365 Canadian Sights | Day 228: Lakes Week – Lake Louise

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| Image from Flickr/Gord McKenna via CC BY NC ND 2.0 |

Arguably the most popular tourist spot in Canada, Lake Louise is a gem.

While the village and ski hill are just about as famous as the lake it seems, the aquamarine water is undoubtedly one of the most photographed spots in Canada. Frame that with some of the most photogenic mountains in the world, and this is beyond postcard worthy. I’m pretty certain there are several books of just photographs around this area.

Originally called the Lake of the Little Fishes by the Stoney Nakota First Nations who lived in the region, the lake got an English name in the late 1800s and became a notable tourist destination after the Chateau Lake Louise was built on the shores. The hotel itself is a sight as well, as it’s part of a series of grand Canadian hotels built along rail lines for wealthy travellers as the country grew.

While the rail hotels have become a series of sights of their own, and the clientele hasn’t really changed, the railways have dropped away.

The lakeshore isn’t difficult to get to per se, but it does require a bit of a drive. Calgary is the closest large city, but it’s still more than two hours, and the last bit of the journey ends with bus ride, as the village of Lake Louise can’t handle all the tourist traffic, so tourists are bussed in from a parking lot off of Highway 1 which passes nearby.

It’s a pretty pricey place to stay, and if you’re going to really check it out, you’re going to want to stay nearby. While Chateau Lake Louise peaks at $1000 (and probably more) other hotels nearby are around $300 (which is still a lot to me). There is a campsite nearby, and if you can snag a spot it’s only $30 a night. If you really keep you’re spending to a minimum, this is a surprisingly affordable trip, compared to what you might expect. With camping and some of your own food you could probably keep it to around $200, including gas. Of course, you have to have a National Parks pass well, which is another $10.

Since the hotel and lake are inside Banff National Park they’re part of the area’s massive UNESCO World Heritage Site. And since that area of the Rockies are mashed full of special sights, it doesn’t really matter what TripAdvisor has to say.

The official site for Lake Louise and Banff can be found here.

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