On Canada Day in Banff National Park I was able to explore the the Southern half of the Icefields Parkway and see the well-known Lake Louise. Hiking and celebrating my first Canada Day were all I had planned today- I let the car and the festivities guide my way.
After a night at The Crossing Resort, I set off driving South.
Quite possibly the best photo of the trip is this one from Bow Summit overlooking Lake Peyto.
The water is really that color- it was amazing!
It was also really crowded with tourists. The hike to the summit was fairly short but uphill. But I think everyone knew the view at the top was going to be worth it.
Lake Louise on Canada was a madhouse! I arrived fairly early (I thought) and snagged one of the last parking spots at the lake overflow lot. The Fairmont Château Lake Louise is a grand structure and the heart of all the hubbub on Canada Day. As Avril Lavigne blared over the sound system and dressed up Canadian gentlemen handed out flags, I kept along the path to the Lake Agnes Teahouse Hiking Trail.
The Lake Agnes Teahouse Trail was mentioned in my guidebook, not starred as a must-do but in there none-the-less. A lot of others were doing it. I’ll be honest- this was hard. It was supposed to be 3.5 kilometers up which isn’t hard but it was straight uphill. I was a sweaty mess of labored breathing! Also the mosquitoes were the size of squirrels- especially by Mirror Lake- located 2/3 of the way to the top. I made friends with a lot of hikers by spraying them with bug spray and vice versa- as big as squirrels I say!
Once at the top there is an adorable albeit expensive teahouse overlooking Lake Agnes.
The waitress told me they hike up the supplies needed every day and hike down the garbage every night. I tipped her well for my banana bread and bottle of water (because I’m a weirdo that did not bring water on the hike- I didn’t think it was going to be that hard!).
My friend Sharon is coming here in a few weeks and I’m really tempted to tell her to skip this one.
Once back to the Fairmont and Lake Louise, the polar plunge was able to start. It was pretty fun to watch. There were a lot of activities going on but I was hungry and thirsty. I went inside the Fairmont and sat at the bar closest to the big window overlooking Lake Louise. (Of note, there was a $5 cover charge to sit on the patio, I’m cheap so I sat at the bar, also it had just started raining). Cobb Salad and tons of water for me (and wine):
After Lake Louise I needed to trek to the neighboring Kootenay National Park to find my lodgings for the night- my very own tiny house!!!!! I’m soooooo excited about this tiny house. But more on that later. Fireworks at midnight (because we are so far north it doesn’t get dark until late!) for Canada Day!