Lake Louise at Banff National Park

A trip through Banff National Park wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the beautiful Lake Louise. Lake Louise, named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, is surrounded by mountains, and centred by the iconic Chateau Lake Louise. One of the most popular tourist destinations of Banff National Park, be sure to take your time and enjoy the beauty of the area.

Chateau Lake Louise
Chateau Lake Louise from the Fairview lookout.

While we didn’t stay at the Chateau Lake Louise, we were fortunate enough to stay at the lodge by Moraine Lake. Being so close to Lake Louise, I was able to come here for a sunrise shoot, which really brought out the beauty of the surroundings.

Lake Louise Sunrise
A long exposure of Lake Louise during sunrise.

If walking the grounds around Chateau Lake Louise isn’t enough, the area is a gateway to a number of hiking trails, some more challenging than others. We opted to go to the Lake Agnes Tea House, which is one of the more popular hikes in the area. The tea house, home to over 100 teas, is a perfect way to cap off a hike up the mountainside. In addition to teas, they serve soups, sandwiches, and desserts to satiate a hungry appetite, to ready yourself to continue on to other hikes that extend from there, or to simply go back down the mountainside.

Lake Agnes
Lake Agnes with the teahouse behind me.

The first part of the trail has you hiking through trees, offering not much in terms of views. As you hike higher, you’ll be awarded with glimpses of Lake Louise like you’ve never seen before. The total elevation gain for this hike is about 400m and will take you about 30min-45min. each way depending on your speed.

Lake Louise from the Trails
Lake Louise seen from the trails.

For an even more spectacular view of Lake Louise, you’ll want to start a hike on the other side of the lake, which will bring you to the Fairview Lookout. With an elevation gain of about 100m, and a short but steep hike up, you’ll be gifted with great views of Lake Louise and the mountain ranges behind it.

Nikon D800, 1/160 sec., f/8.0, ISO 100, 32mm
Nikon D800, 1/160 sec., f/8.0, ISO 100, 32mm

Although Lake Louise can be beautiful by itself, I believe the real beauty of the area are the hikes that surround it, offering spectacular vistas of Banff National Park.

Be sure to research the hikes surrounding the area and make some time to do them when you come to Lake Louise. While there may be a plethora of sites to do research from, listed below are a few of the sites that I used when doing my own research.

Happy trails!

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