25 Best Things to do in Lake Louise, Alberta

rocky mountians, 25 best things to do in lake louise, alberta

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Lake Louise is a small mountain village situated within the magnificent Rocky Mountains. It’s surrounded by untouched wilderness and stunning landscapes and has all the ingredients for a bucket-list place to visit in Alberta. It’s no wonder that Lake Louise is one of my favorite places in all of Canada.

To be honest though, it can be hard to know exactly what to do in Lake Louise. Before arriving, I was a little confused as to what the main attractions are, and, on my first visit, only walked the foreshore.

What a waste!

Luckily though, I moved close to the Rocky Mountains in 2020 and have since revisited Lake Louise plenty more times. Each time ticking off all the best things to do in Lake Louise. From hikes to restaurants and all of the epic Lake Louise activities, I’ve pretty much done it all!

The best part though? In this blog, I’ll share exactly what I’ve discovered to be the best things to do in Lake Louise so you can decide what you want to do, and exactly how to do it!

Table Of Contents

    Lake Louise, Alberta FAQs

    rocky mountians, 25 best things to do in lake louise, alberta
    Is Lake Louise worth visiting?

    Yes! Lake Louise is one of the most breathtaking places in the Rocky Mountains and should be on everyone’s Canadian bucket list!

    Is the parking at Lake Louise free?

    Parking at Lake Louise is free only during specific times. From June until mid-October, you’ll be required to pay $12.25 per vehicle per day to park here (2022 updated fees.) The paid parking is in effect from 7 am until 7 pm daily. During the winter, parking is free.  

    How far is Banff from Lake Louise?

    Banff is only 57 kilometers from Lake Louise or a 40-minute drive.

    Why is the water at Lake Louise so blue?

    The water in Lake Louise gets its color from rock flour. As the glaciers above Lake Louise melt, fine particles of rock flour (which were created as the glacier crushed rock into a fine powder when forming) are released into the water. These fine particles reflect light and cause the water to appear blue!

    Things to do in Lake Louise

    1. Relax at the Lake Louise foreshore

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    The stunning Lake Louise!

    When it comes to enjoying Lake Louise, one of the easiest and most common ways is to enjoy the views are from the Lake Louise foreshore. Within minutes of arriving, you can have a coffee in hand and stare out at mountain peaks, glaciers, and the bluest lake you’ll ever see.

    The best part? This activity is for everyone! You can walk the front foreshore (which is paved for easy access) and read some of the information boards on the area while admiring the view. Be sure to snap lots of photos as this is one of the most breathtaking views in the Rockies!

    2. Hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House

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    Lake Agnes!

    My favorite hike in Lake Louise is the Lake Agnes Tea House trail. Starting right from the foreshore, the trail has you hiking high above Lake Louise where you can peer down and see parts of the lake from above.

    After, you continue on to an interestingly shaped mountain called the Bee Hive (let’s see if you can tell how it got its name!) Then, it’s on to the main attraction, Lake Agnes!

    Lake Agnes is a spectacular alpine lake surrounded by huge mountain peaks. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy some pretty spectacular views. Of course, you can also head over to Lake Agnes Tea House to enjoy tea, coffee, or a snack.

    The tea house is usually jam-packed so if you don’t want to wait in line, you’d best get going early in the day. However, even without buying something from the tea house, Lake Agnes is easily one of the best things to do in Lake Louise!

    Lake Agnes Tea House Trail is a 7.3-kilometer (4.5 miles) return track that climbs 400 meters in elevation. The trail is moderately difficult but not technical at all!

    3. Rent a canoe and explore Lake Louise

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    A canoe on Lake Louise! Check out the color of the water!

    When I think of iconic Canadian activities a few come to mind. However, one of the most relaxing and breathtaking is paddling an alpine lake in a Canadian Canoe. You can do this throughout Canada, but there aren’t many places as beautiful as Lake Louise to enjoy this activity.

