This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.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 Recommendations & Resources
- Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise- Read reviews | Book rooms
- TripAdvisor– For the best reviews of destinations, hotels, and tours
- Allianz Travel Insurance– Protect you and your trip!
- Skyscanner– For the best deals on flights | best deals on rental cars
- Lonely Planet Banff, Jasper & Glacier National Parks– For the best (and my favorite) guidebooks out there!
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!
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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!
See how to drive the Icefields Parkway if you are looking for other things to do on your trip to Lake Louise!
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?
‘Til next time…
Leave a Reply - I Love Comments!
Stephanie @ PlainChicken.com says
Can’t wait to see what it looks like when we are there next month!
I know! I can’t wait! So excited for you guys to see it! It will be fun and beautiful!
Judy Howell says
Beautiful at all times of year, but I liked the time we went in August best!
I can’t decide! August was beautiful, but late Sept was too because of the colors of the leaves!
I’ve been wanting to visit this place for a while! Good thing to know when the best time is for a checking it out. Looks so pretty there!
Hi Taiss! Definitely go! Lake Louise and the Banff area are one of my most favorite places (obviously)! They’re absolutely gorgeous!
Tricia Goh says
We will be at Lake Louise on 6 Jun 2018.
Wonder if the lake would have melted and colour of the lake.
Hi Tricia, the lake probably will be melted or at least well on its way. Winter has been harsh and later this year in the North so there could be a delay, but hopefully not. However, it will probably be more of the dark, murkier color. The bright turquoise colors are usually in July-August and September. Either way, as you can see it’s beautiful year-round! Hope you have a great time and thanks for reading!
What’s the best day of the week to visit Lake Louise?
We’re in Banff early July and wanted to know if there is a less busy day to go.
Hi Jason! That’s a good question. Honestly, since it’s during the summer and peak time, I’m not sure there’s a HUGE difference. That said, I would definitely avoid the weekend just because it’s the weekend. There are always more people out then (locals, etc). If I had to guess and I was trying to pinpoint it myself, I would go with a Monday based solely on the fact that it’s early in the week. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (the hotel that sits on Lake Louise) is very friendly and helpful and I bet they could give you a ballpark idea, but being July, it’s just going to be a hard call I think. Thanks for reaching out and let me know if you have any other questions, you will love Lake Louise!
Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad says
This is such a cool comparison! I’ve been in September before and it was wonderful, but I’m going to be heading there in October this year and I’m hoping it’ll still be nice then!
Hi Clazz, It should still be that way if it’s in early October. Not sure about mid to late. If you’re going then, let me know what you find! Thank you for reading! 🙂
Rashi Dahl says
Going in September this year. Many people say you have to stay at the Fairmont to get an appreciation for the lake – what is the best place to view the lake if you are not staying at the Farimont. Its just too pricy for us.
Hi Rashi, you can still park at the hotel and walk around behind the Fairmont to view the lake. The hotel sits between the parking lot and the lake so to walk the trails around the lake or rent the canoes or get the iconic shots, you have to go behind the hotel. Of the 4 times I’ve been to Lake Louise, 2 times I stayed at the Fairmont, 1 time I stayed in Banff and drove in and 1 time I stayed in Montana and drove in as a day trip. The 2 times I didn’t stay at the Fairmont Lake Louise, we drove in and parked and walked around behind the hotel. Hope this helps and thanks for reading! 🙂
Map Scratchers says
Your photos are so amazing!!
We want to move to Canada, it’s such a beautiful country 🙂
Hi! Thank you so much, I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Yes, Canada is beautiful and I wouldn’t mind living there myself! Thanks for reading! 🙂
We were there last week and unfortunately the BC wildfires completely smoked out our view 🙁 The fires are unpredictable but a sad reality we should come to expect every summer.
Hi Ashley, I hate that for so many reasons. The fires are so sad and destructive to such a beautiful place. I had you didn’t get to see it like it normally is! Just means you have to go back another time, right? Thanks for reading! 🙂
Sue OMeal says
We will be in Lake Louise the last week of September and hope to visit Moraine Lake.
I’ve just read that the access road closes between Sept-May?? If so, would there be another way to see that lake?? Thanks!!
Hi Sue, the last time I was there was the last week of September 2016 and the access road (if it’s what I’m thinking of-the main road up to the parking lot of Moraine) was open. The only time it was closed that week was during peak times of the day when it was so crowded they temporarily blocked it off and let cars in on a car-for-car basis (one car leaves, one car enters). However, this was two years ago so they might have changed their closing times. I would email Banff/Lake Louise Tourism and see if you could clarify with them. Hope this helps and thanks for reaching out 🙂