Things to Do in Lake Louise: 15 Amazing Activities for a Visit You’ll Never Forget!

Set in the midst of the jaw-dropping scenery of the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise Village is a must-visit destination in western Canada. Read on to discover 15 fun and memorable things to do in Lake Louise!

The tiny hamlet of Lake Louise is located in the heart of Banff National Park, one of four contiguous Canadian National Parks that have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for their exceptional scenic beauty. In and around the village of Lake Louise, you will find many stunning points of interest to explore.

Lake Louise Canadian Rockies Alberta Canada

Lake Louise is just one of the many attractions in the area!

If you are a hiker, outdoor photographer, or an active traveler, get ready to have the time of your life at Lake Louise. On the other hand, if you just want to relax and soak up the beauty around you, that’s fine too: Lake Louise is the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate.

15 Fun Things to Do in Lake Louise, Canada

From scenic drives to beautiful hikes and from canoeing to photography, you’ll find a plethora of options when considering what to do in Lake Louise. My list below will help you get started filling up your itinerary for this lovely region!

My suggestions for things to do in Lake Louise will work great if you plan to visit in late spring, summer, or early fall. Of course you can visit Lake Louise in the winter as well, if you love winter activities!

SCENIC DRIVES

Given its location, it’s no surprise that at Lake Louise, you have access to some seriously scenic drives. We did two such drives during our stay here, and I highly recommend both of them.

#1 Drive the spectacular Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. The 144-mile road that connects the village of Lake Louise and Jasper Township is amazing end to end. The minimum drive time is about three hours in good weather, but why would you want to rush when the journey is so magnificent?

Driving the Icefields Parkway should be at the top of your list of things to do in Lake Louise!

The scenery is magnificent anywhere you look!

We did the drive over several days, exploring new points along the road on each successive trip. For one day, I would suggest going up to Saskatchewan Crossing from Lake Louise and back, covering all the sights en route, and then doing the northern half separately with Jasper as your base.

On your drive from Lake Louise up to the Saskatchewan Crossing, there are several places where you must definitely stop to explore!

Herbert Lake

This stop comes up in a couple of miles after you get on Icefields Parkway. If it’s a clear day and early in the morning, a stop at Herbert Lake will reward you with awesome photos of Mt. Temple reflected perfectly in the waters of the lake. If it’s a warm day, you can dip your feet in the water, or you can walk the trail to the back, where there is a diving board!

Crowfoot Glacier

Make a quick stop to view the Crowfoot Glacier from the pullout off the Icefields Parkway. You’ll see lots of dandelions and other wildflowers here in the spring and summer. One of the toes on the glacier is lost, but you can still see the two remaining toes. We spotted a mother black bear and two cubs here when we visited, busily munching on the fresh dandelions.

Crowfoot Glacier, Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Canada

Can you see the two remaining toes of Crowfoot Glacier?

Bow Lake

Bow Lake is another place where you can capture stunning reflections on a clear calm morning. Walk along the shore of the lake and see if you can spot Crowfoot Mountain (you can also see Crowfoot Glacier from Bow Lake), and Bow Summit right above the lake. Look for the historic Num-Ti-Jah Lodge on the lakeshore. The lodge still hosts guests looking for a really quiet place to stay.

Bow Lake Icefields Parkway Alberta Canada

Stunning reflections at Bow Lake on a sunny morning

Peyto Lake

Next up is the amazing Peyto Lake, with its wolf shape and surreal blue color. Park at the parking lot and walk the short uphill trail to the lookout, from where you can get fabulous views of the lake down below.

Peyto Lake Banff National Park Alberta Canada

The shape and color of Peyto Lake are surreal!

If you are up for it, take the trail further up to the Upper Peyto Lake lookout, from where you can get the stunning views, but with fewer people. You can actually hike even further up, to Bow Summit, but that would take about 2.5-3 hours: it’s about 3.6 miles in total.

Mistaya Canyon

Mistaya Canyon is accessed via a short 0.3 mile forested walk from the parking lot off Icefields Parkway. The view of the water roaring through the gorge below is breathtaking, as are the views of the mountains in the  backdrop. The canyon has been carved by the Mistaya River over several thousands of years. After viewing the canyon, return to the parking lot the way you came.