    Canoe rentals at Lake Louise start from $115 CAD for half an hour or $125 for a full hour. Personally, I think a full hour is needed to explore Lake Louise in a canoe and paddle to the far end of the lake. From there you’ll get a whole new vantage point to enjoy this magical place. Plus, you’ll likely get some great snaps!

    Canoes can be rented right from the foreshore at the shed on the lake. Bookings are not required but get there early to secure a time!

    4. Visit Moraine Lake

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    If you get amazing weather you’re in for a real treat!

    Is there a lake more beautiful and spectacular than Lake Louise? In my opinion, there is, and it’s Moraine Lake!

    Moraine Lake is located only a short 15-minute drive from Lake Louise and is a must-visit for anyone heading to the Rocky Mountains. This alpine lake might just be the only lake with more color than Lake Louise, and the best part? Its backdrop is the famous 10 Peaks!

    These huge mountains tower above the lake providing the ultimate view that’s now famous all around the world.

    When you get to Moraine Lake there’s plenty to do and places to explore. Below, I’ve mentioned two of my favorite hikes at Moraine Lake, but other things to do including visiting the Rock Pile (for that famous view) or walking the Lakeshore Trail for a nice leisurely stroll.

    Regardless of what you do, Moraine Lake lives up to its reputation as Canada’s most beautiful lake!

    Important: Read about parking at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. This is very important before going in order to avoid missing out completely. It is also important to note that Moraine Lake Road is only open to vehicle traffic from the end of May until mid-October (depending on weather conditions.)

    5. Hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House

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    Views along the trail!

    Lake Agnes Tea House isn’t the only tea house in the mountains around Lake Louise. In fact, the Plain of Six Glaciers is not only another great tea house to visit but it also only attracts a fraction of the people.

    This, along with the tea house’s more remote and rugged location, makes it the perfect option for those who like to get off-the-beaten-path and into the wilderness.

    From Lake Louise, it’s a 5.3-kilometer (3.3-mile) hike one way to the tea house with a 400-meter elevation gain. The trail takes around 4 hours to complete if you hike up and back down the way you came.

    For those who love to hike, you can actually join the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House hike with the Lake Agnes Tea House Trail. This track is a 14.6-kilometer loop taking around 6 hours to complete with stops. It’s an epic trail that visits two beautiful tea houses in Lake Louise!

    6. Drive the Icefields Parkway

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    This is seriously the most beautiful highway in the world!

    The Icefields Parkway is known as one of the most scenic highways in Canada. In my opinion, it deserves that title.

    The highway starts in Lake Louise and finishes in Jasper to the north driving through the heart of the Canadian Rockies – easily one of the best road trips in Alberta. Along the way, it passes so many beautiful viewpoints, hikes, and natural attractions. Honestly, there are so many highlights you’d need a few days to see them all.

    However, for those with little time, you can see some of the highlights of the Icefields Parkway in a day. In fact, from Lake Louise, you can visit the Bow Lake Viewpoint, Crowfoot Glacier, Peyto Lake, and even Athabasca Glacier. After, you can drive back to Lake Louise or continue on to Jasper.

    I’ve been lucky enough to drive from Jasper to Banff on this highway a few times and came up with the perfect 1 day Icefields Parkway Itinerary that visits 15 amazing places along this spectacular stretch of highway!

    Related Read: If you’re heading to Jasper, check out all of the amazing things to do in Jasper! Even in winter, there are lots of fun things to do in Jasper!

    7. Lake Louise Lakefront Trail

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    This point of view is pretty spectacular!

    The views from the Lake Louise foreshore are spectacular, but that is only one point of view. For another, head out on the Lake Louise Lakefront Trail and hike to the far end of the lake. From here, you can look back and enjoy a view of Lake Louise many don’t get to see.

    The Lakefront Trail is super easy and flat! From the foreshore, it’s a 4 kilometer (2.5-mile) out and back hike and takes around an hour to complete. As I said, it’s flat and super easy!

    The Lake Louise Lakefront Trail is actually the start of the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House hike, so if you’re planning on doing that trail you’ll get to do both.

