Difference between revisions of "Lake Louise"
Revision as of 21:45, 4 June 2015
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.
Banff National Park is a 2 hour (182km/113 miles) drive west of Calgary, Alberta, along the TransCanada Highway. Open year-round, the TransCanada is a well-maintained road that winds its way through the majestic Canadian Rockies. Many international carriers and airlines service the Calgary International Airport, making it easy and convenient to access this destination from locations around the world. Banff National Park is also accessible by rail, charter coach and scheduled bus service. If you would like to drive, major car rental agencies are conveniently located in Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise. The hamlet of Lake Louise is located only 45 minutes (58 km/35 mi) from the Town of Banff. There is the option of taking the curvy 1A Bow Valley Parkway if you’re looking for a longer, more scenic route. Leave some time for a walk at Johnston Canyon, it's an easily accessible walk to the Lower Falls (1.1 km from the parking lot) or you can continue on further to the Upper Falls (2.7km from the parking lot) and the Ink Pots (5.3km from the parking lot). Visit the Parks Canada hiking trails website for more information.
Driving from the West Banff National Park can also be accessed from Vancouver via the TransCanada Highway. Like Calgary, Vancouver International Airport is serviced by a variety of international airlines and presents many options for traveling to Banff: chartered bus, shuttle, rail or car rental. Banff is located a scenic full day’s drive (850 km/530 mi) from Vancouver, which takes you through the Coast Mountains and wine-country of British Columbia before entering the stunning landscape of the Canadian Rockies. Many travelers also fly from Vancouver to Calgary and access the park from that side.
Once you are in Lake Louise you have access to some of the most beautiful drives in North America.
The hamlet of Lake Louise can be explored by bike, car and taxi.
Car Rental: Located within The Depot is a National Car Rental outlet. Advance bookings highly recommended.  Taxi: Mountain Park Transportation offers bus and taxi services year-round. For more information call 403-522-2525.
Bike Rentals: available in summer at Wilson Mountain Sports. 
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 .
Things to Do – Winter Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding at Lake Louise Ski Resort Experience the majesty of Canada’s second largest ski resort, with 4,200 acres of terrain and 139 runs. With an intermediate run available from every chair lift and a wide variety of beginner, intermediate and expert runs, the Lake Louise Ski Area is an excellent choice for families and groups. Big, open bowls give experts the chance for endless turns, while chutes and gullies offer some of the most extreme in-bound terrain in the country. Top it all off with impressive views of the iconic peaks that surround Lake Louise and you’ve got yourself a ski experience you won’t soon forget. 
Gondola Rides at Lake Louise Ski Resort Cruise for fourteen glorious minutes, in an open chair or a fully enclosed gondola, to one of the Banff National Park's greatest views! From 2088m (6850ft), the spectacular scenery is yours to explore at will. Be sure to bring your camera to save your own special memories of soaring peaks, stunning glaciers, surrounded by the unspoiled beauty of winter.
Kingmik Dog Sled Tours In 1982, after 8 years of exploring the valleys and high passes of the Canadian Rockies by dog team, Doug Hannah, a local Alberta boy, wanted to share the magical world of dog mushing with others. It did not take much to convince the Parks that this historical mode of travel should be offered to visitors. As there were no commercial touring companies in existence at that time, it was considered an oddity to see dog teams whisking guests around the perimeter of Lake Louise, but the allure caught on quickly. Today, Kingmik still retains the intimate and personable feel of the early days. It is a small but mighty company, with just 65 amazing dogs, and 6 full time dog mushers. Every sled is guided, which amounts to a guest to guide ratio of 2:1, and we run no more than 5 sleds per tour time. This enables guests to best experience the silent grace and beauty of dog mushing. 
Snow Tubing at Lake Louise Ski Resort Snow tubing is just like tobogganing, except that a unique towing system will pull you back to the top! You’ll also have some pretty epic hills to slide down and large sliding lanes so that you can go down alongside your friends and family. Add some extra fun and give each other points for speed, style and number of spins! Tubing is a great activity for all ages, including children over the age of 4 (or 107cm/42in tall).
Guided Snowshoeing with Great Divide Nature Interpretation The quiet beauty of winter in Lake Louise is a delight to explore on snowshoes! Swishing through fresh powder, you feel your heart beat and suddenly realize how peaceful it is. You notice how the snow acts as a canvas, recording the tracks of snowshoe hares, pine martens and even the occasional lynx. Your trip includes snowshoes, poles, overboots (as necessary), dark cocoa hot chocolate or herbal tea and homemade power bars!
Ice Skating on Lake Louise The sparkling, glacier-fed waters of Lake Louise freeze over in winter, providing one of the most scenic ice skating rinks in the world. It was ranked #1 on CNN Travel’s poll of the “10 of the world’s most beautiful ice skating rinks”. Wilson Mountain Sports located in the Village of Lake Louise, offers daily ice skate rentals.
