Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Family Camping, Historic Places & Landmarks, Nature & Wildlife
A Walk to the Clouds at Lake Louise
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. We 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.
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.
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.