    8. Stay at the Fairmont Château Lake Louise

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    The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel – a gorgeous place to visit near Banff! Photo Credit – Banff & Lake Louise Tourism Paul Zizka Photography

    What’s the one thing I haven’t done on this list but really want to? Stay at the Fairmont Château Lake Louise! Our budget never includes money for super fancy hotels, which kind of sucks! However, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this once in a lifetime hotel.

    In fact, for those on a short trip, I’d say go for it and spoil yourself a little!

    The Fairmont Château Lake Louise is arguably the nicest hotel in Banff National Park only rivaled by its sister hotel Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff town. But if the location is everything, then Fairmont Château Lake Louise takes the cake.

    From your room, you can stare out at the stunning Lake Louise and have all the amazing things to do at Lake Louise at your doorstep. No worries about parking (which is a nightmare and I mention that below), and you can enjoy Lake Louise at every time of the day (including at night when the stars are amazing!)

    If you can afford the $500 + a night, why not stay in paradise!

    9. Day trip to Banff

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    You don’t even have to leave the main street of Banff to get a great views!

    If you decided to stay in Lake Louise (which I highly recommend as there are a ton of awesome things to do in Lake Louise) then you should at the very least make a day trip to Banff.

    Banff is a bustling mountain town, something Lake Louise isn’t. And although many of the best things to do in Banff are actually out of town and include many of the places closest to Lake Louise, Banff town is still a great place to enjoy and explore.

    Some of the coolest things to do in Banff town include visiting Vermilion Lakes, getting a beer at the brewery in Banff, taking the gondola up Sulphur Mountain, and relaxing in the Banff Upper Hot Springs.

    If you’re on a Canadian road trip then I highly suggest spending a few nights in Banff and a few nights in Lake Louise. Although they’re close, there’s so much to do in each town that it pays to stay in both!

    Related Read: If you’re spending a couple of nights in Banff, then check out our recommendations on the best hotels in Banff!

    10. Ride the Lake Louise sightseeing gondola

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    Even in the summer, the Lake Louise ski resort is a must visit!

    Lake Louise is one of the most popular ski fields in Canada but that doesn’t mean you should limit visiting to the winter months. In fact, during summer, the chairlift opens up for sightseeing.

    Without hiking, you can head up into the mountains and enjoy some pretty spectacular scenery and also spot wildlife. In fact, Lake Louise ski hill is a very common area to spot grizzly bears in the summer months. So common that they actually fence the sightseeing area off to protect both the bears and visitors.

    Unfortunately the day we went we didn’t see any. With that said, it’s a regular occurrence and at any one time, there can be multiple bears within viewing distance.

    The sightseeing chairlift costs $37.95 CAD for adults and takes you up to a restaurant and a small museum. At the top, you can walk around (within the fenced area) and enjoy the views. Overall, it’s a great activity to do in Lake Louise during the summer!

    11. Hike the Larch Valley Trail

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    The Larch Valley Trail that starts from Moraine Lake

    Fall in Banff is a beautiful time of the year. One of the most breathtaking hikes you can do during that time is the Larch Valley Trail. This epic hike starts at Moraine Lake and finishes in the Larch Valley.

    In summer, the valley is filled with wildflowers, and in fall, an array of orange and yellow from the Larch trees. Although it’s most popular to hike the trail is fall, it’s a hike to add to your bucket-list any time of the year. In fact, I love the views of the famous Ten Peaks from the Larch Valley the most and guess what? You can see them all year round!

    The trail is easy to moderately difficult and it takes around 5 hours to complete the 8.6-kilometers (5.3 miles) with an elevation gain of 535 meters. There is an optional add-on to the trail up to Sentinel Pass that takes another hour. You can find this trail at the end of the Larch Valley.

    12. Go snowshoeing

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    Snowshoeing in Banff National Park during winter is a lot of fun!

