Visiting Lake Louise Canada in the Summer
Lake Louise is a lovely lake and small village in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. It is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and the massive resort called Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. You will need to spend an arm plus part of a leg to stay there. A visit to Lake Louise Canada is worth a few days. There are numerous lakes to visit as well as hiking and icefields to see.
All my photos posted today are completely original, without any filters or adjustments, and from my simple point-and-shoot camera. I had issues with my fancy new camera so had to rely on my point and shoot and it did a decent job. Lake Louise Canada and its surrounding lakes are truly this beautiful: they need no editing.
What Lakes to See:
- Lake Louise obviously tops the list; it was named after Queen Victoria’s daughter. You can rent a canoe as well as hike around the lake. The emerald/blue colour is a result of the rock flour, which is fine powdery rock that has been crushed and ground by the glacier, carried into the lake by the melting of the Victoria Glacier
- Lake Moraine is a short drive from Lake Louise and a must-see. One can hike around the shoreline to the other end for great views of the lake and mountains (Valley of the Ten Peaks) or climb the rock pile for a startling view of the lake’s vibrant blue colour. You may also rent a boat here; it is open from June to early October
- Peyto Lake is probably my favourite of all these lakes – the colours were so bright and vibrant! Peyto is another glacier-fed lake so you once again get those great colours. It is a short drive from Lake Louise (around 35 minutes) on the Icefields Parkway. You have two options: park at bottom and walk up or park at the top (bus parking lot) and there it is. I parked at the bottom and hiked up. It does have a bit of a steep incline so if you have mobility issues, park at the top. You may also hike another 3 km to the Bow Summit Lookout from the Lake Peyto viewing platform. This is a nice stop either on your to or from the Columbia Icefield (more on that in an upcoming post)
- Bow Lake is not far from Lake Peyto. The turquoise blue water is the source of the Bow River and you can also view the Bow Glacier in the background
- Herbert Lake is a few miles from Lake Louise village. I recommend stopping here first thing in the morning to get that reflection on the water: I just love reflections off the water
Where to Stay:
- If you wish to splurge, the Fairmont Chateau overlooking Lake Louise is the place to stay. Remember, it’s a big hit to your pocketbook ($350++). Otherwise, there are a few other accommodations that are more affordable but they are a few miles from the Lake if you don’t mind. There are a couple hostels as well and there is always the option of staying overnight in Banff, which is about 45 minutes from Lake Louise. This all depends on your price range and whether you don’t mind staying a bit further away
- Other smaller hotels or resorts can be had for $150-300 – all depends how far in advance. Do not wait to the last-minute (I might have done that – ch-ching)
What You Need to Know:
- Lake Louise Canada is a short drive from Calgary: around 2 hours
- You are entering Banff National Park and are therefore required to pay an entrance fee. Daily fee ranges from $9.80 for adult to $4.90 for youth. You may also purchase an annual pass if you plan to enter the park numerous times in the season. For more info on park fees, visit Parks Canada
- Wear layers – the temperature can get quite cool even during the summer months
- If you’re driving, the parking lots get VERY full mid-day so if you can, go early. That is especially true for Lakes Louise and Moraine
Just a few tips for visiting the Lake Louise area: these are my top lakes to visit. Especially if you love the mountain backdrop (reminds me of my visit to Eagle’s Nest, Germany), Lake Louise Canada is for you. There are many other things to do such as visiting canyons, taking a gondola ride, etc but you cannot miss out on these lakes. Next up: visiting the Columbia Icefield. Stay tuned.
So have you visited Lake Louise? What are your favourite lakes??
When Vancouver was awarded the 2010 winter Olympics, the most important event to snag tickets to was the men’s hockey gold medal game. Everyone in Canada wanted that ticket: hockey gold was the only thing that mattered. Canada had recently won its first men’s Olympic gold in 2002 in fifty years but to win on home soil would be a great accomplishment. During planning my Vancouver Olympic adventure, the hockey gold medal game was on my mind. I set up three accounts for me, mom and dad. I submitted my main request on my account and the two gold medal games for the men and women on my parent’s account. I was hoping to hit one.
Getting Tickets for Hockey Gold
Ticket demand was so high for the Vancouver Olympics, a lottery was held for 120 of 170 events.
