While away winter with Louise
THE view from every window in Lake Louise is worthy of being captured, framed and hung as a masterpiece.
Famous for its iconic glacier-fed lake glistening bright hues of blue in the summer, Lake Louise becomes a secluded paradise for all types of travellers in winter.
A short distance out of Calgary you will find yourself surrounded by the snow-capped forests of Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park, and the seemingly neverending Canadian Rockies.
The humble village has a market, rental store, visitor’s centre, cafe, bar and bakery for its population of 1000.
The main road winds uphill to finish at the pinnacle of this tourist attraction, Lake Louise, a pure winter wonderland complete with ice castle and possibly the most scenic ice rink in the world.
The area offers endless activities from ice skating and hockey to cross country skiing, sleigh rides, tobogganing and hiking; a simple walk across the lake brings you to towering waterfalls frozen in time.
The nearby Moraine, Bow, Hector and Peyto lakes are the lesser known glacier lakes in Banff National Park but debatably just as spectacular amongst mighty mountain peaks.
Johnston Canyon is another must see, only 30 minutes away; hike through sheer canyon walls and view stunning frozen waterfalls, tunnels, and pools.
Most come for Lake Louise Ski Resort, voted Canada’s Best Ski Resort for three years running and attracting athletes from around the world for the annual Lake Louise Alpine World Cup.
The ski hill is not just for snowboarders and skiers. A trip on the sightseeing gondola costs between $17 and $30 and offers awe-inspiring views of Victoria Glacier.
The summer months, June to August, are the Park’s peak visiting times, which means in winter, November through April, visitors can enjoy the white oasis without hordes of tourists.
Banff and Lake Louise tourism spokesman Lukas Prochazka said advertising had increased Australian visitors.
He said summer attracted 90 per cent of yearly visitors, making Lake Louise a “hidden gem” in winter.
“There are a few reasons why people come to Lake Louise. Firstly the skiing and snowboarding is incredible; the views from the top of chairlift have remained unchanged for 100 years,” he said.
With such a variety of activities, no vacationer is left out in Lake Louise.
The comparative one-for-one Australian to Canadian dollar makes now a great time to plan a 2016/17 Canadian winter getaway.
Top: Frozen waterfalls at Lake Louise. Above: View from top of the gondola.
The castle on the Lake Louise ice skating rink.