Lake Louise is famous for its beautiful turquoise waters set against the backdrop of mountains and forests with a beautiful Chateau to add another element of interest to your photos. This is a very instagrammable spot - which is why we avoided it for many years.
Parking is hellish, and it's a zoo of people. This is nature turned into a theme park. Crowds of people fill the manicured walkway looking for that perfect selfie. There's simply a constant flow of people pouring in detracting from the soul-soothing tranquility that nature normally provides. This little video gives you a sense of the never-ending flow of people at Lake Louise.
Despite the sea of humanity, there are (we are told) some charms to be had. There are easy kayak rentals allowing you to paddle around the lake itself, there's a trail to Lake Agnes, as well as trails that take you to two teahouses. We didn't do the trails because the vibe of this spot turned us off. But, if you enjoy people watching this is an interesting place to watch tourists being, well, extra touristy. If you want the view of pristine turquoise lakes against the backdrops of wild forests and stunning mountains, consider driving up the Spray Lakes/Dorian Highway to spend time at the Spray Lakes instead. This is a relatively undiscovered gem about 45 minutes from Canmore and about an hour and a half drive from Lake Louise. The well maintained gravel road through this region offers a Lake Louise equivalent, stunning view around every turn. There are many spots along the road where you can pull over and enjoy the majesty of nature in comparative solitude, or you can park at any number of trailheads and hike the beautiful wilderness around these spectacular lakes.
Additional Links: BanffLakeLouise.com/lake-louise