When you Google search for pictures of the Canadian Rockies, one of the first sights that will come up is Lake Louise. The famous turquoise blue lake is thé postcard image of this area and hence attracts a lot of tourists each year.
Close to Lake Louise, there is another sort-like highlight where tourists flock towards; Moraine Lake.
But a tourist hot spot obviously means that it gets really busy, especially during summer. So even though the weather forecast was once again not too bright -bummer-, we once more got up really early to start our day. At 6am we were already enjoying the breakfast buffet at our hotel, The Mountaineer Lodge, and half an hour later we found ourselves on the road for Maligne Lake.
Before the trip I had read about the small parking lots at both lakes, so we figured if we got there early, we could already secure ourselves a place at at least one of the parking lots. And we were lucky. The parking lot at Maligne Lake was only little over half full when we arrived. I guess the cloudy, rainy weather must have kept some tourists from getting up early.
But that certainly didn’t mean that we were the only ones at the lake. There were already quite a few people – including one woman in full bridal attire – climbing the rock pile at the shore of the lake to get the spectacular view over the turquoise blue lake. Oh man, and what a sight that was. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it.
And I swear these pictures don’t even do it justice. It’s surreal. We walked along the shore of the lake for a while just because we weren’t ready to walk away from this feast for the eyes.
When we finally did, we hit the Consolation Lakes trail. It was a forty-five minute one way trail over rocks, through the forest with another Canadian lake as the end destination. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it to the shore of the lake because of a rock slide. And trust me, it’s not wise to start climbing the rocks to get closer. You might just slip and end up halfway into the water. Oops.
But hey, on the bright side, by the time you’re back at your car, your pants should be dry again!
By that time the parking lot was overflowing with cars and they’d closed down the road for other cars. Nonetheless we decided to take our chances and drive towards the slightly bigger parking lot of Lake Louise.
But no such luck. The lot was full and we were redirected towards the overflow parking lot. That one can be found a few kilometers outside of town. We thought we would be smart to catch the bus towards the lake from the center of town- and leave our car in the hotel parking lot – instead of driving to the overflow parking. But that wasn’t a smart plan after all. Because from the center of town you first have to take a bus to the overflow parking and then from there take a bus back through town to the lake. I know, it’s very illogical but that’s the way it’s done.
When we stepped of the bus at Lake Louise, it was immediately obvious that this was thé hotspot of the area. The place was swarming with tourists. So much that it wasn’t even enjoyable anymore.
Yup, I did manage to get a picture without other tourists on it, but it was a challenge. I don’t know if the crowds helped to form that judgement, but honestly I was very disappointed in Lake Louise. What was supposed to be one of the highlights of our trip ended up being one of the low points.
Safe to say we didn’t stick around much longer and caught a bus back to the center of Lake Louise town. Onto our next destination; Banff.
But we were only about twenty minutes on the road when it started pouring. Well, that looked promising…