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Travel Alberta
The Real Banff / Published: Sat, 07/14/2018 - 20:19

The Perfect Day in Lake Louise

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Standing at the edge of Lake Louise - the soaring Victoria Glacier, canoes gliding through turquoise water - it’s easy to see why Lake Louise is one of the most popular stops in North America. But even though the lake is well-visited it doesn’t mean you can't have a perfect day in the mountains.

In fact, thanks to a number of public transit options it has never been easier to visit the iconic lake.

Local Tip: If you want to drive yourself to Lake Louise you’ll need to hit the road early. The drive takes about 45 minutes from Banff, but the limited parking fills up quickly. It's best to visit the lakeshore before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

Parks Canada also offers several shuttle options, but we have another great way to see the best of Lake Louise. 

Start your day at the Lake Louise Summer Gondola

Get the day rolling with a buffet breakfast in the Whisky Jack lodge and hop on the Lake Louise Gondola to check out some of the best wildlife viewing in the Canadian Rockies. Grizzly bears are common (check out the daily sighting calendar) and there is an incredible interpretive wildlife centre which can be found mid-mountain below the Whitehorn Bistro. 

After you’ve enjoyed the sightseeing lift, views of stunning Lake Louise from the panoramic deck or a guided interpretive hike, you may want to check out a few different on-mountain dining options, including the Whitehorn Bistro or Kuma Yama.    

Head to the lake 

You’ve seen the lake from above, now it’s time to see it up-close. the Lake Louise Summer Gondola offers a complimentary shuttle to the lakeshore, so leave your car and climb aboard. The full schedule can be found here.  

After you’ve finished with your lakeside selfie, it’s time to explore. 

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

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. 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 offer guided hikes as well.

Once you’re finished adventuring for the day, check out some of the great dining options in Lake Louise, including Alpine Social, Deer Lodge or The Lake Louise Station Restaurant.

Still have some questions? Check out the Lake Louise Summer Gondola for more information. 

If you’re looking for more information about shuttles, buses and other transit options, make sure to check out Explore the