With familiar glittering scenes that grace Canadian brochures, the travel wonder of Lake Louise is sublime beauty on a large scale. Though tremendously popular in the warmer months overwhelming the tiny village, the three main natural sights of Lake Louise should be on any Rockies agenda.

With the grandiose Lake Louise Château perches on its shoreline, the emerald Lake Louise offers perfect reflections of the giant amphitheatre of surrounding mountains and tumbling Victoria Glacier. With a path that circumnavigates the lake, this deep brooding lake rarely reaches more than a few degrees above freezing point.

Even more scenically stunning is nearby Moraine Lake (top photo). The rich turquoise blue of the shimmering waters, caused by rock particles ground into dust over the years by glaciers and washed into the lake, reflect a grand range of ten jagged snow-capped peaks (all over 3000 metres). Trails run around the edge of the lake and through forests of pine trees but the best view is just left of the car park. Some seek the solitude of colourful canoes to help soak the immense beauty of this wonderful landscape while others just sit on the shoreline in silent admiration. Arrays of wildflowers add colour to the lush grassy fields.

The outlook has been nicknamed The Twenty Dollar View in a claim that greatly undervalues its beauty. A green and white picture that does the scene little justice graced the back of the Canadian twenty dollar bill for many years.

To get some appreciation of the entire Rockies vista around Lake Louise, a chairlift climbs Mount Whitehorn to a height of around 2000 metres. Lake Louise and its oversized hotel hide in one corner of this superb panorama enjoyable from various vantage points including the sun-soaked deck of a small café and display area. Various paths and trails crisscross this winter ski area offering views across the conifer-covered valley and to the splendid mountains, including Mt Quadra whose four peaks have the rough appearance of teeth jutting from a jaw.

Occasional bears are reported around the Lake Louise area, as are chipmunks, squirrels and boisterous birds.

If you are flying to Canada and the spectacular Rockies, include Lake Louise on your itinerary. However you choose to explore the travel wonder of Lake Louise, it is a place to take time to soak and admire the stunning panoramic alpine views and the vivid blue glacial lakes, and to walk and commune with nature on a grand scale.

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8 Responses to The Twenty Dollar View (Lake Louise, Canada)

  • Nisha says:

    The title of the post made me come here and see what it is about. But I must say pictures are amazing. Absolutely much more than $20 !

  • Heather on her travels says:

    Wow those photos are stunning – the way the water is like glass reflecting the mountains it feels like people would be a tiny speck on the landscape in this environment

  • Barbara @ Hole In The Donut Travels says:

    I visited Lake Louise and Banff, Jasper, and the other surrounding Canadian National Parks a couple of years ago and I agree that the lakes and mountains are spectacular. Unfortunately, when I was there some kind of a beetle was killing all the pine trees, so enormous stands of dead trees blighted what would normally have been many stunning vistas. I hope I can return someday when the forests are once again healthy.

  • Mark H says:

    @nisha: Much more than $20

    @heather: The scenery is stunning. We don't get snowcapped mountains in Australia very much

    @barbara:Missing its trees would change the landscape dramatically.

  • Cecil Lee says:

    I would name it as $20 Million dollars view! How I wish I could take this kind of perfect reflection shots one day! :)

  • Shell says:

    Mark, your pictures are wonderful. The scenery is just breathtaking!! I've just now started my own travel blog, complete with photos and hope to eventually get to as many unique places as you've been!

    I'll be looking forward to reading more of your adventures and definitely seeing your photography. I'm going to go spend some time viewing some of your past posts.

  • Mark H says:

    This article has been listed in Andy Hayes' excellent Sharing Travel Experiences.

  • Pingback: Driving the Icefield Parkway: Part One (Banff National Park, Canada) | Travel Wonders of the World

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Welcome to Travel Wonders
My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.
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