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Lake Louise, Alberta

by K Gordon Schultz

Deluxe Accommodations, Hiking, Rock Climbing and Canoeing: Lake Louise is For You

If you like to mix water sports with your hiking, cycling and other outdoor recreation, than Lake Louise, Alberta, is the place for you. About 61 kilometers northwest of Banff, it is also higher at 1,536 meters, or 5,039 feet. While Banff is the highest incorporated city in Canada, Lake Louise – which is much smaller – is the highest permanent settlement.

Compared to Banff, Lake Louise is nice and quiet and even more laid back, with only a few bars and restaurants to complement several excellent hotels, boutique hotels, and resorts like Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. This just makes it that much better to experience the natural beauty and pristine wilderness of the Canadian Rockies.

Known to the local Stoney Indians as Ho-run-num-nay, the “Lake of the Little Fishes,” Lake Louise lies in a valley close to some of the higher peaks in the Canadian Rockies as well. This makes it a popular with rock climbers and mountaineers; they’ve been coming here to bag peaks for more than a century. In fact one Philip Stanley Abbot earned the dubious distinction of being the first person to die in a climbing accident in North America when he fell during an attempt on nearby Mt. Lefroy in 1896.

Well known among photographers and painters, Lake Louse also offers plenty to see and do for those of us who aren’t mountaineers: there are plenty of short walks, day hikes, backpacking trips, or off-trail scrambles – then of course, there is the Lake itself! Victoria Glacier overlooks Lake Louise, which in summer is a lovely turquoise color: perfect for canoeing. In the winter the lake freezes over and you can ice skate or just marvel at the ice sculptures – natural and man made.

Lake Louise Area Map

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Lake Louise Monthly Average Weather

Month High (°C) Low (°C) Rain (mm) Snow (cm)
January -6.7 -20.9 0.1 52.9
February -2 -18.3 0 40.2
March 2.7 -13.5 2.3 33.2
April 7.5 -6.5 5.7 19.2
May 12.8 -1.6 35.9 6.4
June 16.7 2.2 53.5 0.3
July 20.1 3.9 57.3 0
August 19.9 3.2 54.3 0
September 14.5 -0.9 39.4 3.2
October 7.7 -5.6 15.2 20
November -1.8 -14 1.3 56.9
December -7.3 -20 0 71.6

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