The 10 Best Things to Do in Lake Louise in Summer
Planning on visiting Banff National Park during the warmer season? We’re here to help bulk up your itinerary with this list of incredible things to do in Lake Louise in summer! If you’ve never before here, you’ll see why Lake Louise is one of the most popular locations for anyone wanting to travel and explore Alberta. Located deep in the heart of the Rockies, from its picturesque blue glacier waters, to the summits with the most awe-inspiring views, there’s a reason why people flock from all over the world to visit this unique area. So whether you’re a local or distant visitor, our comprehensive list of things to do in Lake Louise has something for everyone (including a number of options that are completely free!). Check out our list below and start planning your summer trip now.
1. Take a Walk Around Lake Louise
Taking a stroll along the Lakeshore trail and viewing Lake Louise itself is a great place to start. It’s a hot spot for tourists but we promise that if you follow the trail to the right, past the Chateau Lake Louise you will be greeted with a stunning view out over the lake and to the mountain range on the other side. As you move further away from the crowd you can snag a bench and fully immerse yourself in the surroundings. On the lake, you can also spot the signature red canoes that dot the waters.
2. Rent a Stand Up Paddle Board
Who hasn’t want to try stand up paddle boarding or SUP? There are so many opportunities to try SUP on one of the many surrounding lakes or rivers (and a variety of local companies that offer rentals). Paddle out at dawn and take in the sun rising over the mountains while listening to loons singing across the lake or take an afternoon joy ride over some gentle rapids while taking in the mountain vistas. Both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are perfect spots to try SUP. Spend a summer day in the crystal waters of Lake Louise with Mount Victoria as your background or bob along on Moraine Lake as you’re surrounded by postcard views of the Valley of the Ten Peaks.
3. Canoe, Kayak or Try White Water Water Rafting
If you’re more of a thrill seeker you’ll love taking on the challenge found in raging rivers and rapids of Banff National Park. White water rafting, kayaking and canoeing remain one of the ultimate things do at Lake Louise in the summer. The Rocky Mountain rivers are chalked full of Class 2 to Class 4+ rapids, making them an adrenaline rush for the whole family to remember. Want to enjoy the rivers but a more relaxed pace? Try a float trip! It’s a fantastic choice for families with small children and seniors to looking to experience the more gentle side of Lake Louise in the summer. These trips allow you to lazily float down the river bend while a guide shares tidbits of local history, geography and wildlife.
4. Go Fishing for Trout
Maybe you want something a little more peaceful or want to try something a little bit different. How about fishing? Did you know that Banff National Park has some of most fish-filled waters in the world? Take a chance on some easy and reedy available fishing spot’s along the upper Bow River for some Lunker trout. You can purchase a fishing permit from any of the Parks Canada offices located throughout the national park.
6. Go for a Hike
Looking for more of a challenge and want to get as much bang for your buck as you possibly can? Why not try a hike near Lake Louise? How about combing; Boulder Pass, Ptargigan Lake, Packers Pass, the Skoki Lakes and Deception Pass all into one massive hike? Rated one of the top hikes in Lake Louise, the Skoki Lakes hike is an adventurous full day trip. Taking anywhere from 7-9 hours, this gorgeous 25.7km hike will test you but reward with breath taking, picture perfect vistas. We recommend this hike to our experienced hikers as it’s one of more difficult routes out there, but is definitely something to check off your bucket list of things do in Lake Louse over the summer.
Looking for something a little easier? Why not try Larch trail and Sentinel Pass. This route starts out at the crystal blue waters of Moraine Lake and leads you through a stunning forest of larch trees, which ends with a meadow that’s perfect for a post-hike snack. Just beyond that is Sentinel Pass, which offers amazing views of the larch valley below and Paradise Valley on the other side.
7. Ride the Gondola
Need a break from all that paddling, fishing, exploring and hiking? Head to the Lake Louise Ski Resort that’s across the valley and hitch a ride on the gondola. This incredibly popular summer activity allows you to have some major elevation gain while giving you time to relax and take it all in. It’s the perfect way for the whole family to reach the summit and take in the views of Lake Louise. Try spotting some wildlife on your ride and soak up the sunshine from inside the gondola.
8. Hit the Bike Trails
There are countless ways to enjoy biking throughout Lake Louise in the summer. Be it road cycling, mountain biking or just a simple cruise in the area, cycling is an amazing way to explore the park. Want to pass the local’s test? Try out the winding Bow Valley Highway that takes you from Lake Louise all the way down to the town of Banff (or vice versa). We highly recommend an early start for this one. Another iconic scenic route is the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93N) which offers a challenging but breathtaking ride.
Did you know that Banff National Park offers more than 190 kilometers in mountain biking trails alone? A classic route is the family friendly Bow River Loop. Starting at the Lake Louise Campground this easy ride takes you along the entire river bank.
Looking for more a challenging ride? Ross Lake trail begins behind the Chateau Lake Louise then leads you on a path into an alpine forest before taking you to a quaint lake nuzzled into a vast rock wall in Yoho National Park.
If you’re a mountain bike pro, the Moraine Lake Highline should also be on your list of things to do in Lake Louise this summer. Hailed as the best trail within the area, it will test even the most skilled riders. Those who take on the demanding climb are rewarded with a stunning views of the Valley of the Ten Peaks and Moraine Lake.
Just want to cruise? Rent a classic cruiser bike and head down to Vermilion Lakes for either your pick of a sunrise or sunset.
9. Wine & Dine
No trip to Lake Louise can be really be enjoyed without some great food. But wouldn’t be even better to have amazing food with a killer view? Lake Louise has restaurants with outlooks over lakes, mountains and valleys.
The Whitehorn Bistro at the Lake Louise Ski Resort offers spectacular views of Victoria Glacier, Lake Louise and even the valley below that stretches into British Columbia. With a menu fit for any adventurer and a variety of local beers to pair your meal with, it’s a solid choice for singles, couples and families alike.
Lakeview Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau offers an incredible view of the lake itself. Seasonally picked menus are available and you enjoy the vista from the patio during the summer months.
You can also try The Guide’s Pantry, which is the newest addition to the Chateau Lake Louise. More of a grab-and-go style deli, it offers everything from sandwiches and salads to snacks. It’s perfect to pick up on your way out on your daily choice of adventure.
Feeling those rustic mountain vibes? The Caribou Lounge is set in an original log teahouse. It also offers a vista of Victoria Glacier as your backdrop for either an afternoon tea or an evening dinner. They source game meat from their own ranch in the foothills for that traditional Rocky Mountain experience.
10. Go Horseback Riding
Another one to add to the bucket list of things to do in Lake Louise is horseback riding. This unique adventure is one of the more traditional ways of exploring Lake Louise. Banff National Parks has amazing horseback trails that showcase the majority of the most iconic locations in and around Lake Louise. Some of the most popular hikes and trails can also be accessed on horseback. In fact the Lake Agnes Tea House, the Plain of Six Glaciers and Highline Trail all have alternative routes for riders. You can even find full-day expeditions of Paradise Valley and the Giant Steps waterfall. There are also countless tours in the park, offering a family-friendly and more relaxed way to fully immerse yourself in Lake Louise.
Come Stay at Baker Creek
Looking for a place to stay on your next visit to the park? Check out Baker Creek Mountain Resort. We offer cozy and authentic log cabins far from the hustle and bustle of the city but close by to some of the very best things to do in Lake Louise during the summer months. Contact us today to book a room.