There was 140,000 requests alone for the men’s hockey gold medal game out of a possible of 4000 tickets in an arena that had about 13,000 tickets available. The rest went to the media or sponsors.
During the initial ticket request, you submitted your request plus an alternate for that day/time. I submitted about $7500 in my original ticket request. I ended up with only 10% of my original request. I did not know how many other opportunities there would be to buy tickets. For my most recent trip to the Sochi Olympics, I posted my tips for planning an Olympic spectator trip and how to get tickets.
During my original request, I was lucky enough that my mom won the lottery and received a ticket for the men’s hockey gold medal game.
During the next year, I was able to get tickets to the women’s hockey gold medal game to go with the men’s game. Leading up the Olympics, I was unsure if I would sell the ticket or gamble and hope Canada would make the final. I could probably have sold it for $5000 or more but I decided to hang in and wait. I could always sell during the games if Canada faltered.
Canada had a slow start at the Olympics, worrying the whole country. The media were particularly wrapped up in the “Canada has never won a gold medal on home soil” narrative while the rest of the country was not; we wanted medals but didn’t care that gold had never happened in 1988 Calgary nor 1976 Montreal. We knew it would happen. In the end, Canada would finish first on the medal count: gold medal count is the one that matters according to the IOC and most countries (except the US of course); Canada broke the record of total gold medals with 14 (Russia failed to break that number in Sochi).
I arrived in Vancouver during the second week. After attending a few events, I had grabbed a last-minute ticket to the men’s quarterfinal hockey game. Canada had a rough round-robin and had to beat a qualifier to make that game but I was pretty sure they’d take out the pesky Germans, which they did. They would face the Russians in the quarters, a match that should have been the final. The Russians are our hockey nemesis; sorry America, you are not. I wanted to beat Russia for gold!
Canada came out like a team on a mission against the Russians. It was complete domination; surprising considering the Russian lineup but Canada had just as much firepower and came out on top 7-3.
Canada played Slovakia in the semi-final. I did not get a ticket to that game (I had one for the other semi-final but sold it). I figured Canada would domination Slovakia easily and I’d be waiting for them in the gold medal game. Yeah that game was too close for comfort and Canada squeaked out a 3-2 victory. I made it back to my hotel to watch the end of the game as I was watching Canada choke in the women’s curling gold medal game.
My patience had FINALLY paid off: I would be attending the gold medal hockey game as Canada went for gold against the USA. USA had ridden their hot goalie Ryan Miller into the gold medal game, shocking pretty much everyone who didn’t think they stood a chance. Hot goaltending can shake up predictions!
Canada vs USA – Hockey Gold
I had the men’s hockey gold ticket for over a year. I resisted the urge to sell. I had planned to attend the game all along; I knew Canada had to make it. It was the only option. Of course, I would have sold the ticket in a heartbeat if Canada had succumb earlier but my persistence paid off. I had the hottest ticket in the land and soon, I would watch one of the most exciting hockey gold medal games , ever! It would be one of the most important hockey victories in Canadian history: I still place it behind Paul Henderson’s sweet goal against the Soviets in 1972 Summit Series but winning hockey gold on home soil is a pretty damn close second. I wasn’t even alive during the Summit Series and I still place that as number one!
I was in the lower bowl, behind the American net and near the suites. Mmm hey is that Vince Vaughn? Get your tissues ready Vince, you will need them soon!! I was sitting beside an American couple who were great. We had a great time watching the game together. They owned some football team (NFL) and I can’t remember which one. But great people though….
It was a tight game: Canada scored first and then second. It was a nice 2-0 lead midway through the second. But the US got on the board before the second period was over. The third period was nerve-wracking and of course, the Americans tied up the game with seconds to go. Overtime was needed and hopefully it would result in a victory. NO ONE wanted this to go to a shootout; North America hates international hockey rules like this. Let them play it out.
Canada has bad memories of shootouts: see 1994 gold medal game and 1998 semi-final. International hockey allows for a shootout after so many minutes of overtime. In North America, there is no way we’d allow a Stanley Cup final (or any game in the playoffs) determined by a shootout. Hopefully it would not come to that in Vancouver.
