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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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