Lake Louise, Alberta


From the Calgary airport up to Banff is about a two hour drive and on to Lake Louise is another forty minutes.  Lake Louise is what you see on nearly all travel posters of Canada:  A huge hotel in the foreground with a crystal lake surrounded by mountains and glaciers.  If you have a lot of money, stay at the Chateau Lake Louise.  If not, stay at the Paradise Lodge and Bungalows a half mile away.  You could easily spend a month hiking in this vicinity around Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Yoho National Park and Kootenay National Park.  One of my favorite hikes is to the Lake Agnes teahouse, the Big Beehive, the Plain of the Six Glaciers teahouse and back to the starting point at Lake Louise.  Parts of this 12 mile hike are strenuous, but the views are terrific and you can do it comfortably, with stops at both teahouses in eight hours or so.   Another great hike in this area is from Moraine Lake into the Valley of the Ten Peaks and up to Wenkchemna Pass.  Even in summer there is often a snow field to navigate to get to the pass and you can expect very strong winds when you reach the top.  But the views are well worth the effort of the hike.  Our hiking group, which tends to want to go to different places each year, will be returning to Lake Louise for the fourth time in 15 years this coming summer.