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Best Time To Visit Lake Louise (Winter & Summer Fun!)

Plan the perfect trip to Lake Louise with our guide on the best times for winter wonder and summer fun, avoiding crowds while maximizing activities!

Tobi Miles
August 11, 2022
Best Time To Visit Lake Louise (Winter & Summer Fun!)

Lake Louise is on a lot of travelers’ bucket lists. This village is located in Banff National Park and the lake is accessible all year long. It is a remarkable place to go for wilderness, turquoise water, and activities every season. So, when’s the best time to visit Lake Louise?

June and September are the best months to visit Lake Louise. Snow is gone, and mountain areas are accessible. The average temperatures are 62.5 F/ 17 C in June and 59 F/ 15 C in September. There are also fewer crowds. January is the best time for a discounted trip when you can save hundreds of dollars on accommodations.

When you visit Lake Louise ultimately depends on your preference. This area is beautiful in every season. Today, we’ll give you a breakdown of the best times to visit Lake Louise. We’ll look into what each month is like so you know when to plan your trip.

When Not To Visit Lake Louise

April and May are transitional months. Lake Louise gets a lot of snow over the winter months. Throughout the months of April and May, there is a mix of winter and spring in the air.

As the snow melts, things can get very wet and slushy. These conditions are the least desirable for exploring the wilderness and lake. The area gets a lot wetter towards the end of the spring season.

July and August are the busiest months. You can also expect more tourists around the Christmas holidays. Accommodations in Lake Louise are expensive and the rates are always higher when the tourism season is busy.

Some hotels will increase the rates of the rooms to over $1,000 per night during in-demand times. Unless you have a high travel budget, we suggest planning a visit during a quieter month.

Hotels in Lake Louise range from $75 to well over $1,000 per night. However, most hotels in the area charge over $300 during the high season.

Visitors can expect rates to drop from late October to early November. You can also look into new condos in Calgary if you want to have that summer getaway and come back every year.

Cheapest Time To Visit Lake Louise

November, January, and February are the cheapest times to visit Lake Louise. During these months, it’s possible to get lower rates on flights and hotel rooms.

In order to travel to Lake Louise, you will need to book a flight to Calgary, Alberta. If you’re traveling from the US, the average cost of a flight is anywhere from $500 to $800. During November, January, and February it’s possible to get flights as low as $165.

The best advice we have for finding discounted flights is to start looking for them early. Travelers that book at least 2 to 3 months in advance are able to score better deals.

Hotels in Lake Louise range from $75 to well over $1,000 per night. However, most hotels in the area charge over $300 during the high season. Visitors can expect rates to drop from late October to early November.

Lake Louise Inn charges between $354 and $1,174 during high season. Rates will fluctuate depending on popular travel times. In October, rates drop to between $104 and $179. Rates remain low between January and March when rooms can be found for as low as $99.

Best Time To Visit Lake Louise: Monthly Breakdown

January: Best Time To Enjoy A Winter Wonderland

Lake Louise is blanketed with snow throughout the month of January. This is the ideal place to visit if you want to enjoy frolicking in the snow. Even adults feel like a kid again when they start having fun in the snow at Lake Louise.

Temperatures are cold throughout January. Visitors can expect a high of 21 F/ -6 C during the day. At night, it cools down to -4 F/ -20 C. Always bring good quality outerwear to keep you warm for outdoor activities.

Snowdays is an annual event held every January in Lake Louise. This event takes place over 11 days and features a lot of fun winter activities, including a winter play zone. There’s a variety of ice and snow sculptures decorating the frozen lake.

There’s no shortage of winter activity in Lake Louise over the month of January. Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay have snow-covered mountains. These are great locations for exciting ski slopes.

When you need to warm up, you can stop in at Bill Peyto’s Cafe. This place is known for warm drinks and comfort food. It’s a great place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

  • Snowdays
  • Skiing
  • Coffee at Bill Peyto’s Cafe

Related Read:Best Time to Visit Banff

February: Valentine’s Day At Lake Louise

Lake Louise is a cozy destination for couples to spend Valentine’s Day. It has the right atmosphere for couples that enjoy the magical scenery of snow. To make things extra romantic, there’s the option to rent a cabin and snuggle up by a fireplace.

It’s still cold and snowy in Lake Louise throughout February. However, the days are slightly warmer than they were in January. The daily high is around 30 F/ -1 C. At night, the temperature drops to around 1.5 F/ -17 C.