    Visiting Lake Louise in winter is just as much fun as in summer. Although many places such as Moraine Lake are closed, you can still enjoy some pretty cool activities. One of the best is snowshoeing.

    You can rent snowshoes in Lake Louise at Wilson Mountain Sports and head off and explore some local trails. Rentals here start at only $10 for snowshoes which makes this an awesome cheap activity in Lake Louise.

    To find some trails check out Parks Canada’s winter hiking routes. They have recommendations both in and around Lake Louise and Banff National Park. However, a place I recommend is just around the lake in Lake Louise itself! The perimeter is 4 kilometers and makes for a fun winter hike!

    13. Hike to Consolation Lakes

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    Checking out the first lake on Consolation Lakes Trail.

    Consolation Lakes Trail is one of the easiest trails in the Lake Louise area. Unlike most on this list, it actually doesn’t involve climbing high into the mountains (which is a nice break for your legs!)

    The trail starts at the Moraine Lake parking lot and makes a very gradual climb to Consolation Lakes along a 2.9-kilometer (1.8-mile) trail. Although not the most spectacular hike, it can be completed in under 2 hours at a steady pace.

    Once at the lakes, you can simply admire the views and even keep an eye out for bears on the hillsides.

    14. Visit the historic train station for lunch

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    The food is amazing!

    You have to eat on your trip to Lake Louise so I couldn’t have a list of the best things to do without some great food stops. I’ve been to Lake Louise a few times and one place I love to go for lunch is the Station Restaurant.

    The restaurant is located at the old train station and is actually a heritage site you can walk around and explore – kids love it! However, what I really come for is the food and service.

    Every meal I’ve had here is delicious but my favorite is the beef stew (pictured above!) It’s thick, filled with rustic style veggies, and huge chunks of Alberta Beef. On top of that, the service is second to none so it’s always a pleasure.

    There aren’t many options for great places to eat in Lake Louise, but The Station is one!

    15. Skiing and snowboarding

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    Look at those views!

    One of the best things to do in Lake Louise is to hit the slopes and with Canada’s best ski field at your doorstep, you’d be crazy not to go.

    In the winter, Lake Louise Ski Resort is a hugely popular place to ski. It’s famous for being one of the largest ski resorts in Canada and after visiting for myself, I was blown away by just far the chairlifts take you up the mountain (spoiler, it’s much further than the ski hills I’m used to in New Zealand!)

    Although the ski field attracts large crowds, the sheer size of the ski field means you can always find some fresh powder or a unique backcountry run.

    Honestly, if you’re in Lake Louise in winter go check out Lake Louise Ski Resort.

    16. Go ice skating on Lake Louise

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    Ice skating in paradise

    Lake Louise is the color of the sky in summer and that color has made the lake famous. But in the winter, the cold temperatures completely freeze the lake over and it now becomes an ice-skating dream!

    This is one activity in Lake Louise that is completely free if you bring your own skates! But if not, you can rent them from the Fairmont Hotel. Rentals start at only $13 for children for half the day and they even supply a heated shelter to warm up in.

    Ice skating on Lake Louise usually opens in mid-December and is available until mid-April. Obviously this is dependent on the weather and how cold it is!

    Related Read: Ice skating at Lake Louise is one of the best free things to do in Banff National Park – find out what the others are!

    17. Have dinner and drinks at Bill Peyto’s Cafe

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    On a recent trip to Lake Louise, I stayed at the Hi Lake Louise Alpine Center (a great budget hotel option.) During that stay, I wanted to see what the hype was all about and decided to check out the onsite restaurant, Bill Peyto’s Cafe.

    As it turns out, this place is actually a local favorite and every night I stayed there it was packed both with visitors, the local police, and park rangers.

    After eating there for myself I can totally see why – the food is amazing!

    Bailey and I shared a burger and a pasta dish and loved them both! I was actually annoyed that we ate there on our last night in Lake Louise – I would have been there every night if I knew it was that good!

    I will warn you though, go early! This place literally has a line out the door some nights!