Saskatchewan Crossing

Your last stop for the day, if you plan to turn around here, is the beautiful Saskatchewan Crossing. You will see the river meandering in the shadow of the mountains.

The Saskatchewan River Crossing Alberta Canada

The Saskatchewan River Crossing is a lovely spot for photos!

This spot is called “The Crossing” because this is where travelers to British Columbia would cross over from Alberta. Here the Saskatchewan meets two other rivers: the Mistaya and the Howse. There is a resort here and food is available.

THE DRIVE

While you must definitely stop to explore the places I have listed, the Icefields Parkway is also about the journey itself, with every bend in the road revealing more tall mountains and glaciers, jewel green forests, and shimmering mountain lakes.

The Waterfowl Lakes along the Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada

The Waterfowl Lakes can be seen from the road as you drive!

Make unscheduled stops if you want to stretch your legs or savor the scenery at a particular spot. Admire the wildflowers that line the road, and watch for wildlife. And the scenery is different going south to north than it is going north to south, so you’ll be in bliss on the way up and on the way back!

If you are driving all the way to Jasper, don’t forget to stop at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre, the mighty Athabasca Falls, and the Sunwapta Falls. You can also do a one-way tour from Lake Louise to Jasper if you don’t have a car and wish to take in all the sights on the Icefield Parkway.

#2 Drive the Bow Valley Parkway

The Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park is the alternate route that connects the town of Banff with the village of Lake Louise, the Trans-Canada Highway being the main one. The Bow Valley Parkway is a short drive, about 30 miles or so, but very scenic.

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along this road, as sightings are common. There are no fences along this parkway, to keep wildlife off the road, as there are on the Trans-Canada Highway, so it’s a rare day that you see no animals at all. You will likely see black bear, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, coyote, or deer, especially early in the morning or at dusk.

There are numerous pullouts where you can stop to enjoy the scenery or take photos. And of course, there are some sights along the route where you must definitely stop! Going from Lake Louise to Banff, stop at these scenic spots:

Storm Mountain Lookout

A quick stop! Park for views of Storm Mountain, named for the stormy clouds that swirl about the peak of the mountain.

Castle Mountain Lookout

This is also a quick but scenic stop. Park and take fabulous photos of  Castle Mountain!

Castle Mountain, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Castle Mountain on a gorgeous day!

Johnston Canyon

One of the highlights of Banff National Park, Johnston Canyon is a must-do. It is hugely popular, so plan on arriving early to get a parking spot. The hike is about 6.6 miles out and back if you do the entire trail, and it’s unique for the catwalks attached to the limestone cliffs that allow you to go deep into the canyon.

You will first come upon the Lower Canyon Falls, then the Upper Canyon Falls, and finally, the Ink Pots, which are springs that bubble up from the ground. Return to the parking lot the way you came.

Johnston Canyon Alberta Canada

If you are short on time consider hiking just up to the Lower Canyon Falls and back, about 1.5 miles total.

Muleshoe Picnic Area

This pullout is about 3 miles from Banff. You can stop here for a picnic at a table overlooking the namesake lake. It is a famous birding area. Get out your binoculars or zoom lens, and look for osprey, gray jay, hummingbirds, or woodpeckers.

Morant’s Curve, just outside Lake Louise, is a must-stop spot along the Bow Valley Parkway, but it is best visited as a standalone activity.

SPECIAL EXPERIENCES

Stunning photo spots and wildlife sightings were some of the highlights of our stay in Lake Louise. You can take photos and watch for wildlife while enjoying other activities in the area, but I highly recommend investing some time to capture a photo of a train passing by Morant’s Curve, and doing a dedicated wildlife sighting excursion.

#3 Watch a train go by at Morant’s Curve

Located at the west end of the Bow Valley Parkway near the village of Lake Louise, Morant’s Curve is a must-visit scenic spot traversed by the Canadian Pacific Railway. This photo spot is named after Nicholas Morant. Morant was a photographer for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and his photos taken from this curve were used extensively on the company’s marketing material. When you get to Morant’s Curve, you’ll see why!