If you’re interested in a winter hike, you should check out Johnston Canyon Ice Walk. This tour shows several frozen waterfalls throughout the canyon. Some tours offer both day and night walks. For night walks, check out Banff Adventures or White Mountain Adventures.

Winterlude is an annual event held in February. This event features an ice sculpting competition. It has become so popular that they have begun streaming it live online so people across the world can watch it.

  • Valentine’s Day
  • Winterlude
  • Snowboarding

March: End Of Winter

March is the last month of the winter season. Lake Louise is still frozen, so it’s the last time of year visitors can safely skate on the lake before the spring season. They can also enjoy winter activities, like skiing, dog sled rides, snowboarding, and more.

One of the most exciting activities for the whole family is tubing. Kids and adults have fun sliding down the snow-covered hills. March is the last month where tubing is available in Lake Louise.

The winter cold doesn’t feel as brisk in March. Daily temperatures can get as high as 37.5 F/ 3 C. This doesn’t cause the lake to thaw though. At night, the temperatures can still drop to as low as 8.5 F/ -13 C.

March is also a great time of year for spotting wildlife. There’s something extra special about spotting an animal in the snow. In this area, people can see elks, moose, foxes, wolves, and owls. You should also be on the lookout for coyotes and bears.

  • St. Patricks Day
  • Tubing
  • Dog sled ride

April: Last Month For Snow Activities

It’s still cold and snowy in Lake Louise throughout April. This is the last month for most snow activities, like skiing, dog sled rides, and ice skating. However, some places have already closed for the spring season.

Days are milder in April, but not warm enough to thaw Lake Louise. The warmest days in April will have a high of 46.5 F/ 8 C. At night, it can get as cold as 21 F/ -6 C. While the calendar may say spring, it still feels like winter in Lake Louise.

Most trails in April are still in good condition for cross-country skiing. Many people prefer this activity in early spring because the temperatures aren’t as brisk as in previous months. You can take your time and remain comfortable while enjoying the scenery.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise puts on activities over Easter weekend, like egg hunts and painting. This is a fun time of year to bring the kids. They also host Easter brunch, Easter tea, and other Easter-themed dining events.

  • Cross country skiing
  • Horse sled rides
  • Easter tea

May: Best Month To Avoid Crowds

May is a great month for visitors that want to explore Lake Louise without the crowds. The thing you should know about May is that it’s still cold. Snow is covering the mountains and the lake is frozen.

Don’t let the unpleasant conditions fool you. Lake Louise is still a breathtaking place to visit during the month of May. Since there are fewer visitors this time of year, it will feel like you have the place all to yourself while exploring.

Throughout May, the days can warm up to 55.5 F/ 13 C. However, at night, the temperatures can drop all the way down to 30 F/ -1 C. This is also one of the wettest months of the year.

On a rainy day, there is still a lot to keep people occupied. There are several great restaurants and pubs in the area. Afternoon tea is a great way to warm up on a damp day. People can also head to a visitor center to learn more about the area’s history.

  • Walk along the lakeshore trail
  • Afternoon tea
  • Drinks at Lakeview Lounge

Related Read: 15 Best Waterfalls Near Duluth, MN

June: Best Month For Sightseeing

June is one of the best months to go sightseeing in the Lake Louise area. Days are warmer and the summer crowds haven’t arrived yet. Places that weren’t accessible earlier in the year are now safer to explore. You won't get bored when you travel this way in June.

This is a great time of year to spend days exploring outdoors. The daily temperatures often reach a high of 62.5 F/ 17 C. However, at night it can cool off to 37.5 F/ 3 C. We recommend packing layers for when you’re outdoors at night.

June is the first month of the year that Lake Louise is fully thawed. Visitors will finally be able to see the vivid turquoise color of the water. Taking lakeside walks is a lot more beautiful this time of year.

If you’re interested in exploring the mountains, there are many sights to see. The Beehive is a loop trail that’s 12 km. While doing the hike, you can stop at a teahouse for a break. Lake Agnes Teahouse is one of the best cafes in Lake Louise.

  • Take pictures of the lake
  • Shop at the hamlet of Lake Louise
  • Hike the Beehive Circuit

July: Best Weather In Lake Louise

July offers some of the most comfortable weather in Lake Louise. Days are usually around 75 F/ 24 C. The sun is out for longer and it hardly ever rains throughout July. This is also one of the busiest months for tourists. While days are nice and warm, they don't get hot and humid.

