Family Friendly Fall Hikes- Lake Louise Shoreline

Category: General Information

The Lake Louise Shoreline –  4K return   Elevation gain- minimal

Stroller Friendly,  Benches along the trail,  Trail is primarily in the sun

The stroller-friendly trail starts from the paved pathway in front of the Fairmount Chateau Lake Louise just past the statue commemorating the Swiss Guides that were employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway hotels between 1899 and 1954.

A fatal climbing incident in 1896 on Mt. Lefroy precipitated the hiring of Swiss Guides by the Canadian Pacific Railway Hotels. These guides brought with them the knowledge and skills acquired from guiding and mountaineering in the Swiss Alps and they were very instrumental in leading many eager and wealthy hotel guests on climbs in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

The trail hugs the Lake Louise shoreline offering postcard views of the Chateau Lake Louise, the  Victoria Glacier,  and paddlers on the emerald colored waters of Lake Louise.

The paved pathway hugs the shoreline and eventually turns into a very hard packed dirt path.
The paved path turns into this hard-packed dirt trail, very manageable for wide-wheeled strollers and wheelchairs,  as it follows the shoreline back to the Plain of Six  Glaciers trailhead and eventually to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House.
Lake Louise Boat House.  You can rent an iconic red canoe and head out for a paddle on your own, or join one of the voyager canoe rides.
A view of Fairview Mountain and Willow Bushes in their fall foliage.

The Stoney Nakoda First Nations called this lake “The Lake of Little Fishes”. In 1882,  Tom Wilson was the first white man to see this lake and upon seeing the color of the lake, he called it Emerald Lake: changing native names to English names was customary, albeit wrong,  during the discovery and settlement of Canada in the 1880’s.  The name was soon changed to Lake Louise to honor Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise Caroline Alberta.

The emerald color of this lake and all glacier-fed mountain lakes is a result of rock flour: the glacier grinds and sands the rocks they scrape over ultimately creating a fine rock dust that floats on top of the water. This rock dust reflects the waves of green and blue light back to us causing the spectacular blue/green color of the lake.

The official  Lake Louise Shoreline Trial ends at this bridge and the Plain of Six Glaciers hike starts after this bridge.  The cliffs in the right of this picture are popular climbing routes in both the summer and winter, and it is very common to see climbers here at any time of the year.

pushing a stroller past this bridge is not recommended

The Lake Louise Shoreline trail also ends at the site of the Lake Louise delta. A Delta is a deposit of sediments accumulating at the mouth of a river.  In this case, the water is flowing from the Victoria Glacier meltwater which is full of Rock Flour that makes its way into Lake Louise.

Lake Louise Delta with meltwater from the Victoria Glacier.
The fine Rock Flour dust is making its way into the lake via this stream of water.

Your view on the way back along this trail is just as spectacular as it provides a full view of the Chateau Lake Louise, with a distant view of the golden Larches that line the slopes of the Lake Louise Ski Resort.

All of the benches have this rustic look and the views are fantastic from each bench. They are ideal for snack breaks and wide enough to do a diaper change on!

When we hike at Lake Louise, we generally finish our days with a trip to the candy store, which is located inside the hotel. I must confess, the candy store is also for me, as I have a sweet tooth.  Over the years, we have been very fortunate to have stayed as guests at the hotel.  As such, we have enjoyed  Afternoon Tea at the Chateau, as well as many dinners and lunches at the various hotel restaurants.  If you like fondues, then I would highly recommend the Walliser Stube restaurant. 

If you want to reward yourself after a day of hiking in the area, then I would suggest trying one of the restaurants at the hotel or head into the village of Lake Louise for a treat there. BTW, there is a candy store in the village.

Happy Hiking!

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