(continuer en français) – Published: November 25, 2020
Banff National Park is probably the most famous national park in the Canadian Rockies. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many areas of the park attract large numbers of visitors each year and are managed accordingly. Lake Louise is one of the most remarkable of these sites.
In 1884, Lake Louise was named in honour of the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, whose husband was Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1893. The lake is located at 5,250 feet, 1,600 meters, above sea level and covers an area of 200 acres, 80 hectares, it can reach a depth of 230 feet, 70 meters. Fed by the melting snow and glaciers that surround it, giving it its special colour, the lake empties into the Bow River.
The lake began to attract attention during the construction of the railway by the Canadian Pacific Railway, a station was built in 1890, Laggan Station, a small holiday village developed from there. Also being close to the Trans-Canada Highway, the area is easily accessible and is very busy during the summer months.
The lake looks as if it is surrounded by a circle of mountains rising directly from the shore. Around Lake Louise there are several peaks exceeding 9,800 feet, 3,000 metres. The majestic landscape comes up against Mount Victoria at the end of the lake, which rises to 11,365 feet, 3,464 metres.
Some parts of the lakeshore may be exposed to avalanches, elsewhere climbing is one of the many outdoor activities practiced around Lake Louise.
For a few hours or several days, there are many possibilities for hiking around Lake Louise. The trails gradually rise from the bottom of the valley after going around the lake. One of the best known routes leads to a tea room near Lake Agnes, an establishment created in 1901.
Canoeing on the lake remains the preferred activity, a rental facility is set up on the shore near the arrival path.
In winter, the lake freezes sufficiently to allow activities on its surface, such as ice skating. Ski tracks are laid out on the slopes behind Chateau Lake Louise, where one of the World Cup alpine skiing events is held every year.
Chateau Lake Louise
With the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and the tourist potential that Lake Louise represented, CPR decided to build one of its large luxury hotels like those that existed across the country. These palaces represented both places to welcome travellers and a destination in themselves. All in all, this made it possible to generate traffic on passenger lines.
The initial construction at the end of the 19th century was more modest and in order to respect the natural setting, the dominant material was wood. This part burnt down in 1924. The hotel has been extended and modernised several times since then, seeking to be in line with prestigious establishments copying their exterior appearance on European castles. Nothing remains of the original construction except the grand setting and luxury.
Other articles about Alberta:
To be informed of upcoming articles, register here (it’s free).