Lake Louise itself lies a few hundred metres above the Bow Valley floor. The lake is surrouned by several mountains, a glacier, and of course the Chateau
Lake Louise. There are several other hotels near the lake, and very fine dining can be had without having to drive down to the valley. From this perspective,
you also have a great view of the famous Lake Louise ski hill (which itself covers three mountains)across the valley.
Drive up the winding road from the town to stunning Chateau Lake Louise, which towers over the lake, but is in turn dwarfed by the surrounding mountains and glaciers. This 2.4 kilometre (1.5 mile) long lake, at 1,731 m (5,660 ft) is over 200 metres above the Bow River, is nestled between three stunning mountains: Mount Victoria (with the glacier), Mount St. Piran (on the right) and Fairview Mountain (on the left).
At 11,365 ft (3,464 m) overlooking Lake Louise, home to the Victoria Glacier, is easily the most-photographed peak in the Rockies.
Chateau Lake Louise
The Chateau was built in various versions over the past century. The current structure was built after the fire of 1924, and expanded in 1986 with the Glacier Wing. A visitor to the hotel was once told that the water is such a beautiful blue because "the hotel pulls the plug every night and completely repaints the bottom." The aqua color is really due to very fine rock flour from the glacial runoff in the Lake reflecting the sunlight. You can rent a canoe in summer or go horseback riding, or --in the winter--go skating on the lake.
This lake, near the top of Mt St Piran, is a 3.4 kilometre hike above Lake Louise and is named after Lady Agnes Macdonald, wife of the Canadian prime minister at the time the railroad was built. There is a teahouse by the lake (built in 1905) that is a popular stop for hikers enjoying the views of Bridal Veil Falls and the Devil's Thumb rock outcrop.
Lake Agnes Teahouse
A favourite activity is a hike up to the 1905 Lake Agnes Teahouse, taking you past a stunning view of two small lakes, a waterfall and of course, Lake Louise way below. The 3.4 kilometre hike takes about 1/2 day, and you climb about 300 metres (1000 feet), but are rewarded at the teahouse, which serves freshly baked muffins and cakes from ingredients hiked up the mountain.
Plain of Six Glaciers
This extension of the Lake Louise lakeside hiking trail has a summer tea house. Half a mile past there, you stand below 500 metres cliffs with icefalls, surrounded by six glaciers.
A short drive from the Lake Louise Road, to the south of the Lake takes you up to Morraine lake. This lake is at the southwest end of the Valley of Ten Peaks, nestled between four glaciers. The lake was formed by a rockslide that looked like glacial moraine to early visitors. From the lake, it's is a short hike to the Tower of Babel rock formation.
Click on "Hybrid" to view satellite image with map.