Welcome to Lake Louise

Here you will find all of the necessary information to make the best of your time in Lake Louise. From arrival and departure information, restaurant and sightseeing recommendations as well as general information about the location.


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About Lake Louise, Alberta

Originally settled in 1884 as a Canadian Pacific Railway construction camp, Lake Louise was known as Holt City and later Laggan until renamed in 1914 for the lake, which had been “discovered” in 1882 by guide Tom Wilson, who named it Emerald Lake. It was later renamed to honour Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria.  The lake, sitting at an elevation of 5,680 feet (1,731 metres), springs from Victoria Glacier on Mount Victoria, which rises above the western end of the lake.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel was originally built as a base for outdoor enthusiasts and alpinists over 100 years ago and serves today as a year-round luxury mountain resort.

Arrival Information:

All of our guests will have their arrival to Lake Louise organized by Canada Rail Vacations. Whether you arrive onboard the Rocky Mountaineer, by finishing a sightseeing tour from Banff or Jaspe or are being transferred from the Calgary airport/downtown, your driver will drop you at your hotel front entrance.

Lake Louise is a two-hour drive from Calgary which has the nearest International airport.

Departure Information:

All of our guests will have their departure from Lake Louise organized by Canada Rail Vacations. Whether you hop onboard the Rocky Mountaineer, start a tour to Banff or Jasper or have a transfer to the Calgary airport/downtown, your driver will safely drop you at your destination at the scheduled time.

Lake Louise is a two-hour drive from Calgary which has the nearest International airport.

Restaurant Recommendations:

Due to the idiosyncrasy of Lake Louise most dining options are within the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel and reservations are strongly recommended. These are some of them:

  • Fairview Bar & Restaurant ~ Elegant and vibrant dishes highlight everything from wild boar to Brant Lake wagyu, accompanied by a bounty of local produce, while distinctive cocktails and the comprehensive wine list round out your experience in the art deco–detailed space. Attire: smart casual
  • Walliser Stube ~ Choose from a tempting variety of classic Swiss, German and Alpine dishes influenced by regional styles, or experience our authentic Swiss Fondue. Attire: smart casual
  • Alpine Social ~ If you’re looking for hearty comfort food, you’ve found it. Its artisan, locally grown, alpine-inspired food and it tastes even better at 5,200 feet. Attire: casual

Sightseeing Recommendations:

Enjoy the panoramic splendour of the majestic Canadian Rockies in an open chair or gondola and thrill to the beauty of gleaming glaciers, alpine vistas, tranquil crystal lakes and really wild wildlife. Experience a relaxing 15-minute ride to a top elevation of 2088 meters (6850 feet). Explore the terrain at the top, and you will discover why this magical place is home to so many grizzly bears as you watch over one of the best bear habitats in Banff National Park and then view wildflowers and abundant plant life where two eco-regions meet. When you descend from the peak, your adventure at the award-winning Wildlife Interpretation Centre begins. Complimentary shuttle service from Lake Louise hotels is provided, and the travel time is 15 minutes to the Lake Louise Gondola.

The Mountain Lakes & Waterfalls tour will surround you with soaring mountains, stunning lakes and breathtaking waterfalls. This amazing excursion takes you to the most treasured spots in Banff and Yoho National Parks. Some of the highlights include crossing the Continental Divide, Takakkaw Falls, Kicking Horse Pass, Emerald Lake and the Natural Rock Bridge that spans across the Kicking Horse River. Explore the evolution of the land and discover how it has shaped the appearance of the natural wonders found in these spectacular mountain settings. This is Canada Rail Vacations standard tour that is booked for all of our guests travelling between Lake Louise and Banff between May and October.

Lake Louise Canoe Rentals ~ Enjoy the pristine glacial waters of Lake Louise paddling a traditional canoe. Canoe rentals are available at the boathouse, located on the west shore of the lake. Each canoe may be rented at an hourly rate and can hold either three adults or two adults and two small children under 55 pounds (25 kilograms) each.

Horseback Riding in Lake Louise ~ Experience the feel of the Wild West on horseback with nothing but breathtaking scenery for the entire ride.

Hiking: Right outside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise you will find the trailheads to many spectacular hikes from where to enjoy the majestic scenery this place boasts, from moderate to challenging here are a few of them:

  • The Plain of the Six Glaciers
  • Big Beehive
  • Lake Agnes and the Tea House
  • Mount Fairview
  • Mirror Lake