Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Alberta, Canada

The last time I was at Lake Louise was in August 2002. At that time we were able to travel to various points of interest without any problem. Time has really changed. As we approached Lake Louise I knew something was very different. We were about 8 miles away when the “Lake Louise parking lots are full use shuttle parking at next exit” sign appeared. We were able to get to the campground without any problem but that was it. The day we arrived we drove from the campground to Lake Louise in the evening to get our first look at the lake. We were able to squeeze into the parking lot and walk to the lake. Thinking we were going to be back for dinner at The Fairmount Chateau Lake Louise the next day we did not take too many pictures. Well that changed. The restaurants at Chateau were booked solid every day we were there. We never had the chance to see the lake or the hotel again. I guess in time all good things come to an end.

I am getting ahead of myself. First let me talk about driving around south eastern Alberta. We pass through rolling hills of farm land with well manicured fields. The farms are very large and one of the crops we saw was really striking. It was a plant with very yellow flowers. As far as we could see in every direction were yellow fields of this crop. As we drove from Drumheller to Lake Louise I decided to take pictures of the fields.

As you drive west you get into the Rockies and the farm fields are replaced with huge mountains. It is summer and we see patches of snow in the taller mountains.


We did not know what the crop was but it was very striking. As we drove Terry asked me to stop the motorhome because she saw single plant growing right next to the road. It is interesting how we found out what the plant is. We had to drive from Lake Louise to Banff to attend mass. After mass we were talking with the priest and he mentioned that he was the son of a farmer and lived near Drumheller when he was growing up. I asked him about the crop. He said that the crop was either canola or mustard. (I thought canola was an Italian pastry!) After a quick look at the internet we found out that it is canola and that canola was developed by the Canadians. (canola is short for Canadian Oil)

Our Canola plant. The skinny green pods contain seeds.

Our site at Lake Louise. I pulled in backwards because I wanted to face the mountains.
The trees behind me blocked the view of the mountains in back.


The mountain on the left has a snow cap.
The first day we were here it was misty. The next day it was fantastic.


A view of the snow cap on a clear day.

The sites across the street are vacant and the new campers are not here yet. We walked through that site and then through the trees on the other side to a river with rushing green water. Terry notice a box on the ground and secured by cable to a tree. About that time a park ranger yelled to us and asked how we got here. I told him we followed a path from the campground. He said a mother Grisly Bear and her 1 year old are walking around this area and we should get back to our camper. He is in the process of blocking (putting red danger tape) all paths in the area. We asked him about the box on the ground.

There is a series of boxes like the one we found which are used in a GPS hiking game. Each person playing the game has a book and each page in the book has the GPS location of one of the boxes. When you find a box, you open it, take out the stamp which is in the box and stamp you book. The stamp in each box is different. The ranger stamped my hand.

The river flowing next to the campground.

This was the view of Lake Louise the evening we stopped at the Lake. It was sky overcast and the lake not as bright.
The Fairmount Chateau Lake Louise is right behind me.


This is what it looked like in 2002.

The Fairmount Chateau Lake Louise as seen in 2002. We missed it this 2018 trip.

We had to drive to the Lake Louise Village to mail birthday cards. After we mailed the cards I decided to head for Lake Louise. (Terry is in curlers and wearing flip-flops!) We were not dressed for hiking but I decided to see how far we would get before being turned back. On the way to Lake Louise you pass the road to Lake Moraine. That road was blocked because it's parking was full. As we approached Lake Louise we got turned around because parking was full. As we returned to the Lake Moraine turn off they allowed us to enter because someone left the parking lot (8 miles away). So we went to Lake Moraine.

Lake Moraine

We had a great parking spot. A very short walk to the lake. Everyone kept looking at us because how we were dressed.

Back to the 2018 Summer Travel Directory