Top Trailblazing Hikes in Lake Louise
Ask any outdoor enthusiast and they’ll agree–the natural beauty of Lake Louise is unlike any other. With sparkling crystal lakes, rich green forests and towering mountain peaks, the mountain trails of Lake Louise provide breathtaking scenery and endless adventure. For travelers looking for a once-in-a-lifetime mountainside experience, the trails on the doorstep of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise provide a remarkable backdrop for outdoor discovery.
Whether you’re searching for waterfalls, teahouses or challenging summits, Alberta’s Banff National Park has it all. Below are some of our favorite seasonal trails and hikes, as well as a recommended list of what to bring along on your trailblazing adventure.
What to Bring
No one likes being caught unprepared, especially when it comes to hiking. It’s important to have the right clothing, gear and accessories when you’re in the mountains, especially when roaming new terrain. Regardless of when you plan to visit, here are some of the essential items you’ll want to pack in your suitcase in preparation for your outdoor adventure.
Essential Packing List
- Water bottle or hydration pack
- Hiking shoes
- Water-resistant shorts or pants
- Water-resistant shirt
- Sports bra
- Water-resistant jacket (or fleece jacket, for colder months)
- Compass (electronic or otherwise)
- Portable first-aid kit
- Protein bars and other nutrient dense snacks
If you’re in a pinch or forgot an item or two in your luggage, take advantage of the Fairmont Fit program, which offers athleisure clothing for lounging or exercise. And when you’ve finished your day of hiking, make sure to kick back and relax in the plush Fairmont robes, available to every guest during their stay.
Warm Weather Trails
Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail:
This 9.4 mile/15.1 kilometer trail is perfect for spring, summer and fall hiking. This full-day journey starts on the shores of Lake Louise and routes hikers to a stunning glacial overlook in the Canadian Rockies. If you’re visiting in the summertime, book a guided tour to make the most of this spectacular trail and enjoy a well-deserved break at the scenic Tea House with fresh baked goods and a cup of their signature tea. Otherwise, follow the path through the glacial valley, lush forests, and rocky cliffs until you reach a high-enough vantage point to see the epic views of Mount Victoria.
Visitors in autumn must include a hike in Larch Valley on their travel itinerary. In September and October, this gorgeous trail explodes with golden hues of the Larch trees’ changing leaves. Allow at least four hours roundtrip for this stunning hike. If you make it all the way to the top of the 2.67 mile/4.3 kilometer trail, you’ll be rewarded with enchanting views of the Valley of Ten Peaks. Keep in mind that explorers during this time of year must travel in groups of four or more, since grizzly bears are known to inhabit the area.
Cory Pass – Mount Edith Circuit:
Advanced hikers visiting during the warmer months may want to check out the hike to Cory Pass, which offers unobstructed views of Mount Louis. This 8 mile/13 kilometer loop has challenging bouts, and will require some serious leg power, but the sweeping views at Cory Pass are one of the most rewarding and beloved in the park. Be sure to bring plenty of snacks and hydration along this difficult but stunning trail.
Johnston Canyon Ice Walk:
This all-season trail attracts visitors year-round, but is particularly stunning during winter when snow and ice transform the canyon into a winter wonderland. With frozen waterfalls, snow-covered forest, and an icicle-abundant canyon, the Johnston Canyon Ice Walk is easily one of the most treasured winter activities in the area. If you prefer a guided tour, you can schedule an excursion through the hotel. Alternatively, if you plan to explore the frozen paradise solo, make sure to bring ice cleats to strap onto your winter boots for extra traction.
The topography of Lake Louise provides exquisite grounds for fans of snowshoeing. Whether you’ve been partaking in this ancient mode of travel for years, or its your first time exploring this beloved winter sport, the mountain guides provided by Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise will ensure that your snowy adventure into the forest is a magical one. Choose between a three hour excursion by day, or a two hour night owl excursion, and prepare to experience the snow in a whole new light.
Idyllic rivers, breathtaking waterfalls, snow-capped peaks, and alpine meadows make the wilderness surrounding Lake Louise a popular bucket-list destination with hikers from all around the world. Whether you’re planning a low-elevation stroll or a strenuous trek up the mountain, the trails surrounding Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise are guaranteed to hit the mark when it comes to magnificent mountainside adventure.
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