What to Do on a Day Trip to Lake Louise
Find turquoise waters, stunning hikes, world-class restaurants and multiple ways to drink tea.
BY MEREDITH BAILEY
June 22, 2016
If you haven't been recently, Lake Louise is absolutely worth the two-hour drive. The tiny village of Lake Louise greets visitors off the highway. Here you can grab a fresh cinnamon bun from Laggan's bakery, stock up on Swedish fish at the Old Tyme Candy Shoppe or sample the excellent burger at The Outpost. The road continues another four kilometres up to the actual lake. The glacier-fed water gets its spectacular turquoise colour from glacial sediment refracting light. You can rent canoes and paddle right into its blue-green centre or take one of the many hiking trails to get a birds-eye-view of the water and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. There a multiple options for afternoon tea in Lake Louise, from the sumptuous spread at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, to the rustic tea and scones at the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse.
What to do
There are numerous hikes in and around Lake Louise. From the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise you can take the challenging 7.4-kilometre roundtrip hike to Saddleback Pass or one of the more moderate treks to visit Lake Louise's historic teahouses, either Lake Agnes Teahouse (6.8-kilometres-return) or the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse (10.6-kilometres return). Less ambitious amblers can take the paved Lake Louise Lakeshore path for a 4-kilometre roundtrip loop.
Check the Parks Canada website to find a hike in Lake Louise that fits your needs.
If you want to see Lake Louise's emerald waters up close rent a canoe from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise's Boathouse. For $85/hour your rental includes life jackets, paddles and a bright red canoe. Don't rock the boat! The lake is glacial, so a dip in it is decidedly not fun.
Post-hike consider booking a session at one of Lake Louise's deluxe spas. The Spa at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise's Hikers Foot Therapy focuses on sore foot and calf muscles or try Temple Mountain Spa at the Post Hotel's Timesaver Manicure and Pedicure for a 90 minute treatment for your hands and feet.
The 14-minute ride to the top may be short, but a trip up the Lake Louise Gondola is definitely not uneventful. With almost daily summertime sightings, visitors have a high chance of seeing Grizzly bears in their natural habitat. At the top you can hike, visit the Wildlife Interpretative Centre and dine at one of several restaurants including the Whitehorn Bistro.