We stayed overnight again Monday night at the Overflow Campsite just three miles from Lake Louise Village (free). It is simply a parking area but it meets our needs as we just need a place to park overnight.
Arrived at Lake Louise early yesterday and there were a few people already at the lake. Mostly parents with small children as would be expected. Having traveled with small children we know that when they are awake and up, you are awake and up. Nestled among the Canadian Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park, the fairly large lake is a designated World Heritage Site and is truly beautiful. It’s color is a beautiful blue/green from the silt of the glacial melt with many streams flowing down the mountains to keep it full and at least one stream leading out of the lake. Above Lake Louise is the large Victoria Glacier and there are five more glaciers in the area. The area around the lake has long been commercialized (as many beautiful places are) with a multi-storied, very large hotel right at the lake offering many activities relating to the lake and the environment. There are also other venues nearby only a short distance from the lake offering various services including lodging, dining, horse back riding, etc. Saw some young men swimming in the lake which must have a water temperature of about 40-45 degrees F. as it is mostly fed by glacial melt! Also noticed those same swimmers got out of the water fairly soon after going in. We spent much of the day in the area walking around the lake and enjoying the outdoors. It rained intermittently but there was still a constant stream of tourists looking for the rare parking space in very large and quickly crammed parking lots as well as many tour buses arriving throughout the day.
Arrived at Lake Moraine before dawn Tuesday as it is said that the morning light in the area is wonderful. That was accurate information. The only other people we saw at the lake at this early hour was photographers. Lake Moraine a relatively small, glacier fed lake and is surrounded by very rugged looking, steep mountains that glow in the morning sun. Of course, there’s the requisite Lodge here with various activities available but does not seem to detract too much from the area. The hiking trails were restricted to only larger groups hiking together due to frequent reports of aggressive bear activity along the trails. To us, this lake is just as beautiful as Lake Louise, just smaller and less crowded but definately worth a visit as early in the morning as possible.