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A Walk to the Clouds at Lake Louise

May 16, 2010 by · 4 Comments 


Several years ago, my family and I spent a lovely week camping near Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. During the course of our trip, we drove over to the lake, as our campsite was not near enough to see it. Lake LouiseWe spent some time admiring the beautiful lake and relaxing on its shores while soaking in the summer sun.

We also took the time to walk through the Chateau Lake Louise, which anchors one end of the beautiful blue-green lake. It is opposed on the other end by beautiful mountains and the Victoria Glacier. As we ambled about the grounds after our walking tour of the luxurious but pricey accommodations, we noticed a number of hiking trails around and along the lakeshore. Intrigued by its name, we decided to hike the Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail.

For quite awhile, we find ourselves following the shoreline of the beautiful lake, but eventually begin to climb. It is a beautiful day, but the kids are not thrilled about the climb. The appeal of this trail, other than its beauty, is that six glaciers are visible along its length. We engage the children in spotting and counting glaciers and, with a bit of friendly competition, they are occupied and content for awhile.

Chateau Lake Louise

Chateau Lake Louise

After hiking for several hours, we come upon a spot where all six glaciers are visible. Also situated at the prime spot is the Plain of the Six Glaciers Tea House. Protesting that they are, of course, famished, the kids lobby for a stop at the tea house. Curious, we acquiesce and wait for a spot at a table on the second floor deck of the tea house from which much of the trail and many of the glaciers are visible.

In speaking with the staff, we learn that, as the hiking trail is the only way to access the tea house, they must hike up to work at the beginning of each week. They then spend the work week at the living quarters at the house, then hike down when their work for the week is through. Supplies are brought up on a regular basis either by helicopter or by donkey.

Tea House

Plain of the Six Glaciers Tea House

We order lemonade and scones and relax on the deck for awhile. The trail goes on a bit further but we are almost at the end. When it is time to leave the tea house, the kids protest that they have hiked enough so we reluctantly head back down the trail. When we arrive back at the Chateau, we realize we have been gone more than five hours! I guess they had a reason to be tired and hungry. But we head back to our campsite feeling changed and strangely affected by our day; as if we have visited another place and time. For other ideas about camping in Canada, browse Woodall’s listings of Alberta camping.


4 Responses to “A Walk to the Clouds at Lake Louise”
  1. June Morrissey says:

    I enjoyed reading about Lake Louise. We were there in 2007. We rode up to the Lake and did a short hike but I had no idea there were so many glaciers there. We stayed at the Lake Louise Trailer campsite. We did go over toLake Louise Tent campsite one night for an educational show about the bears put on by the Parks staff. The entire tent campground is surrounded by an electric fence to keep the bears out. There was not much in Lake Louise, just the one expensive grocery store . We stayed a few days and then headed South on the Icefield Parkway to Banff. We’re looking forward to spending the last week of June back in Banff at the Tunnel Mtn. campsite. June

  2. Tige Herndon says:

    Before our RV days, my wife, Peggy, and I did a ViaRail/Amtrak trip with a stop in Jasper where we rented a car and drove to Lake Louise. We spent a couple of nights at a hostel (one of the best as hostels go), took a walk along the lake than had a wonderful dinner at the Chateau. A day in Banff and the drive along the Icefield Parkway provided plenty of scenery as well as some great wildlife views.

  3. Diane Berry says:

    It certainly is a beautiful area. We can’t wait to get back there!

  4. Diane Berry says:

    Glad you enjoyed the post. We were staying at the tent campground at the time and our kids just loved those programs put on by the Park staff. They were a nice addition to our trip!

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