The spot is scenic as is, but when a red train comes around the bend, it looks stunning against the backdrop of the mountains and the river. The only downside is that there isn’t a timetable of trains I could find online. So you just have to go there and wait patiently. Or see if your hotel has information on the best times to see a train go by. We were fortunate in that when we arrived at Morant’s Curve in the late morning, a train came by (from the optimal direction, going eastwards) in just under 15 minutes.

Train at Morant's Curve, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

To get to Morant’s Curve from the village of Lake Louise, take the Bow Valley Parkway (AB1A E). Morant’s Curve comes up in just under four miles. It is difficult to find the spot going in this direction, unless you see people already waiting to take photos. There is no sign, so note the distance carefully. Coming from Banff along Bow Valley Parkway, it’s easier to see the pullout where the mountains, water, and rail tracks can all be seen along the curve, about 38 miles from Banff.

#4 Enjoy wildlife sightings

One of the most fun things to do in Banff National Park is watch for wildlife. You can be anywhere in the park and chance upon wildlife, so stay alert. During our visit, we saw black bear at several locations along the Icefields Parkway and at other places in the park.

Watching for wildlife is one of the most fun things to do in Lake Louise!

We saw grizzlies when riding the Lake Louise Gondola up the mountain. We saw elk numerous times, sometimes in herds, as well as bighorn sheep, mountain goats, pika and marmots. Fox, coyote, wolves, and cougars also live here.

Elk in Banff National Park Alberta Canada

An elk grazing by the road

If you love viewing wildlife, definitely consider a dedicated evening wildlife tour. We did one in Jasper National Park and loved it. We saw so many animals that evening: it was a hugely productive tour. Tours are offered in Banff National Park as well.

Be responsible when you chance upon wildlife and follow safety rules and guidelines issued by the park.

Pro Tip: Your best chance of seeing wildlife is early in the day or late in the evening.

#5 Enjoy a spa treatment

When considering what to do in Lake Louise, add in some spa time to your itinerary!

Both the Post Hotel & Spa and the Fairmont Chateau Hotel have lovely spas, and a luxurious relaxing treatment is just what you need after an active day out in the mountains!

The Post Hotel’s Temple Mountain Spa is lovely. They offer a range of therapies for both men and women. I loved the aromatherapy massage at the Temple Spa.

The Fairmont Chateau also has a host of treatments available, including a special foot treatment for hikers!

Advance bookings are suggested, especially for evening slots.

DAY TRIPS

Although there are plenty of activities at Lake Louise to keep you occupied for weeks, there are a couple of really amazing day trips you should add to your itinerary: a day trip to neighboring Yoho National Park in British Columbia, and a visit to the Columbia Icefields Discovery Centre.

#6 Do a day trip to Yoho National Park

A day trip to Yoho National Park from Lake Louise is easily doable and very worthwhile. Yoho National Park is part of the Canadian Rockies UNESCO World Heritage site, and small enough that you can see the major highlights in just one day. Yoho National Park is stunningly beautiful, just like Banff and Jasper, but it is less crowded and feels more like a true wilderness experience.

In one day in Yoho National Park, you can easily cover the top things to do: enjoy the beauty of Emerald Lake, view the amazing Natural Bridge over the Kicking Horse River, stroll the tiny town of Field, and get wet in the spray of Takakkaw Falls, the second tallest waterfall in Canada.

Emerald Lake looks jewel green, just like its namesake gem. You can take a boat or canoe out on to the water for an hour or two of complete bliss, or walk the shore trail that goes all around the lake.

Emerald Lake Yoho National Park British Columbia Canada

Doesn’t that lake look like gleaming emerald?

The Takakkaw Falls are magnificent, and so is the road leading up to the falls. This road tends to open later in the season than other surrounding areas, so call ahead to make sure you can access the falls if they are high on your list!

Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

#7 Do a day trip to the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre

Although the Columbia Icefield is a stop on the Icefields Parkway drive between Lake Louise and Jasper, it’s worthwhile doing a day trip to the icefield and the nearby area. We combined a hike of the Parker Ridge trail with the activities at the Columbia Icefield, for a day out from Lake Louise.

From Lake Louise, take the Icefields Parkway north towards Jasper. Stop at the Saskatchewan River Crossing for photos of the stunning scenery before continuing along to the Parker Ridge Trailhead a few miles north.