The lake is stunning this time of year, so water activity is in full gear. Visitors can rent kayaks or canoes and enjoy a peaceful afternoon on the lake. Wild Water Adventures is a great place to check out if you want to go on a rafting trip or pontoon boat ride.

If you are visiting on the 1st of the month, you’ll get to enjoy the Canada Day festivities. Every year, Lake Louise has a big celebration. Visitors can enjoy a parade, barbecue food, and live music. There is also a polar bear dip in the lake.

While Lake Louise may have beautiful summer-like temperatures, the water remains cold. It’s not a good area for swimming because the lake rarely gets warmed than 39 F/ 4 C.

  • Canada Day festivities
  • Canoeing
  • Rafting trip

August: All Areas Are Accessible

August is a great month to explore because all the higher peaks have thawed. There’s no snow, so it’s safer to explore places like Devil’s Thumb and Mount Niblock. These areas have breathtaking views of Lake Louise.

Most days in August are mild, with an average temperature of 70 F/ 21 C. Days like this are more enjoyable for longer hikes. You won’t get too hot, but it is recommended to wear light breathable material and sunscreen.

Whitehorn Bistro is a restaurant in Lake Louise that is 2,402 meters above the sea. Visitors can sit outdoors and enjoy the views from the patio while enjoying drinks and a meal. August offers some of the best weather for relaxing outdoors at this restaurant.

Do you want to see more of the mountains, but aren’t up for a long walk? Horseback riding is another fun activity at Lake Louise. You can arrange a guided horseback riding tour throughout the trails.

  • Explore Devil’s Thumb
  • Horseback riding tour
  • Drinks at Whitehorn Bistro

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Canada

September: Enjoy Summer Activities Without Crowds

September is a preferred time to visit for many people familiar with this area. The summer crowds have left and the air is beginning to feel cooler. Visitors can expect daily average temperatures of 59 F/ 15 C.

If you don’t want to travel with the summer crowds, we recommend waiting until September to visit. Water activities and hiking are still a lot of fun this time of year. You can enjoy a relaxing canoe ride while enjoying the autumn scenery around the lake.

People searching for more excitement can go white water rafting. There are several options in the area for guided tours, including a family rafting tour. Beginners and experts can find rafting activities for their abilities.

Larch trees in the area begin to change color throughout September. We suggest bringing your camera along when you go for a walk or hike. There are beautiful golden shades throughout the trails.

Lake Louise also has a variety of biking trails. Some of the top trails to go cycling are the Bow River Loop and Ross Lake Trail. Visitors will be able to find trails based on their ability level.

  • White water rafting
  • Dinner and drinks at Fairview Bar and Restaurant
  • Cycling on Bow River Loop

October: Best Month Of Autumn

The autumn season is very short in Lake Louise. Visitors will get to experience the best weeks of autumn throughout October. Days are cool and crisp, with an average temperature of 50 F/ 10 C. This is also the last month when you can safely visit the highest peaks.

Early October is the best time to see fall colors throughout Lake Louise. Trees will be beautiful shades of yellow and gold, with occasional pops of rustic orange.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is an excellent place to stay over Thanksgiving weekend. They arrange festive dining options and family activities. Each year they will have events to make the weekend memorable.

Halloween is a fun time to be in Lake Louise. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise host a variety of spooky activities. This includes crafts for kids, murder mystery nights for adults, scavenger hunts, and more.

Canoeing, kayaking, and other water activities are still available in October. However, it’s recommended to only plan an adventure on the water if you have experience. The water is very cold this time of year, putting people at risk of hypothermia if they fall in.

  • Thanksgiving
  • Halloween
  • Fall foliage

November: Best Month To Get In The Winter Spirit

Winter starts to make its way into Lake Louise in November. Towards the end of the month, it’s very likely that the lake will be frozen. There have been many years where the lake has been solid enough for ice skating this time of year.

Lake Louise often gets snow early in the month. It’s a wonderful spot to visit when you want an early winter experience. This area has daily highs of 30 F/ -1 C. Nighttime temperatures drop down to a low of 8.5 F/ -13 C.

During the last week of November, you can have fun with winter activities. This is when ski resorts in the area open the slopes. You can also enjoy activities like tubing and sledding again.

Seeing the frozen lake this time of year is absolutely stunning. The ice is a beautiful shade of shiny blue. Since it’s less crowded this time of year, you can enjoy a leisurely walk on the frozen water and feel like you're the only one there.

