Last week, I visited three turquoise-colored lakes in the Canadian Rockies: Emerald Lake, Lake Louise, and Moraine Lake. The first time I laid my eyes on each of them, I was utterly stunned, swept away by their incredible beauty. These lakes and the mountains surrounding them made me realize how tiny I am as a human compared to their size, power, and magnificence.
To enjoy all of these lakes, I would recommend that you stay in the town of Banff. If you could splurge for a night, book a room at Fairmont Chateau, overlooking Lake Louise. I promise that your stay here would be as unforgettable as any birthday celebration you have somewhere luxurious.
Banff is a resort town with beautiful mountain ranges. The skyline mainly includes the view of the mountain peaks of Mt. Rundle, Mt Cascade, and the Rocky Mountains (or
Cheap stay in Banff? Forget it. This place is not for those traveling on a shoestring budget. The most inexpensive way to see all these lakes in one day is by going on a tour. And that’s precisely what I did. The tour started from Calgary at 7:30 in the morning and ended at 7:30 in the evening.
The bus journey to the Canadian Rockies is one of the most memorable I had. Rivers flowing alongside the road, the snow-capped cordilleras, the tall evergreens, and the exposed glaciers all made up a postcard-perfect scenery of nature at its best. You would never think of any place in the world that is comparable to the beauty you see here. It is beyond descriptive words that any travel guides tell you.
Here are the three lakes in the Canadian Rockies you need to see in a day tour.
This was the first lake we visited. Emerald Lake is in Yoho National Park, so technically, it is not in Alberta Province but belongs to British Columbia. The turquoise-colored lake is mesmerizing. Its waters seem to glow and mountains in the background seem to have a life of its own. In any angle, this place is certainly photogenic! Being the largest of the 61 lakes and ponds in Yoho, the are has its own high-end lodges near the entrance that captures the striking view of distant mountains and their peaks. The Emerald Lake is famous for its canoe rides and scenic paddleboard tours.
We had our lunch at Fairmont Chateau, a few steps from Lake Louise, a glacier-fed lake. We stayed here for two hours. The scenery here is mind-blowing, surrounded by massive glaciers on both sides. If time permits, go on a short hike around the lake, or you can rent a canoe, even for 30 minutes. This is definitely a perfect vacation spot. In winter, the frozen lake becomes a skating rink. The Lake Louise ski resort is a recreational opportunity for all year long, and a picturesque lake is a great place for outdoor recreation.
Fifteen minutes drive (14 kilometers) from Lake Louise is Lake Moraine – another beautiful natural lake in the Banff National Park. The lake is formed in a valley of 10 mountain peaks (you can count them) and therefore gives a grand view all around. One unique thing about this lake is that it is home to several fish species, including the famous mountain whitefish and lake whitefish. Lake Moraine, I conclude the grandest of all the three lakes. The captivating views will surely give you a sense of place that you won’t feel anywhere in your travels. Once you get off the bus, start hiking to the tiny mountain where a more incredible view awaits.
These three lakes in Banff offer unique beauty on their own. Their essence can only be felt when you have time to stop clicking your camera shutter. Do take time to admire the views without your camera or cellphone. Drink in the views and store them in your memory.