Of course it did not. From the drop of the puck in overtime, Canada turned it up and dominated. I had NO DOUBT they would score, and score they did seven minutes into overtime. Jarome Iginla passed to the best hockey player in the world, SIDNEY CROSBY and he put it home.
I cannot describe the utter joy of that moment: Canada winning on home soil. Hockey gold and I had held onto that ticket for over a year. I had planned this trip for seven years with this moment in mind the whole time and Canada was victorious!!
Over two-thirds of the country was watching and I was there in person. The country completely freaked out and I love it. There was a time that Canada was not an Olympic favourite in any sport: we didn’t hit double digits in the 1980s nor win very many gold medals. Each Olympics saw an improvement in medal totals: 0 gold in Calgary; 2 in Albertville; 6 in Nagano; 7 in Turin; 14 in Vancouver. Total medals keep rising each year: from 5 in Calgary to 26 in Vancouver.
I think we like hockey: check out Canada’s reactions to hockey gold!!
Hockey is our favourite sport and winning on home soil meant the world to every single Canadian. Of course, winning on Russian soil was pretty great as well. Too bad the Russians didn’t show up in Sochi. 🙂
What is your favourite Olympic sport?
I have been a spectator at the last three Olympic games but nothing can top attending your home Olympics. When Vancouver was bidding to host the 2010 Olympics games, I had decided I would do anything to attend the games if they won. Happily, their bid won the games and I started planning my first Olympic adventure: the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games.
Bidding Process: 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games
The final candidates: Vancouver, Canada; Pyeongchang, South Korea; and Salzburg, Austria. Voting was held on July 2, 2003 and would be a very close race. I was living in Winnipeg, Manitoba and watching the vote live. I thought it was a race between Salzburg and Vancouver. They had the two best bids but you know these bids can get quite political. The best candidate/bid does not always win (see Toronto for 2012 summer games) and this was not long after the Salt Lake bribery scandal.
Voting for the 2010 Olympic games included two rounds of voting. Salzburg was eliminated after the first round (my head almost exploded) and Vancouver finished second to Pyeongchang with 40 votes to their 51 votes. Vancouver cleaned up in the second round of voting and won by a vote of 56 to 53. What a close race!! The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games would be a great experience and after waiting for seven years, it was worth all the time I put into planning this trip.
I ended up moving to Edmonton, not long after Vancouver won their bid, for graduate school. I had a chance to move to Vancouver or Toronto but I chose Edmonton instead. I then spent the next seven years planning my Olympic trip. Since there was such a demand for tickets, a lottery would be assigned to the most in demand tickets (hello hockey) and I spent the next few months hoping for a win. I had submitted a ticket request for the entire Olympics but was not allocated my entire request; only receiving 10% of my original request. Thankfully there would be more opportunities to purchase tickets as more were released several times and they put up a reselling website.
Planning the Vancouver Olympic Games Trip
I posted about planning your Olympic spectator trip adventure for Sochi, Russia 2014 trip of my dreams which include the Men’s Figure Skating Sochi 2014 recently but used many of those tips for this trip as well. I had waited five years to submit my Olympic ticket request. I had just returned from Germany (Berlin travel tips) in October 2008 (including visiting Heidelberg, top travel tips) and was thankful the deadline had been pushed back a few weeks. I submitted by request and waited a few months to hear back. I also created accounts for my mom and dad (in case they wanted to go) and to give me a few more chances at the men’s hockey gold medal game.
I remember being at work and wondering what tickets I had been allocated. They charged the credit card before the emails were sent so I had no idea what tickets I received. I phoned my mom and she checked her card and a certain amount had been charged: I knew right at that moment it was my men’s hockey gold medal game. What a thrilling moment!!
I booked my hotel nine months before the Olympics and my airplane ticket about six months before the event. Vancouver had lots of hotels so that was not an issue as it was in Sochi.
Now I had to wait a year and a half until the Olympics, hoping that Canada would make the finals. Thankfully they did and I was rewarded for holding onto that gold medal ticket for over a year and a half. I also had tickets for the women’s gold medal hockey game as well as both curling gold medal games. Canada went three for four in the gold medal games. For the next few weeks, I will post about all the events I attended in Vancouver.