Founded in 1890 as Laggan Station, Lake Louise was once a wild outpost at the end of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Today this hamlet, lake and the nearby area offer some of the finest hiking, skiing and site-seeing in the world. Lake Louise and Moraine Lake usually melt by late May. Alpine hiking season begins in late June.
Location: 55 km west of Banff, Alberta, on the Trans-Canada Highway / #1 (map)
Getting around | When to go | Safety | Visitor Centre | Local Services
Trails and outdoor adventures | Attractions and guided tours | Live Webcam
July, August and September
If you are going to Lake Louise or Moraine Lake during the high season, allow extra time to reach your destination. Plan for delays and diversions between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. especially on weekends. Your safety is our priority.
Essential insider tips:
- Ride the Parks Canada Shuttle (free!) to the iconic lakeside viewpoint at Lake Louise on weekends between Canada Day on July 1 and Labour Day in early September, or to Moraine Lake on weekends between September 10 and 25. Privately operated shuttles may also be available (for a fee). Drop by the Visitor Centre for details.
- Arrive at Lake Louise before 9 a.m. and after 7 p.m. or at Moraine Lake before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m. to ensure parking. Hauling a trailer? Consider dropping it at the Overflow Lot 5.5 km east on the Trans-Canada Highway before you arrive.
- Stretch your legs and hike to Lake Louise via the Tramline Trail or the Louise Creek Trail. Please obey all bear warnings or closures.
- Diverted or delayed? Shop and dine in the village of Lake Louise or ride the Lake Louise Gondola and return after 5 p.m.
- A local or frequent visitor? Why not check out some of our hidden gems
Busiest weekends: Victoria Day (May); Canada Day (July 1); Heritage Day (August); Labour Day (September); Larch season (September weekends).
Limited parking is available at the lakes, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, so planning ahead is essential. Parking at other locations, including the village and the Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola is generally ample year round.
Weekends from July 1 to September 5, 2016 - A free public shuttle runs to the iconic viewpoint at Lake Louise. Pick up and drop off is from Lake Louise Overflow Camping, 5.5 km east of Lake Louise. Enjoy your trip!
Weekends from September 10 to 25, 2016 - A free public shuttle runs to the Moraine Lake area just in time for larch season. Pick up and drop off is from Lake Louise Overflow Camping, 5.5 km east of Lake Louise (map below). Ride and relax!
Shuttle Schedule to Moraine Lake (PDF 1.4 MB)
Privately-operated shuttles may also be available for a fee. Drop by the Visitor Centre for details.
Parks Canada is pleased to be working toward comprehensive public transit in the Lake Louise area.
When to go
Lake Louise and Moraine Lake usually melt by late May. Alpine hiking season begins in late June. Ski season begins in mid-November.
Lake Louise (year-round)
Village of Lake Louise (year-round)
Moraine Lake (mid-May to mid-Oct)
Summer Gondola (mid-May to mid-Oct)
Lake Louise Ski Area (Nov to May)
Locals know that Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are only the beginning!
Some of the Canadian Rockies most thrilling destinations are right on the doorstep. In the same amount of time it takes to reach Moraine Lake, locals and frequent visitors can travel to one of the tallest waterfalls in Canada, the turquoise headwaters of the Bow River, or hike to a wild glacial moonscape above Bow Lake.
Rediscover Lake Louise
Beautiful places nearby
Female grizzly bear #142 near Lake Louise. © Parks Canada / Alex Taylor
In Canada, national parks enjoy special protections that may differ from other protected places. Please know “what not to do” in a national park.
Walking, snowshoeing or tobogganing? You don’t need to venture far to be in avalanche terrain. November through June, not all sign-posted destinations are safe for travel. Choose your winter destination from a list of designated trails.
Avalanche zones at Lake Louise
The Lake Louise Visitor Centre offers information from both Parks Canada and Banff Lake Louise Tourism about the mountain national park and commercial accommodations and activities. It is located in the heart of the village of Lake Louise. Ample parking for vehicles and RVs is available in the village parking lot. A small grocery store, outdoor store, cafés, book store, post office and bank machine are also available here.
Lake Louise Visitor Centre
201 Village Rd, next to the Samson Mall
Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0
GPS: 51.426275, -116.179304
Hours of Operation
Services and amenities