Monday, August 8, 2016

Strolling the Banks of Lovely Lake Louise in Alberta


While I have lived in Alberta, Canada all of my life, I freely admit that I have not yet explored every nook and cranny of my province's various natural regions. It is a big province with much to offer, so there's no shame in admitting that I have a lot left to discover. I AM a little embarrased to reveal, however, that I have never laid my eyes first-hand on one of our most famous gems: Lake Louise.

Well, until this weekend, that is, and I can proudly say that not only did I visit Lake Louise, but I also dipped my feet in the cold, clear water!

My family and I enjoying the gorgeous sight of Lake Louise in Alberta.

Nestled in the majestic Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Lake Louise is probably one of the top 5 tourist destinations in our province. Its blue-green glacial waters, surrounded by towering Rocky Mountain peaks carpeted in green pine trees makes for an idyllic view. Happy yellow and red kayaks and canoes slice silently through the water. The banks of Lake Louise are dotted with large boulders and rocks that allow visitors to take that perfect photograph. And to top it all off, a hotel that resembles a castle overlooks this powerful vista. Millions of tourists flock to this spot every year, and for good reason.

Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. Simply stunning!

My family and I decided to stop at Lake Louise on our way to our annual family vacation in Invermere, British Columbia. With two little ones trapped in the car for a five hour drive, a halfway walk-about is pretty much required. There are several lovely hiking trails around Lake Louise, but for this particular visit we opted to stick to the hour-long trek around the shores of the lake. Even then, we didn't get to complete the entire trail; we had to turn around and go back the way we came when missed nap times became apparent in the form of temper tantrums. Oh dear.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise from across the lake.

Lake Louise is located in the middle of Banff National Park, and is about 40 minutes north of Banff. If you plan to stop at Lake Louise, even for a half hour visit, you must buy a park pass and display it on your vehicle's front window, or face a hefty ticket. There are several parking lots near Lake Louise, but even so, expect it to be busy. Parking lot attendants really simplified the parking experience for us, ushering us to the nearest empty(ish) parking lot, so I can't complain. Just be aware.

I was very impressed by Lake Louise's beauty. The view is stunning, the lake water is clear, crisp, and an unreal color, and the pathway around the banks of the lake shows off every vista perfectly. It was crowded, but that was to be expected. My daughter especially loved dipping her feet into the cold water and hopping from rock to rock. (She really wanted to go swimming, and it was all we could do to keep her from throwing herself head-first into the ice-cold lake.) I am not 100% convinced that Lake Louise is prettier than the smaller, adjacent Lake Moraine, which is on a level of beauty all of its own. Check out Lake Moraine here.

My daughter trying extremely hard to go swimming in a glacial lake.

I would have liked to hike further, but that will have to wait for later years when we don't have a double-stroller and two kids who haven't napped all day in tow. I can't believe it took me all these years to get my travel-loving self to visit Lake Louise, but I know it won't be the last time. I would really like to hike to the Lake Agnes Teahouse, which is one of the more famous Lake Louise hikes.

Maybe one day I will get to stay at this swanky hotel!

However, for a quick hour-long stop, I am extremely happy that we had a chance to see just how gorgeous Lake Louise is. Alberta is an amazing place and I know I am lucky to live here!

1 comment:

  1. Wow lake louise really offers a beautiful view. Hoping this is open for occasional paddleboading. Snowcoast Paddleboards Alberta

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