    18. Explore Johnston Canyon

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    Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park

    Visiting in summer? Winter? It doesn’t matter! Johnston Canyon can be explored at any time of the year. Each season offers a unique experience completely different from the other.

    In the summer, hiking through Johnston Canyon is about exploring waterfalls and enjoying the warm weather on a short but sweet hike.

    In the winter, the experience completely changes and it’s now a winter wonderland about frozen waterfalls, ice climbing, and snowshoeing.

    In both winter and summer, Johnston Canyon is completely free to explore. The canyon has a 2.7-kilometer (1.7-mile) boardwalk through the middle of it that leads to two waterfalls. You can choose to hike to the end or turn back at the first waterfall (1.7 kilometers in.)

    Regardless, Johnston Canyon is a must-visit!

    19. Enjoy a morning coffee and breakfast at the Trailhead Café

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    Morning coffee, check!

    Starting your day right is super important. For me, it always starts with a coffee and a bite to eat. There are two cafes in Lake Louise Village and my favorite is the Trailhead Café.

    There’s not much to say, but the coffee is delicious and the food is also. This place can get busy first thing in the morning but it’s worth the wait.

    Trust me, Trailhead is much better than the cafes up at Lake Louise or Moraine Lake, so get a coffee before you go!

    20. Enjoy drinks with a view 

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    A beer with a view is my favorite kind of beer. This is at the Lake Louise Village Grill.

    Lake Louise is simply stunning. The lake, the mountains, the glacier – just all-around amazing views! One of the best ways to enjoy this natural beauty is to check out some of the amazing restaurants and grab a drink!

    The Lake Louise Village Grill is a fun, laid-back pub to grab a burger and beer. It’s located right in town but has nice views of the surrounding mountains.

    Another more upscale option is to head to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, located right on the edge of the lake. They have multiple restaurants, including the Fairview Bar & Restaurant or the Lakeview Lounge, which have amazing views out over the lake and glacier.

    21. Go dog sledding

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    Dog sledding is so much fun!

    If you’re looking for a really unique way to get outdoors and enjoy nature, dog sledding is the way to do it! Kingmik Dog Sled Tours offers some pretty amazing once-in-a-lifetime adventures in Lake Louise. You can choose between a short 30-minute Narnia tour, or go for a 1.5-hour adventure!

    You’ll love this unique experience, taking in the sights and interacting with the amazing dogs!

    Prices are between $250-450 CAD/tour. And of course, this is a winter-only activity.

    22. Go on a sleigh ride

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    Riding in a horse-drawn sleigh is a fun Christmas activity in Banff or Lake Louise.

    Another unique experience to check out in Lake Louise is going on a Sleigh Ride! Brewster Adventures offers a fun sleigh ride experience where you can take a magical ride on a horse-drawn sleigh, cozied up under a blanket. It’s the perfect romantic date-night experience!

    There are both day and night-time sleigh rides, each with its own unique charm. The price for these rides is $45 CAD and takes about 45-60 minutes.

    23. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Old Tyme Candy Shoppe

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    The Candy Shop in Lake Louise is the perfect place to stop in for sweets!

    There’s nothing better than a good, old-fashioned candy store! Especially after a day of exploring, you might be looking for a little sweet treat! The Old Tyme Candy Shoppe is located in the Lake Louise Village and offers some of the most unique and nostalgic candies that you aren’t able to find anywhere!

    There is sweet and salty licorice from Holland, different British candies, homemade fudge, and a ton of childhood favorites. Make a stop here and stock up on some treats!

    24. Walk the Bow River Loop Trail

    Lake Louise is a great place to get outside and explore nature! A relatively easy hike to do is the Bow River Trail Loop, which is just 4km round-trip, covering 81m of elevation gain. The trail starts either at the Lake Louise train station or at the campground.

    It is a well-marked and maintained trail that is suitable for all ages. The trail travels right alongside the Bow River and you’ll love the beautiful views!

