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Lake Louise Vacations

One area of Canada’s spectacularly beautiful Banff National Park offers a truly one of a kind vacation experience, especially for those with an adventurous spirit.

You’ve no doubt heard of it, as you’ve been Googling “lake louise vacations” and would like to know more about pricing, attractions, and tours from someone who has been there. Yes, there are Banff tour guides who can take you to all of Lake Louise’s amazing sites. You’ll discover them at most tour experience marketplaces or at local Banff tour operator websites.

But what makes this area so special is the dominance of nature, scenery, wildlife, and peace. This is a place to revitalize your spirit and sooth your soul. A place where all your cares are far away and where you can enjoy being yourself.

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada is a small mountain hamlet comprised of a magnificent mountain-walled lake with two hotels, chalets, and a hostel for travelers of all financial means. 

Vacations to Lake Louise and Banff are in surprisingly high demand, primarily in the summer months, but in winter too, it’s transformed into a skier’s paradise where snowboarders and skiers slide down lengthy mountain slopes on powdery white snow.

Chateau Lake Louise Restaurant with Views. Image: Carly B on Flickr.

History of Lake Louise

Lake Louise which sits at an altitude of 5740 feet above sea level at the base of Mount Victora (height 3,464 metres,11,365 ft) has been world-famous for at least 60 years but its history goes back much further.

In 1882, the lake was officially named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. Princess Louise was married to the Governor General of Canada at the time, and she was known for her love of the arts and her support of Canadian culture.

Lake Louise Alberta Canada. Image: Helmet Borst via Unsplash.

Lake Louise has a strong Swiss mountaineer connection. Swiss mountain guides were brought from the Swiss Alps to work for Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) hotels between 1899 and 1954. There their experience and skills guided hundreds of first ascents and taught safe climbing techniques to thousands of Canadian and International climbers. It was the trains that led to the building of the grand Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise.

You can learn all about the history of Lake Louise and the Banff National Park area at the Whyte Museum of the Rockies located in Banff town. Oh and yes, you’ll want to visit the restaurants of Banff town to savor some excellent Canadian cuisine.

Lake Louise, Heaven on Earth

Tourists describe this pristine turquoise blue-colored lake as a heaven on earth. For many visitors, the color of the lake looks surreal, almost impossible, but you’ll get used to it.

Moraine Lake Alberta.
Moraine Lake Alberta. Photo Credit: Unsplash

And there are plenty of reasons you’d want to visit, from the Chateau Lake Louise hotel restaurants to admire the beautiful interior architecture and many luxury hotel accommodations. You should book a night’s stay and spoil yourself just so you get the real Rocky Mountain experience. The Chateau does have a sense of royalty about it, but don’t be intimidated, it’s just appropriate to the grandness of Lake Louise.  Oh, and by the way, there’s another incredibly beautiful mountain lake just nearby named Moraine Lake, a place I’ve frequented many, many times myself. Its waters are a distinctive shade of azure blue, with less green than Lake Louise.

Lake Louise Canoe Rentals.
Lake Louise Canoe Rentals. Image: nataliia kvitovska viaunsplash

Nature hiking is one of the top joys of travel and the Lake Louise trails offer so many grand views, whether those that ring the lake, or high above on the mountainsides. Looking down at the lake from Big Beehive, after hiking up around Lake Agnes, is something you’ll enjoy. You should be in good shape to make the hike.

Lake Louise view from Big Beehive.
Lake Louise view from Big Beehive. Photo: Andy Holmes via Unsplash.

To me, these magnificent steep mountain walls that ring both lakes aren’t just a marvel to stare at, they’re an experience you just don’t get anywhere else. It is the best of the Canadian Rockies, known for their unique rugged appearance and glacier peaks.

Lake Agnes Teahouse.
Lake Agnes Teahouse. Image: Subindie via Flickr

And what I love more than sitting for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Chateau Lake Louise looking out to the lake on a sunny day, is climbing the many hiking trails that rise to small heavenly lakes and vantage points up there. Whether to Big Bee Hive and the Agnes Lake tee house or the Plain of 6 Glaciers and the teahouse up there, it’s all I can think of when I dream of Lake Louise.

I’m never feeling more alive than at Lake Louise, Alberta.

And the Chateau is a beautiful building with landscaped lawns and gardens fronting the serene lake where you can rest quietly alone or with your family and friends. This grand setting makes everyone peaceful and you’re never alone.

How to Get to Lake Louise?

You can fly, drive or take a train to Lake Louise from Calgary, Kelowna or Vancouver. Rocky Mountaineer’s Vancouver/Calgary luxury train trip experience passes right by Lake Louise and Banff. Rocky Mountaineer offers a special trip package featuring a night at the Chateau Lake Louise in a lake-view room and two days on the Rocky Mountaineer. That’s almost too much for a 3 day vacation. But you won’t be sorry as you lay your head on the pillow with images of mountains dancing in your mind.

I can speak from experience that this hotel, like the Banff Springs Hotel, about 30 miles to the south is a special experience.

The Chateau Lake Louise was refurbished to its current state of splendor as one of Canada’s Premier castles. You might also book rooms at the nearby Mountaineer Lodge.

You can also stay in Banff town or Canmore Village (special mountain towns too) and visit Lake Louise by day, although finding parking is difficult. You may have to take a tour bus (Roam Public Transit or Parks Canada Shuttles). Discover Banff

Tours is the most well-known tour experience provider whether it’s in town or exploring nature there. I’ve taken small group tours with them and the guides are excellent. You’ll enjoy that.

Cost of a Vacation in Lake Louise

Tripadvisor offers a variety of vacation packages with accommodations in Banff where there are sufficient hotels. Pricing with airfare from New York City for a two-week stay range from $4000 to $8000. If you must stay in Lake Louise, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, the hotel offers a rate of $1200 to $3800 per night during June. Given the limited suites, you may prefer to try the Mountaineer Lodge at $400 a night during June (high season). Most travelers will choose to stay in Banff a short drive away at much reduced rates.

What To See and Experience at Lake Louise

The ultimate Banff itinerary depends on the personality of each traveler. You’ll enjoy these activities:

  • hiking
  • dining at the restaurants
  • canoeing
  • eating tea biscuts and choosing an interesting selection of teas at the Lake Agnes teahouse (2135 meters elevation)
  • summer gondola (ski gondola)
  • mountain biking (5 single track trails to enjoy)
  • enjoy relaxing in the Fairmont Lake Louise thermal spa (under construction currently)
  • Fairmont Chateau Hotel’s Lake Louise afternoon tea room with it’s spectacular view.
  • Drive The Bow Valley Parkway to Johnson’s canyon (amazing canyon walking trail)
  • wildlife viewing (deer, elk and mountain sheep are frequent visitors too)

A trip to Lake Louise and a vacation here is a wonderful way to spend your time. You can make it more affordable by staying in Golden BC, or Banff or Calgary Alberta and travel to Banff National Park along the TransCanada highway.

Enjoy imagining and planning your Canadian Rocky Mountain vacation at Lake Louise. This is one trip you won’t regret.

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