Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada (Travel Alberta)

Skiing at Lake Louise resort, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada (Travel Alberta)

Fairmont Chateau ,Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada (Travel Aberta)

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada (Purestock/Getty)

Lake Louise, Icefields Parkway, Alberta (Heather Hansen)

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What to do in Lake Louise

For such a tiny speck, sparkling Lake Louise leaves an outsize mark. You’ve seen all the pictures, and the winding road up merely serves to heighten the anticipation. Then you arrive and stare gob-smacked at the powdery-blue lake nestled in its basket of steep-sided mountains. But there it is, ready to touch—you can even swim in it. Make sure you make time for the hike up the right side of the lake, going as far as the Victorian Teahouse overlooking the Plain of Six Glaciers and neighboring Mount Lefroy and Mount Victoria (elevation gain: 1,100 feet). Chateau Lake Louise is the place to stay, though there are other nearby options for all budget ranges, including those just down the road in the bigger town of Banff. Just be prepared to feel a little disappointed as you turn your back on that little slice of blue, Canadian Rockies heaven.

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