    25. Drive the Bow Valley Parkway

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    The stunning Morant’s Curve on the Bow Valley Parkway

    Scenic drives are one of my personal favorite activities. Sometimes, I don’t want to have to hike for epic views and instead want to just relax and take in the views from the comfort of my own car. The Bow Valley Parkway scenic drive is perfect for that.

    The Bow Valley Parkway is 48 kilometers long (30 miles) and runs parallel with Highway 1 (between Banff and Lake Louise.) It is the more “scenic route” with tons of viewpoints including Morant’s Curve and Castle Mountain.

    Johnston Canyon is also located on the Bow Valley Parkway and it’s definitely a place you’ll want to explore (remember #18 on this blog above).

    You can either drive the Bow Valley Parkway as a fun day trip from Lake Louise on its own, or, simply take this route on your way to Banff as opposed to Highway 1.

    Note: There will be some closures to vehicle traffic on sections of the Bow Valley Parkway this year (2022). From May 1-June 30 and then again from Sept 1-Sept 30 vehicles will NOT be able to drive the 17km stretch of road from the TransCanada-Highway junction to Johnston Canyon, it will be restricted to cyclists’ use only This is the eastern part of the road. You will still be able to access Johnston Canyon and the Bow Valley Parkway via the intersection near Castle Mountain Chalets.

    How to Get to Lake Louise

    Lake Louise is located close to a number of other popular destinations in Alberta. It’s a great place as a standalone destination or as part of a larger road trip. Here are some of the most common routes to get to Lake Louise:

    • From Banff: Banff is located about 55km southeast of Lake Louise and is a very popular destination, known for the quaint town centre and as a popular ski resort. There are lots of fun things to do and see in Banff too. To travel from Banff to Lake Louise, you can either take the Trans Canada Highway (direct route, about 40 minutes to drive) or the Bow Valley Parkway (twisty roads, and a longer journey). 
    • From Calgary: Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and is likely to be where international or out-of-province guests will fly into before travelling to the Rocky Mountains. It is a 180km drive west from Calgary to Lake Louise, which takes almost two hours to drive along the Trans Canada Highway.
    • From Jasper: The drive between Jasper and Lake Louise is called the Icefields Parkway and is one of the most scenic routes you’ll ever drive! It takes almost three hours to drive the 320km, but you will likely take longer to stop and get out to enjoy the scenery along the way. Many peaople stop in Lake Louise on this road as they drive from Jasper to Banff (or vice versa!)

    If you don’t have your own car or just prefer a guided tour, there are different options available. This half-day tour takes you between Banff and Lake Louise, stopping at both Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. It stops at viewpoints and provides a comfortable, smooth trip so you can just relax and enjoy the scenery!

    Parking at Lake Louise

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    The parking lot doesn’t take long to get full! Moraine Lake, Banff National Park

    One very important thing you need to know about visiting Lake Louise is the parking problem. To put it simply, you need to arrive early if you want to get a parking spot up at the lake.

    By early, I mean before 9 am! After that, it becomes almost impossible to snag a parking spot. In the late afternoon and evenings, it is also less busy and you should be able to get a spot.

    In the summer, parking is also paid. From June until mid-October, you’ll be required to pay $12.25 per vehicle per day to park here (2022 updated fees.) The paid parking is in effect from 7 am until 7 pm daily. During the winter, parking is free.

    Alternatively, you can plan in advance and ride the Park and Ride shuttle or take ROAM public transport. The Park and Ride MUST be booked in advance and it now departs from Lake Louise Ski Resort parking lot. ROAM pubic transit should also be booked in advance during the busy summer months.

    The same goes for Moraine Lake, however, it’s even worse! If you want to know more, check out our guide to parking at Moraine Lake – it’s a must-read before you go!

    Where to Stay in Lake Louise

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    A foggy morning at Lake Louise

    For budget travelers, the Hi Lake Louise Alpine Center is the best option in Lake Louise Village. The location is right in town, they have a shared kitchen, basic but comfortable rooms, and friendly staff.

