Lake Louise is a beautiful mountain lake in the middle of Banff National Park in the Alberta Rockies region of Alberta, 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 Châteaux Lake Louise, and a conference wing on the 'inland' side of the hotel.
There is a very small town of the same name at the base of the mountain.
Lake Louise Visitor Centrephone: +1 403-522-3833address: 201 Village Road
By carLake Louise is 186 km (120 miles) west of Calgary, and 56 km (36 miles) North-West of the town of Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1, Alberta 93).
An alternative from Banff is the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A), this is a restricted speed narrower tree lined road, which although does not provide such clear views of the mountain does provide a better chance of seeing wildlife such as bears and deer.
If you are driving and would like to check out the Parks Canada road report
- Calgary International Airport is a 2.5 hours drive to Lake Louise. There are several car rental agencies at the airport or you can book one of the many shuttles which drop off at hotels in Banff and Lake Louise.
To book an airport shuttle ahead of time, contact Brewster Airporter & Resort Connector, Mountain Connector or Banff Airporter Inc.
Rider ExpressBus service along the Trans-Canada Highway from Winnipeg to Vancouver, twice daily. Service from Calgary, Strathmore, Canmore, and Banff (Alberta); Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, Hope, Abbotsford, and Vancouver (British Columbia); Medicine Hat, Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Regina, Whitewood, and Moosomin (Saskatchewan); and Brandon, and Winnipeg (Manitoba).
- North: The Icefields Parkway, connects Lake Louise to Jasper. It is 230 km (142 mi) taking you along the most beautiful drive in North America. Along the Icefields Parkway you can stop and take a tour on the Columbia Icefield which is a glacier that covers an amazing 325 square km of land. An information centre there includes an interpretive section and a café.
- West The Great Divide denotes the highest ridge-line in the Canadian Rockies and creates a natural border with British Columbia and Yoho National Park 10 km west of town.
- East Banff is 60 km (36 miles) south-east of Lake Louise on either Hwy 1 (Trans Canada Highway) or the 1A (Bow Valley Parkway). Hwy 1 is quicker, but if you have some time to explore and enjoy the scenery the 1A is the way to go. There tends to be more animals sighted on the 1A and the scenery is breathtaking (not that you're going to get a bad view from any road in Banff National Park). Leave some time for a walk at Johnston Canyon, it's an easy walk anyone can do to the lower falls (1.1 km) or you can continue on further to the Upper Falls and the Ink Pots.
National Car Rental is located in the village of Lake Louise and there is a Hertz location in the Fairmont Lake Louise hotel. Otherwise the tour buses are an option. .
Lake LouiseSpectacular example of a glacial lake. Best seen first thing in the morning before the hoards of other tourists arrive.
phone: +1 403-522-3555address: 1 Whitehorn Road, Lake LouiseLake Louise hosts men's and women's World Cup ski events every November, making it the best-known ski area in Banff National Park. As such, it is also the busiest and most touristy. It is located close to the Lake Louise town site. The scenery is fantastic, as is the terrain when there is fresh snow. Snowshoe tours and Sunny Tube park (next to the magic carpet) for those who don't ski or board. Excellent all you can eat buffet breakfast served in the Whiskey Jack Lodge ($12). If you're on the Club Snowboard/Ski program get the early bus!
phone: +1-877-919-7779is the oldest dog sled tour company in the west, and goes along the Continental Divide
Ice skateon the lake, rental skates are available within The Fairmont Château Lake Louise and down in the village at Wilson Mountain Sports.
Sleigh Ridesleave from in front of The Château Lake Louise
Snowshoeing, cross country skiing and winter walking trailsare abundant, rentals are available at the same places as the ice skates and Parks Canada will be more than happy to give you trail info, or guided tours do leave from The Fairmont Château Lake Louise.
address: 1 Whitehorn RoadLake Louise Mountain Resort runs one of the chairlifts with gondolas in the summer up to an interpretive centre giving you a great spot to take breathtaking photos and learn about the local wildlife.
Canoerentals are available on Lake Louise and Moraine Lake
- Guided Hikes are available through The Fairmont Château Lake Louise or you can also check out Great Divide Nature Interpretation
- There is some great rock climbing in the area. Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise rents all the climbing gears except rope and harness.
- Horseback riding, there are two companies which offer trail rides and pack trips in Lake Louise. Brewster Adventures and Timberline Tours
There are two gas stations in the village providing fuel and basic supplies.
Wilson Mountain SportsYou can rent sporting equipment here
Most of the restaurants are located within the hotels in the hamlet of Lake Louise. Dining at the Post Hotel is simply amazing. Additionally, ask at your hotel or camp-ground 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. Bill Peyto's Cafe in the hostel serves good basic food.
phone: +1 403-522-2600address: 200 Sentinel RoadInteresting building and a few exhibits for rail enthusiasts. Reasonable food but the number of tables exceeds the kitchen capacity, so expect a long wait at peak times.
address: 203 Village RoadExcellent food (burgers, chili, salads) at a reasonable price.
Whitehorn BistroVery good food, if a little pricey, with a patio at 2042 metres providing probably one of the best views from a restaurant you will ever see. Be aware can be cold outside even in June.
The lake is approximately an hour's drive from Banff, where a much wider variety of accommodations are available.
phone: +1 403 522-3511address: 111 Lake Louise DrOne of Canada's grand old hotels, the Château is the only option if you want to stay right at the lake, but be warned - the château is luxurious, but extremely expensive. If you have the money, it is worth it for the beautiful surroundings and the clear crisp mountain air.
phone: +1-866-332-3590address: 109 Lake Louise DriveGood selection of room sizes and a reasonable restaurant.
phone: +1 403-522-3595address: 105 Lake Louise DriveVery good quality, well furnished chalet rooms and cabins.
phone: +1 403-522-3844address: 101 Village Road
phone: +1 403 522-3791address: 210 Village Road
phone: +1 403 522-2201address: 203 Village RdA large hostel in the town. There is a café at the hostel. In winter, dorm beds from $27 (non-member $31), private rooms from $78 (non-member $86). In summer, dorms from $34 (non-member $38), private rooms from $99 (non-member $112). Ski packages are available. Pets not allowed.
phone: +1 403 522-3989address: 200 Pipestone Road
Lake Louise Medical Clinicphone: +1 403-522-2184address: 200 Hector Rd
Into Jasper National Park,
and eventually Jasper.
Along the Icefields Parkway there 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 camp-sites. 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.