Lake Louise, located in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, is a place of natural beauty and wonder that has drawn visitors from around the world for over a century. The turquoise-colored alpine lake is fed by glacier melt and surrounded by towering mountains and a hanging glacier, making it a breathtaking sight that never fails to impress.
Visitors to Lake Louise can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, canoeing, skiing, and climbing, among others. The lake’s brilliant blue color is due to the presence of rock flour in the glacier waters that refracts light, and its water level and color change based on temperature. The lake is frozen over for more than half of the year, making it a popular spot for ice skating in the winter months.
Lake Louise has a rich history, with the first accommodation on the lake, a small log cabin called the Chalet Lake Louise, being built in 1890 by Cornelius Van Horne, a Canadian Pacific Railway manager. Over the years, the hotel underwent several upgrades and expansions and is now known as the Fairmont Chateau, operating year-round and providing visitors with an excellent base to explore the area.
Mountaineering in North America is closely tied to Lake Louise and Banff National Park, with the first mountaineering death in North America occurring on Mount Lefroy in Banff National Park in 1897. Swiss mountaineers were hired to help with the safety of visitors, and over the years, they would have a significant impact on bringing skiing to the forefront in the Canadian Rockies.
Can you swim in Lake Louise?
Lake Louise, like many other lakes in the Rocky Mountains, has a water temperature that rarely exceeds 5C (41F), making it unsuitable for swimming, and instead, the Canada Day Celebrations on July 1st includes the Lake Louise Polar Bear Dip.
When is the best time to visit Lake Louise?
The best time to visit Lake Louise is in July and August, when the lake is at its most vibrant and colorful. However, the lake is almost always busy, especially during the summer and winter months, and visitors may need to arrive early or take advantage of shuttles to avoid the crowds. Paid parking is available at the lake, and visitors can bring their own personal watercraft if they can find a parking spot and launch in the crowds.
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