Content Produced in Partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Nestled in Banff National Park in the very heart of the Canadian Rockies is one of the most beautiful and most famous natural beauties of the world. Emerald green and stunning against the mountains during the warmer months or frozen over as a true winter wonderland in the winter months, Lake Louise is the type of place worth writing home about. With the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise as your base, you'll wake up to a new day fresh with bucket list adventures — and possibilities.
Get Out There
It's a setting fitting for a princess, so it's not surprising that it is indeed named after one. Originally named Emerald Lake, Lake Louise as we know it today was renamed in 1884 in honor of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the daughter of Queen Victoria. Located on protected land in Banff National Park, Lake Louise, which stretches 1.5 miles in length, is a treat no matter the season. Guided hiking and paddling experiences via the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise are two of the best ways to enjoy the area from every angle.
Johnston's Canyon, a Waterfall-Infused Fantasy
A popular day trip for many visitors to the area, Johnston's Canyon is a fairy wonderland with seven unique waterfalls. If you don't mind walking through tight spaces (in some spots, the walls reach nearly 100 feet up but the canyon narrows to around 20 feet wide), you can bear witness to the whimsical rock formations that have been etched by the running water. Winter brings a special icy blue touch to the canyon walls as the falls become spectacularly frozen in place. A guided tour is the best way to enjoy this area, especially in the winter months. Make sure to utilize Fairmont's Mountain Heritage program for transportation to the canyon, which is about a 35-minute drive from Lake Louise.
See the Great Divide
Water is certainly a big theme with this corner of Alberta, and the Great Divide is no exception. Not only does this divide separate Alberta and British Columbia, but the stream diverges to eventually spill into the two largest bodies of water on Earth: west to the Pacific and east to the Atlantic. The Great Divide Trail itself runs an expansive 700 miles from north to south across Canada, so any hiking around this phenomenon yields lovely mountain views — and plenty of Instagram-worthy moments.
See It From Above
The best way to take in all those stunning views? From above, of course. Though a ski lover's dream in the winter, the resort gondolas are a great way for warm weather visitors to get a bird's eye view of this fascinating landscape. You have two main options: the Lake Louise Gondola or the Banff Gondola. The Lake Louise ride lasts 14 minutes, taking you up along the rolling carpet of evergreens to Mount Whitehorn. From there, you can set off on one of several hikes accessible from Whitehorn, or simply breathe in the crisp air and take in the sights from your new favorite vantage point. The Banff ride takes you to Sulphur Mountain, where you can find panoramic sights from viewing decks and more hiking trails. On a clear day, you can feast your eyes on six different mountain ranges.
Make It a Winter Adventure
Consider the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise your one-stop-shop for all things winter sports. Elevate your afternoon hike by strapping on snow shoes or cross country skis like a local, tour snow valleys by snowmobile (backflips not included nor advised), skate across the frozen-over Lake Louise, and so much more in this snow-filled natural adventure park. Check out our full winter guide here.
How to Do It
More than 1.5 million people visit Lake Louise every year, and we think you should be one of them. By staying at one of the 552 guest rooms and suites at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, you'll have exclusive access to the best Banff National Park. In between bucket list worthy moments, you can dine at one of the Alpine-inspired restaurants, enjoy a specialty massage at the on-site spa and wellness center, or simply stop and take in the views from your window. No matter how you choose to spend your time in Lake Louise, one thing's for sure: it'll be the adventure of a lifetime.