Lake Louise is a beautiful mountain lake in the middle of Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies of Canada. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, and at the far end is a large glacier. The lake is quite isolated, but provides a magnificent setting for a luxury resort, the Chateaux Lake Louise. This resort is currently undergoing major expansion, and a large conference wing is being constructed on the 'inland' side of the hotel.
There is a very small town of the same name at the base of the mountain.
Once you are in Lake Louise you have access to some of the most beautiful drives in North America.
National Car Rental is the only car rental company in Lake Louise, otherwise the tour buses do stop.
Check in at the information centre at Samson Mall for a schedule, or visit www.banfflakelouise.com for more information.
The main attractions at Lake Louise are the vibrantly coloured glacial lakes and Victoria Glacier at the head of Lake Louise. The lakes to stop and explore are: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Bow Lake and Peyto Lake.
On the shores of Lake Louise is The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. During the summer you can canoe on the lake and in the winter months they offer ice skating around the ice castle or horse drawn sleigh rides. Every January there is an international ice carving competition held called Ice Magic.
If you are interested in hiking or climbing you've got lots of access to all sorts of trails in this area.
As a ski-resort and wilderness area, tourist activity varies according to the season. The primary form of spring and summer recreation in the area is walking around the lake on the lakeside path, hiking on mountain trails leading from the lake, and admiring the scenery. During the summer, canoes can be rented and fishing is a popular activity. The ski resort turns into an interpretive centre in the summer months and gives visitors a beautiful view of Lake Louise from the top of the Gondola.
In winter, visitors can ice skate on the lake and enjoy a dogsled ride to the continental divide. The Lake Louise ski resort is only a short drive from the lake, offering ski-enthusiasts a wide variety of runs for varying skill levels. The ski season runs from November to mid-May.
There isnt' a lot of shopping in Lake Louise. There are some stores at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louiseas well as in the Hamlet at Samson Mall.
You can rent sporting equipment at Wilson Mountain Sports.
Most of the restaurants are located within the hotels in the Hamlet of Lake Louise. Ask at your hotel or campground where they would recommend.
There are a couple of restaurants located at Samson Mall, also the Station Restaurant which was converted from the heritage-listed train station and another at a gas station. There are also a few restaurants located just outside of Lake Louise at the various other hotels just off the beaten path.
For a drink most hotels in the Hamlet of Lake Louise do have a bar or pub.
The lake is approximately an hour's drive from Banff, where a much wider variety of accommodations are available.
Escape the crowds of tourists at Lake Louise and travel up the Icefields Parkway Highway 93 North - Banff to Jasper Highway, one of the most scenic drives in North America with sites such as: Bow Lake Bow Glacier Crowfoot Glacier Mistaya Canyon Waterfowl Lake Parkers Ridge Wilcox Pass Columbia Icefields Athabasca Falls and eventually Jasper
Along the Icefields Parkway the are numerous opportunities to camp or stay in a rustic wilderness hostel.
For the adventurous you can get to Banff from Lake Louise on foot via the Saddleback Trail. It is an easy to moderately difficult 4-5 day hike complete with empty campsites. The trail is passable from July through to October. Check with the Park Canada Information office in town for up to date trail conditions, the disposition of any local Grizzlies and advice.