There are a number of things to do in and immediately around Lake Louise. We arrived to the area in the morning and left the following day around lunch time to make the drive to Jasper. Due to the somewhat short duration, we were not able to accomplish everything on our list. Below, I will outline how we spent our time and considerations for your trip. The concierge at the Fairmont was wonderful in providing recommendations. We asked about everything from the best hike to whether we needed bear spray.
1. Visit the Fairmont Lake Louise. In my other post, you can read about my experience staying at the Fairmont. The property is iconic and so beautiful. I think that staying here is really a must if you are traveling to the area.
2. Take a canoe on Lake Louise. The Fairmont has a boathouse and if the weather is appropriate in summer time you can take a canoe out on the lake. This allows for some really wonderful views. If you are a platinum member with Accor, the boat rental is free and hotel guests can get suited up in a different place which expedites your wait time.
3. Take a hike. There are numerous hikes in the area. I did utilize the lonely planet book for Banff, Jasper, & Glacier national parks to read over all the hiking options. I narrowed down my search to a few hikes. After consulting with the concierge, we decided to hike the Plain of Six Glaciers. It is a rather long hike, so be prepared. A little over halfway there is the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. This was constructed in 1927! The weather wasn’t ideal during our hike, so it was nice to have a place to relax and take a break from the rain and drizzle. Also, they do have some portable restrooms just outside the teahouse. The views from the end were wonderful over Lake Louise. On a clear day, it would have been even more incredible. The cloudy sky, rain, and cold limited this for us. The concierge at the Fairmont can provide you with walking sticks for the hike and also bear spray dependent upon time of the year. I brought my hiking boots along for the trip, and I was glad that I did. If you have boots and plan on doing exploring, I would recommend bringing them along.
4. Take the shuttle to Lake Morraine. This was actually my favorite. Wow, this lake is utterly gorgeous. For me, I think this was the real winner. The Fairmont offers a shuttle service to and from Lake Morraine for a small fee. We reserved this the morning that we intended to visit. The road up to this lake is closed to thru traffic the majority of the day during the summer, so it is really essential to take the shuttle service. The parking lot just adjacent to the lake is rather small. Also, the road up to the lake is closed during colder weather from November to May. The color of this lake looks almost unbelievably fake in photos. It is a different shade of blue (so turquoise) than Lake Louise and the surrounding scenery really makes it special. There are several lookout points that you can easily walk up to for taking photos. These were the best views and breathtaking. You can also take the walking path around the lake as well. There is a gift shop in addition to a small shop for drinks and food.
5. Watch the sun rise over Lake Louise. I think this would be absolutely beautiful and I fully intended to partake. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy for us to enjoy this. I woke up prior to expected sunrise and watched from our window, but the cloud cover was just too thick.
Another option in the Lake Louise area is the funicular. Due to time limitations and fog in the mornings, we skipped this. In addition, we felt that our view from the Plain of Six Glaciers hike probably was very similar to that of the funicular. It is something to keep in mind.