Lake Louise is situated as the name might suggest, on the emerald waters of Lake Louise, in the Banff National Park, 56km northwest of Banff. The hamlet is set against the stunning back-drop of the Victoria Glacier, one of the most photographed peaks in the Canadian Rockies. Lake Louise is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and the wife of the Governor General of Canada.
As well as the lake itself, it is famous for its luxury hotel, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on the eastern shore of the lake. The hotel was built in the French style at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries by the Canadian Pacific Railway to lure well-heeled travellers into taking the train journey out west. It was successful in establishing a reputation for luxury and continued to thrive once cars and aeroplanes became the most common way to travel.
Lake Louise has no main street as such and is divided into two distinct areas, the upper level around the Chateau and lake and the main community set lower down which houses a small shopping centre, several shops, a restaurant and a bar.Visitors come here to stay in the Chateau and to access one of the largest ski areas in North America which is on its doorstep. It is also surrounded by hiking trails to suit every level of fitness, offering some of the most beautiful views in the Rockies.