Canadian Rockies #3 – Moraine Lake and Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Lake Louise is surrounded by a small town, which is a perfect place for an overnight stay to recharge before heading up north to Jasper National Park.

There are not many activities to do in the town and dining options are limited. We chose to stay in Lake Louise Inn, which offers a perfect view of Victoria Glacier from the room. The room is pretty rundown but taking into consideration of its reasonable pricing and accessibility to all the attractions makes it worthwhile.

Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks – drive south-west along Lake Louise Drive and turn left into Moraine Lake Road. It is a short drive of approximately 19 min | 14.7 km from the townsite. Take note that Moraine Lake Road is closed during certain seasons especially winter. Do check the website for the road condition, before adding this attraction into your itinerary.

Moraine Lake is famous for its scenic view of the Valley of the Ten Peaks as the backdrop. There are a few trails which you can hike but as the place is a common migration ground for Grizzly Bears, so do remember to check the website constantly for the latest update before you go on a trail.

We went early in the morning and the wind is so strong and cold, but it never stop us from climbing to the viewpoint to see the legendary Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks. Indeed, the scenery blows us away when we are on top! The Lake is turquoise blue, with the majestic peaks sitting behind covered with snow.

Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks
Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks

Lake Louise – Exit Moraine Lake Road and turn left into Lake Louise Drive. Lake Louise is just a short drive from the exit.

Depending on the season, there are a few activities to do in Lake Louise. Besides shopping at the iconic The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, you can also do kayaking in the lake. If hiking is your choice but yet refuse to climb up the hill, Lake Louise Shoreline will be perfect for you. The total distance is 3km return and you will have a chance to take a picture of Victoria Glacier and The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise from both ends with 360 degrees of unspoilt wilderness.

Lake Louise
Beautiful Lake Louise with Victoria Glacier in the background.

Lake Louise is not only for the carefree travellers. If you are feeling more adventurous, Lake Agnes Teahouse (3 km | 45 min) and Plain of the Six Glaciers (6.8 km | 2 – 3 hr) trails offers a stunning view of the surrounding. The hike will take about 2.5 hours to climb, depending on individuals. The Teahouse is a perfect stopover, where most people will take a rest before deciding whether to hike downward or continue the journey further up to Plain of the Six Glaciers. As there is no trash can in the area, visitors are encouraged to bring down their own trash before leaving.

Lake Agnes Teahouse
Lake Agnes Teahouse
Lake Agnes
Lake Agnes beside the teahouse

The trail is not paved, so it can be quite challenging for some due to steep slopes at some point. For those that prefer not to climb but still want to have a chance to be on top of the world, horse riding will be a better option.

Half way through the hike, you will be able to stand on a “non-man-made” viewpoint to get a partial view of the emerald colored Lake Louise. Other iconic view along the trail includes Little Beehive and the Mirror Lake below.

While climbing, be mindful that the scenery can be stunning but there will be a lot of “land mines” on the trail. Do keep your eyes on the ground constantly, unless you prefer to carry horse poops with you throughout the day.

Lake Louise Gondola – if you have sufficient time, consider taking the Gondola or Chairlift at the opposite of the townsite to the summit of Mount Whitehorn. It offers the best chance of seeing the Grizzly Bear from the top.

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