PARKER RIDGE TRAIL

The Parker Ridge Trail is a 3-mile out and back trail with an elevation gain of about 900 feet. It is an easy to moderate trail, depending on the conditions when you hike. Much of the elevation gain is at start, and then you will traverse a series of switchbacks before you start to see spectacular views of the valley and the Saskatchewan Glacier. Look for waterfalls along the way.

COLUMBIA ICEFIELDS DISCOVERY CENTRE

Continue along the Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefields Discovery Centre. There is ample parking at the visitor center, as well as restrooms, a restaurant, and a gift shop. We brought our lunch from Lake Louise, and had it in the picnic area outside.

Walk through the small museum to learn about the massive Columbia Icefield, which straddles the Banff and Jasper National Parks. Of the six glaciers fed by the icefield, the Athabasca Glacier is the one to which you can actually go.

A view of the Athabasca Glacier Alberta Canada

Looking out at the Athabasca Glacier from the Visitor Center

You can take one of two trails to reach the glacier by foot. You can also ride the Ice Explorer, a snocoach with special tires designed to travel over ice. We took the snocoach to the Athabasca Glacier, and I thought it was a fun ride.

A snocoach on its way to the Athabasca Glacier Alberta Canada

Once at the glacier, you can walk on the glacier and actually taste the glacier water. Whether you are doing the hike or the Glacier Adventure, allow about two hours for the activity.

Pro Tip: The snow/ice is blindingly white, so make sure to wear sunshades. Also, shoes with good grip and warm clothing are essential. Even in the summer, it’s pretty cold at the glacier.

GLACIER SKYWALK

From the Discovery Centre, take the shuttle to the Glacier Skywalk. Walk out onto the glass platform suspended high above the Sunwapta Valley for views of the surrounding glaciers. The platform has a glass bottom as well, and is situated more than 900 feet above the valley.

View from the Glacier Skywalk at the Columbia Icefields Discovery Centre in Alberta Canada

Panoramic view of the Sunwapta Valley and surrounding mountains

The Glacier Adventure and Skywalk have entrance fees. You can buy a combined ticket for the two attractions, if you plan to do both.

AREA ATTRACTIONS

Around the village of Lake Louise, there are several attractions you must visit, including the famous namesake lake. The village is tiny but good to stroll through and have a cup of coffee at the bakery.

#8 Ride the Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola

Take the sightseeing lift or gondola at Lake Louise to a viewpoint high up in the mountains. Once at the top, walk around and admire the 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and countryside below.

Lake Louise Gondola and Ski Lift Alberta Canada

The ride up to the top is special for another reason: it’s one of the places in Banff National Park where you have a very good chance of seeing grizzly bears roaming below. When we took the lift, we saw a mama grizzly with two cubs and several lone grizzlies on our way up and down. If you have a powerful zoom lens, you can get great photos.

Grizzly seen from the Lake Louise Gondola in Alberta Canada

A lone grizzly roaming below the chair lift

You can see other wildlife here as well: black bear, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose and more. Keep your eyes peeled and bring binoculars! In the summer, you will see lots of wildflowers here as well. It’s a beautiful ride up and down. At the top, take in the vistas, visit the Wildlife Interpretive Center, or try a short hike.

If you go: Lake Louise Gondola & Ski Resort, 1 Whitehorn Rd, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0, Canada

#9 Experience the magic of Lake Louise

Lake Louise is a stunning lake in Banff National Park that you cannot miss.It is the top sight in the area and the number one tourist attraction, so in season, it is very crowded. The setting is gorgeous and the color unreal, so it’s no wonder that everyone makes a beeline to the shore for photos as soon as they set eyes on it!

Because Lake Louise is hugely popular, to get some quiet time here, you have to sacrifice some morning sleep and arrive early. The turquoise lake looks magical and a little mysterious in the light of early morning, with the ring of mountains that surrounds it still dark.

Lake Louise Alberta Canada

Taking a canoe out on the water is another way to escape the crowds at the viewing area. In season, you may have a wait for a canoe, unless you try earlier in the day or later in the evening. But canoeing on the beautiful waters towards the Victoria Glacier is a must-do when you visit Lake Louise.

You can also visit late in the day for a quieter experience, after day trippers and tour buses have departed.