  • Early winter hikes
  • Walk along the frozen lake
  • Enjoy early snowfall

December: Holidays At Lake Louise

Lake Louise is a wonderful place to spend the Christmas holidays. If you want to enjoy a relaxing holiday where you will see the snowfall, this is the place to book a visit. This is the place where your Christmas can be filled with hot chocolate, skiing, and snow angels.

Days in December are relatively cold, with an average high of 21 F/ -6 C. All snow activities are available, so get ready to have fun on the slopes or an adventure snowshoeing. Visitors can also enjoy ice skating on the frozen lake.

In the middle of the month, Fairmont’s Ice Castle will be on display. This setup is absolutely stunning. There is also an ice bar that people all around the world visit to have a drink. To make it even more magical, people can go for a ride in a carriage pulled by a horse.

Every year, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has a lineup of festive activities for the whole family to enjoy. This includes sleigh rides, warm cocktails, and activities for the kids. They also have exclusive holiday dining so visitors can enjoy a delicious Christmas meal.

  • Fairmont’s Ice Castle
  • Sleigh rides
  • Christmas activities

What Is The Coldest Month At Lake Louise?

January is the coldest month in Lake Louise. Daily highs are around 21 F/ -6 C. However, nighttime lows are when it gets very chilly. The lows in January are around -4 F/ -20 C. Always pack a good quality coat and boots when visiting during the winter months.

This is also one of the snowiest times of the year. On average, it will snow between 22 and 23 days throughout January. It’s also normal for the month to bring over a foot of snow.

What Is The Hottest Month At Lake Louise?

July is the hottest month at Lake Louise. Daily highs are around 75 F/ 24 C. If you enjoy summer activities but hate heat and humidity, Lake Louise is the perfect place to visit in July. While days are mild, visitors can still enjoy time outdoors without getting sweaty.

One of the best things about Lake Louise in the summer is that the weather is never too hot. People are comfortable in light clothing hiking along the trails and mountains.

When Is The Best Time For A Family-Friendly Visit To Lake Louise?

January through March is the best time for a family-friendly visit to Lake Louise. This is because there are a lot of winter activities that are fun for all ages. Whether you have small children or teenagers, they will have a blast at Lake Louise in the winter.

Small children enjoy the snow play zones, while there’s a range of activities for adults. Activities like tubing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and skiing are fun for all ages. Families can also enjoy sled rides pulled by either a horse or dog.

If your family doesn’t enjoy winter activities, you may prefer a summer visit. July and August are the best times to enjoy a summer getaway to Lake Louise with the family. This time of year all areas are safe to explore.

Kids won’t get bored in the summer months either. There’s a variety of activities, like horseback riding, cycling, kayaking, and more.

Related Read: Do You Need a Passport To Go To Niagara Falls?

When Is The Busiest Time At Lake Louise?

July and August are the busiest months for tourism at Lake Louise. This is a popular time for families to travel because the kids are out of school. It’s also a good time of year to visit and see the clear turquoise water.

Holidays are also very busy at Lake Louise. Victoria Day in May, Canada Day in July, and Christmas & New Year’s bring in a lot of visitors. This is because the area has a lot going on for holidays.

When Is The Best Time Of Day To Visit Lake Louise?

Early morning is the best time of day to visit Lake Louise. The lake itself is a very popular attraction. By late morning and afternoon, there are more crowds in the area. Visitors that arrive early always have a more enjoyable experience.

If you want to spend the day at the lake, it’s recommended to arrive before 7 am. This is especially true during the busy summer season. If you arrive later in the morning, it will be very difficult to find a parking spot. There have been many occasions when visitors couldn't find a parking spot after 7:30 am.

Do I Need To Rent A Car When Visiting Lake Louise?

Renting a car isn’t necessary when visiting Lake Louise. There is an airport shuttle service from the Calgary airport that will take visitors to hotels in Lake Louise. In Lake Louise, there is a free shuttle service that goes to different destinations.

If you plan on visiting other areas, like the town of Banff, there are public buses that are available. Visitors will need to find out the public transportation schedule when visiting the area.

Choosing to rent a car will make it easier for you and your family to get around on your own schedule. This is something to consider if you want to go for a scenic drive or visit several areas on your trip.

What Is The Rainiest Month In Lake Louise?

May is the rainiest month in Lake Louise. The spring showers help with the thaw of Lake Louise, so it's mesmerizing in June. On average, it will rain for 15 days out of the month of May, with around 2.5 inches of rain.

The winter months are the driest time of year in Lake Louise. From January through April there is little to no rain. This is something visitors should consider if they want to spend most of their time outdoors.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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