Two weeks in the Canadian Rockies has been split into a number of posts as there is just so much to say. However there is also a post of 2 weeks in the Canadian Rockies in a Nutshell if you want to read the summary.
– We suggest that where you can reserve campsites online on https://reservation.pc.gc.ca/ParksCanada for what you can. Don’t worry if cannot book everywhere as there are walk in campsites available too as detailed in the post below.
– How the walk up campsites work is you turn up and find an empty plot. Plots are reserved with a slip of paper which you pick up from the hut at the entrance, which states your arrival date and how many nights you will be staying. Picky your plot and then put your money in an envelope, which is also provided at the camp entrance and you post into a letter box. We suggest you arrive at about 11 as people have to vacate at 11.
– You will need to buy a parks pass to visit the rockies. You can buy this pass on entrance Banff national park, if coming from Calgary then he place to buy is a couple of km after Canmore. Don’t worry you won’t miss it and will more than likely queue with everyone else! If you are staying more than 6 Days it is cheaper to buy a year long pass.
– Pick up maps from the tourist information, these are so so helpful and you will take it on all your hikes/use them to plan your hikes. The great thing about this trip is that all the walk are signposted and will also tell you how many kms so you will NEVER get lost!
– We flew into Calgary, hired a camper and headed from Calgary to Jasper and back and it took 2 weeks. We hired our Camper through Wicked Campers and couldn’t recommend them enough. They are cheap, cheerful and suited us perfectly for what we want.
We suggest staying 2 nights here to make the most of it, which gives you 2 full days if coming straight from Johnston Canyon which is 30 minutes away (leave early!), both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are close to each other so stay in the same campsite.
The couple of campsites to stay in are: Lake Louise Tent Campground or Lake Louise Hardsided
We did the most epic walk here and would suggest doing the same. Again you need to get here early to get a car parking space as it gets full very very quick. We got up at 5am! If you miss the car park then don’t worry there is an overflow with a shuttle bus.
If you get to the lake early you will be able to take a picture without it being surrounded by tourists which is favourable.
The walk we suggest, first head to the Little Beehive. On route stop off at Mirror Lake. This will take about 1 hour to get to Little Beehive and of course is uphill. Here you get amazing views of the lake and can take some pretty stunning pictures.
From Little Beehive head to the Lake Agnes Teahouse, as the name suggests this is a cute little teahouse. To our disappointment they didn’t serve coffee as we were relying on this for a morning coffee!
Next head up to Big Beehive, just follow the signs.This is a steep climb and will take you about 30-45 minutes and is constantly up hill, zigzagging up and up. The views are beautiful and you can see both Lake Louise and Mirror Lake.
After spending hours here admiring the view head back down the other side of the mountain.
Once you get to the bottom follow signs for Lake Louise Trail so you can walk back along the beautiful lakeshore trail. Once you get to another sign you have the choice to head to the lakeshore trail or do the next walk which is the Plain of the Six Glaciers. So to be honest we were not amazed by this. You do walk to another cute tearoom (honestly as if the workers have to walk to this tearoom to do their shift, it was at least 1.5hours to get there!!), and we did see a cool ice cave but didn’t think the whole walk was worth it!
Oh my gosh where do we start with this place, hands down our favourite place on our whole trip. We loved it so much that we visited twice, on the way to Jasper and then again on our way back.
Just a tip you need to get here VERY early, especially in the summer. The Rangers start work at 6am and as soon as they start they shut the road down to the lake and its pretty hard to get down, some cars just keep driving past until the ranger lets them in when a car leaves. Basically you need to be on the road before 6am to get in, we left the campsite at 5am. The road down takes 15 minutes and the car park is pretty small. However there is also a shuttle bus.
There are some walks at Moraine however we decided not to do a long walk, just the lakeshore one and basically just spent our time looking in awe at the lake. Honestly the bluest lake I have ever seen, it was so magical and I wish I could go back right now!
Lake Louise Village:
The town that is close to both the above places is called Lake Louise and its so cute. There isn’t really much here but we had a great time. We visited the Outpost Pub which is part of the hotel for drinks in the evening. It was expensive but the wifi was good!
There was also a bakery which we loved, we bought rolls for our lunches here and also the coffee and pastries were good. You must buy the maple donut as it was dreamy.
The grocery store is kinda expensive has the essentials.
Before leaving to go to the Icefields you must fill up with petrol as there is no petrol between Lake Louise and Jasper, so give yourself a full tank!