Try afternoon tea at the Fairmont Chateau Hotel overlooking Lake Louise. Reserve in advance! Sitting at a table overlooking the lake and the Victoria Glacier, sipping tea and enjoying pastries, is a pampering experience. For a more active tea experience, do the half-day hike to Lake Agnes Tea House from Lake Louise. Lake Agnes is stunning, and you can choose heartier fare, like soup or sandwiches, if you are hungry after your hike. For an easier walk at Lake Louise, do the walk along the shore, about 1.2 miles each way.

#10 Be awed by the setting of Moraine Lake

You can pretty much point your camera anywhere in Banff National Park and click, and be reasonably assured of getting a good photo. But even in this region of awesome photo ops, Moraine Lake is a top spot for photography.

Moraine Lake in Alberta, Canada

Nestled at the base of the ten towering peaks that form the Valley of the Ten Peaks, the blue-green waters of Moraine Lake make for a beautiful picture postcard. While it’s stunning any time of day, try photographing the lake at sunrise or sunset.

Moraine Lake’s picturesque canoe dock is a popular photography subject. And taking a canoe or a kayak out on the lake is great fun as well.

Canoe dock at Moraine Lake Alberta Canada

If you love hiking, check out the many trails in the vicinity of Moraine Lake. The Rockpile Trail, at 0.5 mile for the loop, is short and from the top you get spectacular views of the lake. This is the hike you must do if you only have the time for one hike.

Moraine Lake, Alberta Canada

Moraine Lake, viewed from the Rockpile

The Shoreline Trail is also beautiful. This out and back walk is about 2 miles long. The trail is forested, but affords frequent views of the turquoise water.

To get to Moraine Lake, take the picturesque Moraine Lake Road from the village of Lake Louise and drive about 10 miles. You’ll want to stop for photos of the ten peaks, but be careful if you get out of the car, because grizzly sightings are common along the road.

Pro Tip: Parking gets full really early at Moraine Lake. In season, arrive before 6 a.m. to get a parking spot.

HIKES

#11 Lake Agnes Teahouse Trail

Beginning at the Fairmont Chateau in Lake Louise, the Lake Agnes trail is a popular moderately difficult hike. The trail goes uphill through the forest. The total elevation gain is about 1,300 feet, and the out and back trail is about 4.5 miles in total.

At about the half-way point, at the switchback, look down for a wonderful view of Lake Louise. Keep going up and you should see the European-style teahouse. At the teahouse, you can choose from over 100 varieties of loose leaf tea, as well as coffee and hot chocolate. They also serve soup and sandwiches, and sweet treats. Remember to bring cash!

If you are up for more hiking, you can hike to the Little Beehive, 1.2 miles round trip, and to Big Beehive, 2 miles round trip, both higher up the mountain. From the Big Beehive, you get gorgeous views of Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau down below.

Allow about 3 hours for the hike to the teahouse and back, more if you plan to do the side trips to the Beehives or have tea at the teahouse. The teahouse is only open designated hours in season.

Pro Tip: This trail is extremely popular so get an early start if you like a little solitude. Also, be warned that the trail may have ice on it well into June and in early fall.

#12 Plain of Six Glaciers Trail

This trail leads to a teahouse as well! The trail is about 8.5 miles out and back, and is classed as moderately difficult. The trail follows the shore of Lake Louise for a while at the start. At the far end of the lake, you will see the milky blue creek that creates the lake.

The second half of the hike is mainly uphill, and particularly steep right towards the end , when you start climbing towards the teahouse. You have gorgeous views all along the way, looking back down towards the lake and up towards the glaciers. Look for wildlife, including squirrels, pika, mountain goats, and bear.

You can continue past the teahouse to the Abbott Pass Overlook for breathtaking views. On the way back, stop for a cup of tea and a bite to eat at the teahouse. The teahouse was built in the early part of the 20th century. Like at the Agnes Lake Teahouse, supplies are brought up the horse trail, or by staff hiking up for their shifts.

This is a trail where you can hear and see avalanches on the glaciers. You may be able to see and hear the ice crack from the veranda of the teahouse as well.

#13 Consolation Lakes Trail

An easy out and back trail that totals about 3.6 miles, the Consolation Lakes Trail starts at Moraine Lake. The trail goes past the Rockpile at Moraine Lake, a very popular spot for photos, before following Babel Creek towards Mount Babel.

