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Exploring the Magnificient Lake Louise

Canada (Rocky Mountains) . 2016 . Apr 22 - 24

This post is part of our Canadian Rockies Trip Report and Itinerary 2016. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here
“Let’s go canoeing on Lake Louise”, I told Tommy as we left the Columbia Icefield and headed towards Lake Louise.
When we reached the Fairmont Chauteau Lake Louise,  we discovered to our disappointment that it was impossible to do so, because the lake was still mostly frozen over.

If you happen to visit in summer, there is a boat house there on the left hand side of the backyard at the Fairmont Chauteau Lake Louise that rents out canoes.   In winter, the path leading to the boat house is mostly occupied by a thick layer of snow.  If you could get over there, the scenery is incredibly peaceful and beautiful.

At the side of the boat house is also another piece of incredible scenery.

Lake Louise in winter, has a permanent ethereal feel to it.  I've never been to heaven (obviously), but if I picture what heaven looks like, then this must be it.

On the right hand side of the backyard of the Fairmont Chauteau Lake Louise is where most of the hiking trails are.  One of the easiest hike is along the Lake Louise river bank, below where the forested areas are.   In summer, it is also possible to take other hiking trails along the higher altitudes.

Straight ahead is Mount Victoria and the imposing Victoria Glacier.  On the left is Mount Lefroy.

Avalanches are common at Mount Lefroy, and if you are lucky, you may just get to see some avalanche action while hiking on the opposite side of the bank.

The thick layer of ice that was Lake Louise.   At this time of the year, the ice had started to melt and it becomes unsafe to step on it.  Otherwise, I would have loved to walk on Lake Louise.

On the early morning after breakfast at the Poppy Brasserie, we took the easiest and shortest hiking trail from the Fairmont Chauteau Lake Louise - the Lakeshore trail which was a comfortable 2km walk one way on a clearly-defined walking path.

Besides the Lakeshore trail, there are another 3 trails of a higher difficulty level but which offers better view and more points of interest.    They were all unfortunately hindered by a thick layer of snow when we visited.

The Lake Agnes trail is 3.4km one way and the shortest of the 3 trails that climb above and beyond Lake Louise.  Branching uphill from the lakeshore trail just beyond the Fairmont Chauteau Lake Louise, the trail brings you to Mirror Lake and Lake Agnes.   Along the way, you can stop for tea at the Lake Agnes Teahouse, but they only open in the summer and early autumn.  Beyond Lake Agnes, the trails extend to even higher viewpoints atop the Big and Little Beehives which offers outstanding views of Lake Louise and the Bow Valley.

The Plain of the Six Glaciers is the longest of these trails at 6.6km one way.   It leads to the very foot of Mount Victoria’s east face.  This trail continues after the Lakeshore trail at the west end of the lake.  The Plain of Six Glaciers trail climbs upwards from there, transversing slopes and glacial moraines.

The Saddleback trail is 3.7km one way and leads to the meadows between Fairview and Saddle Mountains. It offers excellent views of Paradise Valley and the north face of Mount Temple.  The trail starts near the Lake Louise Boathouse.

At the start of the Lakeshore Trail.

Look out for forest wildlife along the trail!

Enjoy the outstanding views of Mounts Aberdeen and Lefroy.

About mid-way on the Lakeshore trail.  It’s always good to look back and see how far we had walked.

The trail may only be 2km long one way, but we stopped along the way for some photo-taking so it took some time to even get to the end of the trail which is at the end of the forested area.

Nearing the end of the Lakeshore Trail.

The Fairmont Chauteau Lake Louise nestled in the mountains looks like a castle standing guard over the lake.

At the end of the trail and looking back at the Fairmont Chauteau Lake Louise.

I suppose this was where the trail to The Plain of the Six Glaciers extends from the Lakeshore view, but the path was hindered by snow.

In fact, the path was so treacherous, it would be easy to slip and fall at any point.

The full view of Lake Louise from its west end.

Join us next as we continue on our journey towards Yoho National Park.

This post is part of our Canadian Rockies Trip Report and Itinerary 2016. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

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