When is the best time to visit Lake Louise? That largely depends on what you want to do while you are there! Most likely you are visiting Banff and you want to add Lake Louise to your “must see” list. Lake Louise is definitely a “must see”! As with most places, Lake Louise looks different depending on the season. The most drastic change in scenery for Lake Louise happens within about a two to three-month period!
Lake Louise is frozen on average from mid November until it is completely thawed in early June. It is still a gorgeous site with its gigantic white blanket of snow against the backdrop of the glacier and the mountains, topped off with a brilliant blue sky (depending on the weather)! This photo was taken on April 25th and it was still frozen solid except for a few areas closer to shore that were thin ice.
The lake is usually completely thawed by the first week of June. I have heard of it thawing in late May, but this is rare. This photo was taken on June 5th. At this time of the year it is a darker emerald green, although you can see hints of it’s lighter brilliant color trying to come out!
If you are coming for that gorgeous, jaw dropping, brilliant, turquoise color, this is it! The turquoise color is caused by rock flour which comes off the glaciers in the mountains. The reflection of light off the silt particles of the rock flour in the water gives it that famous turquoise color! Although this color has been seen in late June, the best time to see Lake Louise in all her turquoise beauty is July to August. This photo was taken on August 12th. It can also be seen in September, but usually by this time, the silt is settling to where there is no more reflection of the light and the lake begins to lose its color. The next change the lake takes is in mid November when it starts to freeze up again and it repeats the cycle.
Comparison photos of Lake Louise in April, June and August! As you can see, she is beautiful at any time!
Many people want to come to the area to ski and to see the turquoise color of the lake. This really isn’t possible as there is no snow for skiing during the months the lake is turquoise. Likewise, the lake is still frozen during ski season. If you want to do both of these, I’d say two different trips are in order and having been 3 times in 5 months myself, you won’t be sorry!
I went back to Lake Louise this past fall and I think it might be my favorite time to go! It was late September and the water was still turquoise.
On top of that you have the added color of the fall leaves! It was absolutely beautiful!
Honestly, even though I think fall is my favorite, you can’t go wrong whichever time of year you choose to go because Lake Louise is beautiful year round!
Have you been to Lake Louise? If so, when was your favorite time to go? If you haven’t been, which time of year looks the best to you? Drop me a comment and let me know! Be sure to see how to drive the Icefields Parkway if you are looking for other things to do on your trip to Lake Louise!
‘Til next time…