Looking for Lake Louise

The thick smoke looked like it really was here to stay and we woke up the next day to warnings on the news advising people not to go outside as the air quality was “off the scale” it was so bad. However, with only one day to explore this beautiful area we were not in the position to stick around indoors. We bundled into the car once again and headed to the lake. We had read about arriving early due to crowds but on arrival it seemed evident that people might not be sticking around for long to admire the views. What was to be a breathtaking, never to be forgotten view had sadly lost its charm with the supposed clear water and incredible mountains completely shielded from our sight. It was absolutely devastating. Especially after hearing so many recommendations and seeing so many spectacular pictures. Nevertheless we were up for making the most of what we had, and set off on a hike. 

A smokey but beautiful Lake Louise

Our wandering was to take us up, past Mirror Lake to the ‘Little Behive’ in which we stumbled upon the Lake Agnes Tea House, the oldest tea house in Canada. This quaint little cabin, with its visiting squirrels and 75 different flavours of tea, is tucked in amongst the trees with beautiful Lake Agnes just feet away from its door. With a helicopter drop once a season bringing the tea house its supplies for the following months, the rest is brought up the steep hike on horses. A break with an enjoyable cup of “Mountain Zen” tea meant I was soon ready for the descent back down. 

The Lake Agnes Tea House

Lake Agnes

A very friendly squirrel

We had been hoping to take some canoes out on the lake to get up close to that fantastic clear turquoise water, but the smoke had brought everything on Lake Louise to a standstill. However we did have a strike of luck when we headed to Moraine Lake. With my brother, sister and I all sitting carefully in one canoe we set out on the lake. Anxious that no-one made any sudden movements for fear of the slightly unstable vessel tipping over, it was a nerve-raking experience for me, in which I struggled to completely relax whilst taking in the picturesque scenery that surrounded us. Even so, it was really enjoyable and the water was spectacular.

Canoeing on Moraine Lake

Lake Louise Village consisted of a handful of shops and a tourist information centre, all just a short walk from our hotel. It wasn’t particularly difficult to gain a sense of sufficiently exploring the local area! On our final morning before heading back on the road, we made our way to the Lake Louise Gondola, where my research had told me we would have the best chance of seeing a Grizzly bear. But it simply was not to be. Upon arrival it was clear that had we taken the gondola we simply wouldn’t have seen a thing. The smoke still lingered and by looking at their ‘bear sightings’ calendar it seemed to have scared all the bears out of the area. We left feeling slightly betrayed by the smoke and were on the road again soon enough towards Banff. 

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