    The Lake Louise Inn is still a budget option but a little fancier than the above hostel. The hotel features an indoor pool, onsite restaurant and bar, modern rooms, and even apartments for larger groups.

    For those with a bigger budget, you can’t look past the Fairmont Château Lake Louise. The hotel sits on the shoreline of Lake Louise with epic views in the most stunning of locations. I’ve added spending a night or two here to my personal bucket-list!

    Parks Canada Pass Quick Info

    If you plan on spending time in Canada’s national parks then you’re going to have to pay for a Parks Pass.

    Single Daily Admission:

    This type of pass is valid for one person for one day. It is ONLY the best value if you are traveling alone and only plan to visit a national park for one day.

    • Adult (ages 18-64) is $10.50 CAD
    • Senior (65+) is $9.00 CAD
    • Youth/Child (17 or younger) is FREE

    Group Daily Admission:

    If you’re traveling in a group or with family, you can buy a single-day admission for your entire vehicle (up to 7 people in one vehicle.)

    • $21.00 CAD gets your entire vehicle entry for one full day

    Parks Canada Discovery Pass

    The “Discovery Pass” is what Parks Canada calls their year-long (365 days from the purchase date), multi-park entry pass. This pass will give 365 days of access to all participating national parks in Canada. This includes the most popular parks like Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke and so much more.

    • Adult (age 18-64) – $72.25 CAD
    • Senior (64+) – $61.75 CAD
    • Group/Family (up to 7 people in one vehicle) – $145.25 CAD

    Hot Tip: Although more expensive upfront, if you plan on spending more than 7 days in different parks in Canada within a 12-month period, then the Discovery Pass is actually the better deal!

    Parks Canada Passes can be bought online here or at one of the Visitor Centers of booths at the entrance to many national parks.

    Where to Go Next

    As mentioned, Lake Louise needs to be part of any road-trip itinerary! While in the area, you can check out these other destinations:

    • Banff town: Located 58km away, Banff is an awesome little alpine town with lots to do. The quaint town offers great shopping and dining, and there are world-class ski hills and other outdoor activities all around. Banff is a popular honeymoon destination as well as a Christmas destination.  
    • Canmore: Located 81km away, Canmore is a great town for outdoor adventuring! It’s famous for the iconic mountain peaks, the Three Sisters. There are lots of fun things to do in Canmore including plenty of easy hikes.
    • Jasper: Located 233km away, Jasper is the place to check out some amazing and unique scenery like the frozen Maligne Canyon or the Columbia Icefield. Maligne Lake is a persoanl favorite spot in Jasper, but there are plenty of other attractions to check out too.
    • Icefields Parkway: This parkway is a scenic route between Jasper and Lake Louise. Take your time to explore the different points of interest including lakes, waterfalls, icefields, and the epic glacier skywalk! Check out our blog about the best stops on the Icefields Parkway.

    Renting a Car in Alberta

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    The Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park

    If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

    Car rental in Canada is relatively cheap especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website Rental Cars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

    Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada and using crown land and campsites you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

    Canada Travel Essentials

    rocky mountians, 25 best things to do in lake louise, alberta

    A windproof jacket and Buff will save you in the mountains!

    Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.

    Crampons: In winter crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect icy conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $29 and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!

    Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part though? It comes in pink!

    Bear bells: These are a must and for the price, you shouldn’t hike without them. The bear bells I use are only $12 and they come with a silencer (a must) so you can easily travel with them.

    Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.

    Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.

    Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.

    Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in hand so many times especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $27 and they serve my basic needs without any issues!

    Before you go…

    rocky mountians, 25 best things to do in lake louise, alberta

    Thanks for reading!

    Lake Louise is one of my favorite places in Canada both in winter and summer. Every chance I get, I tick off more and more things to do in this small mountain village in hopes to keep adding to this list of amazing things to do in Lake Louise!

    Thanks so much for reading! I hope this guide to Lake Louise has helped plan and inspire your upcoming trip. If you loved this blog then check out all our Canada Blogs or these related articles below!


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