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Accidental_Tourist Sep 16th, 2010 07:52 AM

Help with quick trip to Lake Louise
At the last minute my husband has asked me to go along on a quick business trip to Canada. We are to land in Calgary, drive to Lake Louise, spend two days. I know absolutely nothing about Lake Louise - what to see, what to do. I have requested several travel books from the library but they won't be here for a couple of days.

If you could be so kind to advise me on hikes we might like to take, or definite things we should do, I would very much appreciate it. We are in our late 50's, in shape. Know any good websites about Lake Louise? Thanks so much.

BAK Sep 16th, 2010 08:06 AM


It can be cold and rainy in late September.

Anway, Lake Louise, the community, is a very small town. Big Hotel (Chateau Lake Louise) and some smaller hotels. And are you on your own duringtghe day?
Anyway, hotel will be able to arrange tours to various sights. I really like Peyto Lake and the Columbia Icefields.

Nearest town is Banff, and there will be easy hotel-arranged transport there. Lots of restaurants, interesting shops, a little museum.

All in all, two days worth of interesting things won't be hard to find.

Bring a camera

laverendrye Sep 16th, 2010 08:23 AM

Lake Louise is in Banff National Park. The official park website is a good place to start

You might get rain, but you might also get glorious sunny weather. The weather in the next few days is not looking great, but things could certainly change by the time you get there. Keep checking as the weather in the mountains can be quite changeable.

Accidental_Tourist Sep 16th, 2010 09:09 AM

No not on my own in Lake Louise. We have a full day Saturday and partial day Sunday to ourselves. So basically I need to figure out how to best spend our 1.5 days.

Yes, the weather could be cool. Looks like 53F during the day and 36F at night with 33% chance of rain. Last year when my husband was there it was beautiful weather with lovely fall colors.

Any suggestions for 1 full day and maybe 3/4 day (have to drive back to Calgary on Sunday). I will definitely look at the above sites. Thanks so much.

ShelliDawn Sep 16th, 2010 03:44 PM

When will you be there?

Accidental_Tourist Sep 16th, 2010 07:45 PM

Weekend after next.

ShelliDawn Sep 16th, 2010 08:00 PM

I'm still unclear which weekend you'll be coming, but it's either the 25/26 of Sept or the 2/3 of Oct.

In either case, that is the time of year when a lot of people hike the Larch Valley trail as the larches, a deciduous conifer, have turned yellow and the needles start to fall. It's a beautiful valley and if you've got the stamina to climb up to Sentinel Pass, there's a wonderful view. The trail starts at Moraine Lake which is on most people's "must see" list.

The Oct weekend may be a little on the late side since we've had such crappy/cold weather the last few weeks (leaves are starting to turn and even fall in Calgary already).

A warning though, this trail normally has a 4 person/group minimum this time of year because of bear activity. However, the trail is fairly busy and it shouldn't be hard to "join" another group if you don't have 4 people.

Accidental_Tourist Sep 16th, 2010 09:04 PM

Yes, last weekend in September.

I have been over on tripadvisor and viewed a lovely photo trip report. The writer/photographer went to Moraine Lake and it looked just lovely. I am thinking we should spend Saturday at Moraine Lake (fewer people) and then Sunday morning around Lake Louise.

Thanks Shelli. No, don't want to see a bear up close and personal!

jent103 Sep 20th, 2010 09:42 AM

Moraine Lake is gorgeous - absolutely go there. It's very close to Lake Louise, so no problem fitting it in.

A couple of possibilities for your full day (among loads of others):
- Hike at Lake Louise (we did the Plain of Six Glaciers, which I loved; Lake Agnes is also a popular one), then drive to Moraine Lake to view it (or do a hike at Moraine Lake instead - I'm not sure how long the hikes are around there, as we didn't have time)

- Drive to Columbia Icefields for the snowcoach tour, stopping along the Icefields Parkway for Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, etc. The glacier tour was one of my favorite things that we did on our trip. It does take awhile to get there, though - that would be a lot of time in the car this day.

On your partial day, it would be easy to go to Moraine Lake, Johnston Canyon, spend time in Banff itself (also convenient, as it's on the way back to Calgary), or drive up the Icefields Parkway just a little way to see Peyto Lake, etc.

LindainOhio Sep 20th, 2010 10:24 AM

When driving from Calgary to Lake Louise, we like to make a stop in Banff and eat at one of the many restaurants, stop in and see the Banff Springs Hotel. As mentioned before Lake Louise does not really have a town area. Just soem hotels and a few restaurants. Lake Louise is closer to the trails we enjoy hiking.

In Lake Louise, we really enjoyed staying in our little cabin at Paradise Lodge. It is in a great location( my husband jogged down to the lake) and they offer a very nice continental breakfast. It is right on the street but there is a beautiful view out behind the cottages.

At Lake Louise:
We have hiked the Plain of Six Glaciers and The Lake Agnes Tea House Trail--we have also combined them for one long hike. If I had one trail to do, I would probably choose the Lake Agnes Teahouse Trail. It is usually a very busy trail but you are going at a quiet time. It is windy and freezing up at the teahouse but the lake is so beautiful. The Larch Valley Trail is also a good suggestion.

Definitely drive to Moraine Lake --the road is right by Paradise Lodge--a short drive from Lake Louise. Consolation Lakes is s nice easy hike there--it's only about a mile and you end up at the lakes surrounded by mountains. When you walk back to Moraine Lake be sure to walk up to the top of the rockpile for another fabulous view of the lake.

In Lake Louise, we enjoyed a dinner at the Outpost, the casual restaurant at the Post Hotel. I see that the Post Hotel is $237/nt that weekend. It gets good reviews.

A place we love is Emerald Lake Lodge. It is $232/nt.that weekend. The setting of this lodge is spectacular. The rooms at that rate are in a fourplex cottage unit--2 rooms up and 2 rooms down--ask for an upstairs room. They are small but have a fireplace stoked for a fire and a balcony that looks out at the lake--I think it is very romantic. We enjoyed eating in the lodge dining room. Nice trail around the lake. It is about a half hour drive from Lake Louise but the drive is so beautiful we didn't mind.

It was too costly to stay there our last trip but we did drive out there after hiking at Moraine Lake, ate lunch, walked partway around the lake and then made a stop at Takakkaw Falls on our way back to Lake Louise.

The Icefields Parkway is spectacular but you have a short time and just can't do it all. You would enjoy the drive with a stop at Peyto Lake.

If the weather doesn't cooperate, drive into Banff. It will not be that busy while you are there. Johnston Canyon trail is also a good one to do if the weather is not clear.

Accidental_Tourist Sep 22nd, 2010 06:45 AM

Thanks Linda! That was very helpful. We planned on doing some hiking, bought hiking boots, but now I have hurt the side of my foot and the boot irritates it. I don't know if I will be able to wear them. I really need to wear my athletic shoes with some give but don't think the soles will make it on the rough terraine (from what I have seen of photos and video).

So, looks like there won't be much hiking for me. My parents walked to the Lake Agnes Tea House in their 70's in athletic shoes so perhaps I can too.

Thanks, too, for the hotel and restaurant suggestions. Too bad my husband already prepaid for our hotel. Next time!

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