleigh ride schedule on the attraction website. Link above. Rides are approximately 45 minutes to one hour in length.
How long will it take to see Lake Louise ?
Depending on interest, one hour to whole day(if hiking).
What about Amenities, accessibility & parking?
Restaurant & 24 hours Deli in Fairmont Lake Louise Chateau.
Wash rooms .
Stroller &Wheel chair accessible on the Lakeshore trail (2km).
- Banff and Lake Louise Full-Day Tour
- Price: $94.79
- Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Tour
- Price: $54.94
- Jasper to Lake Louise One-Way Tour
- Price: $78.83
- Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola
- Price: $24.98
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Attractions in Banff National Park