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Canoeing on Lake Louise in Banff National Park, AB
Travel Alberta
The Real Banff / Published: Mon, 06/03/2019 - 20:19

How To Spend a Summer Day in Lake Louise

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Imagine two crystal clear turquoise lakes with mountains soaring from the shorelines. Not only are these two beauties picturesque, but they provide plenty of adventures. It's easy to see why Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are two of the most popular destinations in North America.  

To explore more and enjoy a seamless experience in Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, plan ahead. From catching shuttles and public transit, to where to eat and what to see, we've prepared a guide for your day around Lake Louise. 

Local Tip: Did you know there are long waits for parking in Lake Louise, and in 2021 you will be required to buy a parking permit? The quickest way to experience Lake Louise is to ride public transit from Banff. Skip the queue, get dropped off right at the lakeshore, and spend more time exploring!   

Start your day on the shuttle

Be an early bird, grab a coffee and jump on one of the first Roam buses departing from Banff to Lake Louise. Visiting Moraine Lake and Lake Louise in one day is possible on the Parks Canada Shuttle system from June 1 – October 11, 2021 (Lake Louise shuttles operate from May 14). Disembark at the Lake Louise Village and jump on the Parks Canada Park and Ride Connector to the Lake Louise Park and Ride. To ensure you can see both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in one day, reserve your tickets ahead of time (shuttle reservations open April 28).  

Local Tip: When travelling to the lakes, match your times with the Roam bus and the Parks Canada shuttle for a swift transfer.  

Public Transit - Parks Canada Shuttle Moraine Lake Explore the Park
Damian Blunt

MORAINE LAKE 

Sit back, relax, and take in the views as Parks Canada shuttles you to the unforgettable Moraine Lake. With the Valley of Ten Peaks mirrored on the aqua-coloured waters, it is spectacular. Venture up the rockpile for views to the end of the lake and snap a selfie. Take some time to explore lakeside and wander the Lakeshore trail. If you’ve saved all your time for Moraine Lake, try either the hike to Consolation Lakes or up to Larch Valley

If you're up for a Lake Louise adventure, return to the bus stop and jump on the Lake Connector to Lake Louise (operates every 15 minutes from 9:40 a.m. - 6 p.m. from Moraine Lake to Lake Louise from June 1 – October 11, 2021). 

Local Tip: Heading to Moraine Lake first will make your trip home a little bit easier and requires one less shuttle. If you’re just wanting to explore Moraine Lake, you can jump on the Park and Ride shuttle back to your vehicle. 

YOUR FIRST LOOK AT LAKE LOUISE 

After you disembark, walk through the trees and straight to Lake Louise and all its glory. Gaze into the waters and lose yourself in the colours and the surrounding mountains. After you’ve taken your lakeside selfie, it’s time to explore.   

One of the best ways to experience the lake and find some solitude is to rent a canoe. Group voyageur tours are also available through the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.  

Visit a historic tea house

Those looking for a relaxing walk will love the lakeshore stroll, which takes about an hour or so. There are also several more ambitious day hikes in the area, including up to the famous Lake Agnes tea house or Plain of Six Glaciers tea house. For a full list of hikes, please visit Hiking in Lake Louise

Great Divide Nature Tours and The Mountain Adventure Guides at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise also offer guided hikes.

Local Tip: If you’re just wanting to explore Lake Louise (and spend a different day at Moraine Lake), travel from Banff on Roam Transit bus 8X or 8S.

Indulge in the best regional cuisine

Are you in need of a break before or after the adventure? Check out some of the great dining options in Lake Louise, including Alpine Social, The Guide’s Pantry, or Deer Lodge (a short walk from the lake), provided you haven’t already overindulged at one of the teahouses.   

Once you’ve had your fill of Lake Louise, return to the bus stop to catch your Roam bus back to Banff. 

Local Tip: Don't miss the last Roam bus back to Banff! Make sure you have plenty of time to get back to the buses, otherwise you may need a taxi. 

Deer Lodge, Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Carsten Arnold Photography

Private Transport

Mountain Park Transportation are offering shuttles (first come first serve) from Banff (Moose Hotel) and Lake Louise Hotels to Moraine Lake. 

Jump on a Lake Louise Tour

Imagine the luxury of a driver delivering you to the shores of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. A guide answering all the questions you could think of about the lakes and surrounding mountains. Join a tour to visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake and get more out of your visit.  


Are you coming to Banff National Park?

Plan ahead before visiting Banff National Park. Reserve shuttles, accommodation, and restaurants where possible. Purchase your Parks Pass in advance for express entry into the park. 

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Plan Your Stay

Browse and book accommodation and lodging packages with our trip planning tool. To learn about the different types of accommodation available in Banff and Lake Louise, visit our Places to Stay page or Contact Us to speak to a local expert.