Ice Skating at the Lake Louise Recreation Centre Located at 103 Village Road, the Lake Louise Recreation Centre offers a maintained outdoor rink with a roof, 2 heated change rooms (with bathrooms), benches, hockey lines. There is no fee to skate, however a $5.00 per person donation is recommended. For further information and a current drop-in schedule visit www.facebook.com/LakeLouiseSportandRec
Sightseeing & Tours Contact Discover Banff Tours, Banff Adventures, or Brewster Travel Canada for current tour offerings/information. Independent Cross Country Skiing If you’re looking for a leisurely ski or more of a rigorous workout, cross-country skiing is a great way to explore the intimate corners of the Canadian Rockies. Both scenic track-set and skating options are available. Early and late season conditions are best in Lake Louise, with optimal skiing throughout from late-December to early April. Check the Parks Canada Winter Trail page for grooming and conditions, updated Friday through Sunday weekly. Non-skiers and dogs must stay on the far outer edge of the track set and groomed ski trails.
Sleigh Rides with Brewster Adventures Brewster Adventures brings a post-card image to life at Lake Louise with a sleigh ride that follows the lake-side trail beneath Victoria Glacier. Enjoy views of the Ice Falls at the end of the lake by day, or the glow of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on evening rides. There is no better way to spend time together than drinking in the beauty of sparkling snow and blue sky, bundled beneath a blanket together on a horse drawn sleigh! The traditionally styled sleighs feature cozy upholstered seats and blankets to keep you warm and comfortable. The Brewster Family will show you the sights - Western Style!
=Things to Do - Summer Summer Sightseeing Gondola at Lake Louise Ski Resort The Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola & Interpretive Centre offers a unique opportunity to dine in the beautiful Lodge of Ten Peaks, ascend to an awe-inspiring viewpoint, and to learn why it is the home of the grizzly bear. From 2088m (6850ft), the spectacular scenery is yours to explore at will – there are ambitious hikes to the summit of Mt. Whitehorn for the hardy or equally lovely short, leisurely strolls for those with more modest exercise goals.  Independent Hiking Along the spine of the North American continent, the Rocky Mountains poke high into the clouds and blue glaciers cling to their slopes. Green forested valleys below provide a vital food source for grizzly bears and other species. Prime hiking season runs July through mid-September. Many passes are still snow-bound until late June, with most trails accessible only at lower elevations or on drier, south facing slopes. Trails tend to be muddier during the spring. Towards the middle of July, most passes are open. For maps, current trail conditions, and further information visit the Parks Canada Hiking Trails page.
Mountain Biking With ample mountain bike trails and various road riding options, biking is an excellent way to explore the Lake Louise Area. Trails range from easy to difficult and the biking season typically extends from May to October. The use of mountain bikes is encouraged for the appreciation and enjoyment of the area’s spectacular landscape of rugged mountains, broad valleys, glaciers, alpine meadows and wildlife species. Visit the Parks Canada Biking page for more information.
Fishing/Angling This sport is a great way to slow down and enjoying the peacefulness that protected areas provide, and learning about unique aquatic environments. Fishing/Angling is permitted at both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Please visit the Lake Louise Visitor Information Centre to purchase a fishing licence and to obtain information on fishing regulations.
Canoeing on Moraine Lake and Lake Louise Sparkling blue waters, which gently lap on the shores of alpine lakes are perfect for gaining a unique view of the surrounding landscape. Canoeing is a family-friendly activity that provides a peaceful activity to enjoy on a morning or afternoon during a stay in Banff National Park. Canoe rentals are available from Moraine Lake Lodge and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The Chateau also offers a Voyageur Canoe Experience in an authentic 26 foot cedar strip and canvas canoe. During the tour, the guide shares stories of the first nations and early explorers of the area.
Guided Hikes New to hiking or backpacking? Eager to learn more about the regions you’ll be exploring on foot? Consider hiring a certified hiking guide in Banff National Park! Hiking guides offer an element of safety and experience to a hike of any level, whether you’re going out for a few hours or on an overnight backpacking trip. Even when navigation and safety is of little concern, guides can offer great stories and interpretation about the local area, history, wildlife and flora.
For more information on guided tours in Lake Louise, visit the WEBSITE. Horseback Riding There is a long tradition of horseback riding in Banff National Park. The first explorers used horses to travel through the rugged mountain terrain and pack supplies into hard-to-reach areas! Today you can enjoy the quiet, leisurely pace of a horseback trail ride and take in the views while your four-legged friend propels you onward. There are two companies in Lake Louise that offer both half-day and full-day rides including Timberline Tours and Brewster Adventures.
Lake Agnes Tea House Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1901, the Lake Agnes Tea House is the closer of the two tea houses, and is situated idyllically on the shores of Lake Agnes. A great option for adventurers of all kinds, the hike to this cabin will take you along a forested trail, past Mirror Lake and the waterfall that cascades out of Lake Agnes. This now family-run tea house offers over 100 loose-leaf teas, as well as homemade soup, sandwiches, cookies, apple crumble and more.
Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House As the name suggests, the hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House offers incredible views of the glaciers and mountains that surround Lake Louise. Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway between 1924 and 1927, this tea house was originally constructed to house mountaineers en route to the popular objectives of Mts. Victoria and Lefroy. Hikers today can enjoy a wonderful menu of fresh lemonade, tea, pie, scones and more. A 5.5 km hike from the Chateau Lake Louise, follow the lakeshore trail to the far end of the lake. You will pass some beautiful scenery, including waterfalls, towering rockfaces (where you might spot some rock-climbers), and of course glaciers. Once you reach the tea house you’ll be at an elevation of 2,100 meters. The tea houses are cash only, and open seasonally, from approximately Victoria Day/May long weekend (the last Monday before May 25th) to Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (the second Monday in October). Check with the Visitor Centre before heading out.
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.