Lake Louise

Lake Louise, Alberta | C.1882

Photo Credit: Helen Dempster

Deep within Canada’s oldest national park, Banff National Park, an ancient glacial lake glistens in shades of brilliant turquoise blue. Situated at the base of Mount Victoria, Lake Louise welcomes visitors for outdoor recreation including hiking, mountain climbing, and skiing each year.

Originally named Lake of the Little Fishes by the Stoney Nakota First Nations people, the Lake was named after Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise Caroline Alberta upon its discovery by European Canadians in 1882. At that time, the Canadians were developing the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) – the country’s first transcontinental railway, which winds from eastern Canada all the way through British Columbia.

Situated on the eastern shore of the Lake is Fairmont’s Chateau Lake Louise. One of Canada’s grand railway hotels, the Chateau was built by the CPR in 1890. Designed to provide accommodations to the passengers of the expanding rail network, the hotels celebrated rail travel and are noted for their “Chateauesque” style, which have become a signature of Canadian architecture.

Originally a summer resort, the Chateau was winterized in 1982. Beyond the towering Chateau, visitors can explore hiking trails and go horseback riding around the lake. In the winter, the hotel operates as a ski resort and also offers sleigh rides, ice sculpture contests, and snowshoe excursions.

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