The stunningly beautiful trail is rocky in places, and clearly defined path in others. You go through forests, past little ponds and mossy areas to an open rocky field at the foot of Mount Babel and Fay Glacier.

Because this trail is both easy and beautiful, it is very popular in season. Arrive very early in the day for a parking spot at Moraine Lake and fewer people on the trail.

#14 Bow River Loop

The Bow River Loop is a flat and easy walk. The gravel path loops around of the edge of the Bow River and is a little less than 4.5 miles in length. You can walk as much of the loop as you like and retrace your steps or do the full loop along the rushing waters.

The Bow River at Lake Louise Alberta Canada

View of the Bow River at Lake Louise

The Bow River starts at the Bow Glacier in the Wapta Icefield, and flows into the Hudson Bay. At Lake Louise and Banff, the river is easily accessed. Along the Bow River Loop trail, you will see pretty wildflowers in the spring and summer. Bridges afford great photo opportunities, and you can learn about the flora and fauna of the area if you pause to read the interpretive plaques along the way.

Wildflowers on the Bow River Trail Lake Louise Alberta Canada

Wildflowers along the Bow River in late June

#15 Fairview Lookout Trail

This is a short but uphill trail, about 0.6 mile each way. Start from the boathouse at Lake Louise and climb to the viewpoint to get fabulous views of Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau Hotel. It is classed as an easy trail, but may be moderate for some hikers because of the quick elevation gain.

This is a perfect hike if you are short on time but want to see the lake from above.

Lake Louise and the Fairmont Hotel Alberta Canada

If you plan to hike at Lake Louise

The hiking season generally begins in July and ends in the middle of September. Some hikes may be possible in the shoulder seasons. Of course, each year is different, and you should call the park for current conditions just prior to your trip.

Get familiar with the regulations and guidelines for the trails you plan to hike. For example, some trails require a minimum of four hikers in the party, because of the possibility of bears along the trail. Research and follow all park safety guidelines and regulations.

Area hotels may provide information on hikes and hiking programs for guests. You can also check in with the Tourist Information center in the village.

Getting to Lake Louise

The village of Lake Louise is part of Banff National Park. If you are flying into the area, you will fly into Calgary International Airport.

Rent a car at the airport and drive to Lake Louise via the Trans-Canada Highway (AB1 W). It takes about two hours in normal traffic, and the drive is scenic. You can also take a shuttle from Calgary Airport to your hotel in Lake Louise, or arrange a luxurious private transfer. However, a car is convenient to take in the attractions surrounding Lake Louise.

GETTING AROUND IN LAKE LOUISE

The village of Lake Louise is compact and you can walk everywhere. Parks Canada offers shuttles to Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and the Lake Louise Gondola. Consider using the shuttles to avoid the hassle of trying to find parking at these popular spots if you visit during the day.

To do scenic drives and day trips, and to explore outlying areas, a car is your best option. You can rent a car for the day in the village of Lake Louise. You can also rent bikes in the village.

WHERE TO STAY IN LAKE LOUISE

We stayed at the Post Hotel & Spa, a Relais & Chateau property. I absolutely loved our stay here. The hotel has a Swiss Chalet feel, and is located a short distance away from the crowded Lake Louise: it is therefore quiet and a blessed retreat for the mornings and evenings. We had a fireplace, and a fabulous view of the mountains. The Post Hotel is right by the Bow River, perfect for a late evening stroll. And the dining is world class.

The Post Hotel Lake Louise Alberta Canada

The Post Hotel, located by the Bow River

If you want to stay right by the lake, the Fairmont Chateau is a beautiful property. It is a large hotel, and has rooms overlooking the lake and the Victoria Glacier. The public areas and dining are nice as well.

And finally, to round out the list of the best Lake Louise hotels, Moraine Lake Lodge is another wonderful option, with views of the lake and rustic log furnishings. Guests have access to canoes and hiking programs. There is onsite dining.

WHERE TO EAT IN LAKE LOUISE

Post Hotel & Spa Dining Room offers quite possibly the best fine dining experience in Lake Louise. They have an extensive list of fine wines, and you can choose the tasting menu or dine à la carte. And they have a vegetarian menu, so as a vegetarian I had some amazing options as well.

