Staying in Lake Louise

Jun 9th, 2001, 10:00 PM
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Staying in Lake Louise

Wow. This is a really great message board. A lot of friendly, informative posts. My wife and I are planning a trip to Lake Louise, Alberta next May (the 18th to the 27th). I basically have two questions:

1) Is this too early in the year? I'd wouldn't mind seeing some snow, but prefer to see a thawed out Lake Louise than a frozen one.

2) Is the Fairmont Lake Louise Chateau worth all the hype and money? I've booked a room there mainly because of the location. We're definitely not high-end type tourists, but we figured why not go all out on this trip.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Jun 10th, 2001, 08:11 AM
Island Girl
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Hi Mark,

You will probably want to expand your travel area and not just visit Lake Louise. You've got 9 days, so you'll be able to visit almost all the "hot spots" of the Cdn. Rockies National Parks, including Banff, Jasper, Columbia Icefields, and Yoho. Are you flying into Calgary, or driving to Lake Louise from somewhere?

I think the lake might still be frozen in May, but someone on here may correct me on that. Also, although I haven't stayed at either place, I've heard that Deer Lodge is nicer than the Chateau. Again, someone on this site will be able to give you first-hand experience.

Jun 10th, 2001, 03:11 PM
bob Brown
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By all means expand your strike zone to include much more than Lake Louise.
I have been there several times, but only stayed in Lake Louise Village twice. Think Icefields Parkway and other areas of Banff National Park.
Lake Louise is just highly hyped, and highly expensive dot on the big Banff map. The lake itself is beautiful, but the surrounding area in the summer is packed with tourists. Hopefully you will be ther before the big mobs arrive.
Jun 11th, 2001, 06:22 AM
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Hi Mark - I was in Lake Louise in early May a couple of years ago - there were a few patches of snow on some of the hiking trails but the lake was ice free.

Regarding staying at the Chateau - unless they guarantee a lake facing room I wouldn't bother (well, actually it's not my first choice anyway - if you want to splurge I'd stay at the Post Hotel, a couple of kilometres from the Lake.

Have a lovely trip!
Jun 11th, 2001, 07:18 AM
Posts: n/a
Mark, you are in for a fabulous views.
1. Bring fleece, the Lake may still have ice.
2. My two cents worth:- The Chateau would not be my choice. The Post Hotel is the place to stay for total comfort.(You only live once, go all the away once in a while, even if it is only for a few days.)Lake Louise Chateau is the place to go for a drink after you walk along the Lake.
3. Bob Brown has the best scoop on the area.
Have a great vacation.
Jun 11th, 2001, 07:50 AM
Bob Brown
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Thanks for the compliment, but my visits to Western Canada are limited to the summer. I never visited that lovely area in the early spring or fall. Ice on the lake, however, might be an enhancement.
I also would classify myself as a "budget traver", so I cannot comment on Chateau Lake Louise or the Post Hotel, except to say that the Post Hotel seems to be the pick of the litter in the opinions of people I have talked to.
By May 20th the hours of daylight will be long and there will be good opportunities to see all that area has to show.
I have no plans to visit Western Canada this year and I am starting to feel like I have been deprived of something I need. Austria better have a lot to offer if it is to compensate for my self denial of that part of North America.
Jun 11th, 2001, 09:35 PM
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I have always stayed at the Chateau on my trips to Lake Louise. It's a grand hotel...spectacular! Yes it is touristy because it is so magnificent in it's location. (You should be okay in May, though..just getting near high season??)The Post is very different from the Chateau; cozy and intimate and yes, I would have to agree with Bob that in my experience, people prefer the Post. Having said that, next time I go, I will most likely stay at the Chateau, just because of it's splendor and views..handy for hiking..has different's got more action. Unless your planning on just relaxing and laying low, doing a bit of hiking and sightseeing, I wouldn't stay in Lake Louise for the whole time. I would split my a couple of nights in Banff first (if you're flying into Calgary) then L.Louise...then up to Jasper for the beautiful drive. As far as snow goes..there is tonnes of snow on the mountains June. You will see snow, but the streets will be dry and the grass will be on its way to green. Have Fun!!
Jun 21st, 2001, 07:01 PM
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Thanks so much to all of you for your wonderful and insightful comments! It certainly has been helpful. Actually, while browsing the net I found the website for the Lake Moraine Lodge. The pictures simply blew me away. I'm seriously considering changing my reservations. Any comments you can provide about the lodge would be much appreciated.

I've taken your collective advice and will be splitting my time in the area, spending a couple of nights in Jasper, probably at the Lobstick Lodge. We definetly want to be able to take our time on this trip so staying in Jasper after a trip up the Icefields Parkway is a great idea.

Has anyone ever made the drive from St. Mary, Montana to Banff? We're planning on flying into Kalispell, spending a couple of days in St. Mary to explore Glacier National Park, and then taking a day to drive up to Banff. Is the run from St. Mary to Banff doable?

Thanks again for all your help!

Jun 21st, 2001, 10:30 PM
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If I remember right, Moraine Lake Lodge doesn't open until June, so if you're planning your trip for May, that won't work for you. But yes, it is beautiful!
Jun 23rd, 2001, 11:42 AM
Posts: n/a
St Mary to Banff is certainly doable. However, if you are planning on driving from Kalispell over the Logan Pass, through St. Mary to Banff, it would be probably a pretty tough day. There is accomodation in St. Mary but it would be cheaper to cross the border into Canada and stay in Waterton. Be sure to check out their web page and book a room because it gets quite full and is a very small town. You could drive then from Waterton to Pincher Creek onto Hwy 2 past Lundbreck. Right past Lundbreck take Hwy 22 to Calgary and from there to Banff. Not a really long drive but quite lovely with lots of different terrain such as the Livingstone Range and the Porcupine Hills. The Hwy 22 road goes through beautiful ranching country. If you choose that route be extremely careful on Hwy 22 and 22X (outside of Calgary) as there are a lot of accidents on that road (mostly caused by excessive speed). Have fun.

(Just read your post again and realized that you are staying in St. Mary - I should have read closer - sorry).

Jun 23rd, 2001, 08:03 PM
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Lake Louise will most likely still be frozen over in May. I was just out there on May 27th and the lake was still a solid block of ice at the Chateau end. It was starting to break-up down by Angel Glacier but it was a long long way from the spectacular blue lake you see in all the photographs.

I also agree with the other posters here regarding the Chateau. It is highly over rated (I shake my head everytime I see it makes the Conde Nast "top hotel list"). Do yourself a favour and stay down at the Post Hotel. If you feel you MUST stay at the Chateau then definately get a lake view room and have dinner at Deer Lodge (just down the hill from the Chateau) and at the Post (in Lake Louise townsite).
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