The Turquoise Splendor of Alberta’s Lake Louise

Aerial photo of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.
Aerial photo of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.
Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

In the heart of Alberta, Canada’s Banff National Park lies one of the world’s most photographed natural wonders. Shimmering at the base of Victoria Glacier, Lake Louise reflects the majestic beauty of the cliffs and landscape around it. With water so impossibly turquoise that it hardly seems real, the lake attracts over 15,000 people per day in the summer months.

Aptly named “Lake of the Little Fishes” by the Stoney Native American tribe in the 1800s, the lake is teeming with Bull Trout, Cutthroat Trout, and Mountain Whitefish. In 1882, the Stoney Natives introduced a railway worker named Tom Wilson to the lake, who dubbed it “Emerald Lake.” It finally got its current name in 1884 when it was christened “Lake Louise” after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848 – 1939), the daughter of Britain’s Queen Victoria.

The vivid blue-green water is created by rock flour, produced by the rocks of the glacier grinding under the water. The sunlight catches the silt and rock flour, resulting in the breathtaking turquoise hue that Lake Louise is known for.

Although the lake does not typically thaw until June, and snow is commonly known to fall at any time (including the summer months), Lake Louise is famous with visitors year-round. Canoeing is a popular pastime in the warmer months of the year, while ice skating draws large crowds in the cold months.

Canoe at Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Just up the path at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, visitors can take advantage of some of the best skiing Banff has to offer, along with a wildlife center, guided hikes, and a variety of dining options. There are plenty of hotels and resorts nearby, and even an onsite daycare center for younger visitors to enjoy while their parents hit Banff’s famed slopes.

No matter the season, Lake Louise is a captivating haven for outdoor enthusiasts, skiers, and photographers. Its natural beauty and thriving population of wildlife make it a destination to remember.