Post Hotel’s casual eatery, the Outpost Pub is very good as well. I loved the quinoa burger I had here for lunch one day, and my husband pronounced his burger delicious as well.

The breakfast/brunch buffet at the Poppy Brasserie at the Fairmont Chateau is extensive, if you want to fuel up in preparation for an active day. Another great breakfast spot is Laggan’s Mountain Bakery.

We didn’t eat at the other Fairmont Chateau restaurants, but the Walliser Stube has great reviews on Trip Advisor.

WHEN TO VISIT LAKE LOUISE

Lake Louise is an year-round playground, with lots of things to do in every season. No matter when you visit, you will be bowled over by the beautiful scenery. In the spring, the bright green of new leaves on deciduous trees and the still snow covered mountain peaks make for stunning views. If you visit in the summer, you will see pretty wildflowers everywhere. But July and August are peak season in Lake Louise, and you will have to deal with crowds everywhere. In the fall, changing leaf colors and brilliant gold larch needles make hiking a pleasure. And in the winter, Lake Louise is truly a wonderland.

So when you choose to visit depends entirely on your interests. We visited in late June, when the lakes were fully thawed, the hiking trails were open, and wildflowers were in bloom. It was still not extremely busy, which was a boon.

My suggestion would be to visit in early summer, or very early fall, to be able to see the lakes when they are thawed and that beautiful blue-green color that almost looks unreal even when you see it in person.

HOW LONG TO SPEND IN LAKE LOUISE?

You could spend months in Lake Louise and not run out of things to do. We spent a week and felt that we enjoyed a good sampling of almost everything this beautiful area has to offer in the season we visited.

If you want to do a few scenic drives, spend time on the water at Lake Louise or Moraine Lake, and do a few of the hikes for which Lake Louise is famous, I would suggest at least five days. But if you have less time in Lake Louise, just enjoy the activities that appeal the most to you.

WHAT’S NEARBY?

If you have arrived in Lake Louise straight from Calgary, you have some wonderful choices on where to go next in the Canadian Rockies. Spend a few days in the fairy tale town of Banff and explore more of Banff National Park, and do day trips to adjoining Kootenay National Park and Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park. Mt. Assiniboine is called the “Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies.”

Or go north and spend a few days in the town of Jasper, from where you can enjoy Jasper National Park and perhaps do a day trip to Mt. Robson Provincial Park. Jasper National Park contains Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, the stuff of picture postcards. Mt. Robson is the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies and the visitor center is awash in wildflowers in the summer.

All these areas fall under the Canadian Rockies UNESCO World Heritage site, and all are stunningly beautiful.

So there you have it: my guide to the best things to do in Lake Louise. Have you been? What is your favorite memory from your visit? If you haven’t yet visited, start planning your trip to this astoundingly beautiful part of the world. I hope I have inspired you to add Lake Louise to your bucket list!

Recommended hard copy guides to take with you!

Moon Guide Canadian Rockies Including Banff and Jasper National Parks
Canadian Rockies Trail Guide

OTHER SCENIC PLACES TO VISIT

Nevada: One Day in Valley of Fire State Park
California: 10 Fun Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park
Canadian Rockies: The 5 Best Lakes in the Canadian Rockies You Must Visit!
California: Lakes of the Eastern Sierra
Italy: Driving the Amalfi Coast of Italy

MORE FUN DESTINATIONS TO EXPLORE

Poland: A Self-Guided Walking Tour of Old Town Gdansk
Norway: 10 Best Things to Do in Stavanger
Finland: One Day in Helsinki
Spain: The Best Things to Do in Seville
Germany: One Day in Rostock and Warnamunde
Canada: 10 Best Things to Do on Your First Visit to Vancouver

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From photography to hikes, and renting a canoe to scenic drives, you'll be spoiled for choice on what to do in and around Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. Check out my list of 15 fun things to do in Lake Louise!

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4 comments on “Things to Do in Lake Louise: 15 Amazing Activities for a Visit You’ll Never Forget!

  1. I’ve been to Lake Louise once and absolutely fell in love with this magical place, can’t wait to go back to this part of Canada! Your pictures, by the way, look stunning!

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