Lake Louise Canada
Almost everyone we know who’d been to the Canadian Rockies insisted we had to go to Lake Moraine instead of, or as well as Lake Louise.
Sadly, there was no space to park our RV when we got to Lake Morraine, so it’s on the to do list for another trip.
And we weren’t disappointed about our trip to Lake Louise.
It has that signature aqua blue green water that appears throughout the Canadian Rockies. The lake is perfectly still, with the occasional ripple from people (like me) sticking their fingers in to test the water temperature, and the canoes on the far side of the lake.
The vibrant colour of the water comes from rock flour carried into the lake by snow-melt water from the glaciers above Lake Louise. Rock flour is fine-grained, silt sized particles of rock created by glacial erosion and turning water a cloudy and often iridescent blue colour.
Our trip was at the end of Summer, so it meant that there was only snow at the peaks of the surrounding summits, but the fantastic glaciers are still visible. Glaciers form when snow stays in the same area for all of the year, and enough snow gathers, turning into ice. The layers of snow compress each year, and it re-crystalises, leaving grains that are similar in size and shape to sugar.
The lake was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, who was the daughter of Queen Victoria and the wife of the Marquis of Lorne, the Govern General of Canada from 1878 to 1883.
And the entire place still smacks of British culture. Many of the tourists are British, and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise overlooking the lake is replete with British décor and accents. The Fairmont is one of Canada’s grand railway hotels, and was built in the early 20th century by Canada Pacific Railway.
We dropped into the Fairmont’s little café for lunch. North Nomad had a hot dog, and I had veggies and hummus. Neither particularly British!
The line was intense. We waited a good 20 minutes for these snacks, so I would recommend trying to miss 12.30pm as everyone had flocked to the café around this time.
There is a large variety of walking trails you can do at Lake Louise. There is the walk around the lake, which is best suited to those with limited mobility.
There’s also access to Moraine Lake and Lake Agnes from Lake Louise. And there are trails to Fairview Mountain, with an elevation of 9,0003 feet, and to Saddleback Pass, Mirror Lake, Big Beehive, Little Beehive, Devils Thumb, Mount Whyte, and Moutn Niblock.
North Nomad and I undertook the Mirror Lake and Lake Agnes hikes. Whilst described by the tourism information as “moderate” hikes, I suffered through them like I’d never suffered through a hard or “experienced” level hike in NSW Blue Mountain’s area.
Later on, I googled my symptoms and they matched up with altitude sickness, which is a wee bit embarrassing – another story for another time!
We’d love to visit on another occasion when we have more than just half a day to pack in a hike. The area also offers mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, and horse riding, with ice-fishing and ice skating popular in winter.
What’s the bluest water you’ve ever seen?
Location: beside the Trans-Canada Highway, 180 km (110 mi) west of Calgary.
You can connect with South Nomad, Jessica, over at Google+.