Lake Louise Campground Review
The iconic Lake Louise is just over a two-hour drive from Calgary (four hours and five hours from Lethbridge and Edmonton, respectively). While an incredible destination, many locals skip over this area in favour of less crowded, less touristy places. However, Lake Louise Campground is a world away from the hustle and bustle. Even while it was full over the August long weekend, the campground was peaceful. With its large, private sites, excellent facilities, and access to trails, this campground is worth a visit.
The Campsites at Lake Louise Campground
In the tent side of the campground, there are 206 campsites, all un-serviced with a picnic table and fire pit. There are 189 full-service (electricity, water, and sewer) sites in the trailer campground, each with a picnic table and fire pit.
A maximum of 6 people is allowed per site. If you’re tenting, you can have 2 tents and 1 vehicle or 1 tent and 2 vehicles. If you’ve got an RV, you can have 1 camping unit and 1 vehicle.
The majority of the sites are quite large and private thanks to the trees. Parking areas are clearly separate from the camping area in the tent campground. The picnic tables are able to be re-positioned and have a metal cooking shelf attached. The fire pits also have a grill.
Facilities at Lake Louise Campground
Like all national parks, you must purchase a fire permit for each night you’d like to have a fire. Firewood is provided free of charge.
The Lake Louise Campground has flush toilets and shower facilities. There are a number of heated bathrooms throughout the campground, although hot water wasn’t always available at them. Some of the bathrooms have sinks and there is usually a drinking water tap located nearby. The bathrooms were kept quite clean.
The shower facilities were really nice. Clean, lots of hot water, and heated buildings make for a great shower experience. They’re also included in your camping fee!
The Lake Louise Campground also offers an interpretive program and guided walks. There are a few trails around the campground as well. There are also picnic shelters with stoves.
Note: If you are camping in a tent or soft-sided trailer (tent trailer or hybrid), you must book in the Lake Louise tent campground. It is surrounded by an electric fence to help keep larger wildlife away.
Cost of Camping at Lake Louise Campground
An unserviced tent campsite is $27.40 per night. A serviced site in the trailer campground is $32.30 per night. A fire permit is $8.80 per night as well.
You can reserve online via the Parks Canada Reservation Service.
Quiet hours are between 11pm and 7am - no music, alcohol, or campfires during this time. You can also only run your generator between 9am and 10:30am and between 5pm and 7pm.
Dogs are welcome at the campground, however, they must be on a leash and not left unsupervised.
The BARE campsite is strictly enforced. Our neighbours had their (clean) dishes confiscated after leaving them unattended and another camper was told to not leave the cooler out, even if they were only gone for a few minutes.
Here’s the full list of rules and regulations.
Things to Do Near Lake Louise Campground
In addition to the trails and interpretive program, there is a lot to do around the Lake Louise Campground. The challenge is dealing with the crowds during the day and getting where you want to go. Thankfully, there are traffic directors in Lake Louise helping to keep things moving so it’s not too hard to get out of the village quickly.
Other than heading up to Lake Louise or Moraine Lake for iconic pictures and great hiking, there are many more (less populated) trails nearby. You can also explore the Bow Valley Parkway by car or bike. It’s a quick drive to BC for Yoho National Park for even more excellent hiking and fantastic views.
Here are some more activities:
- Banff Park Museum
- Banff Upper Hot Springs
- Boating (at Lake Minnewanka)
- Cave and Basin National Historic Site
- Fine dining
- Fishing (with a license)
- Horseback riding
- Kayaking or canoeing
- Mountain or road biking
- River rafting
- Rock climbing
- Scuba Diving (at Lake Minnewanka or Two Jack Lake)
- Wildlife viewing and birdwatching
Exploring the town of Banff and the village of Lake Louise is also worth it - there’s fantastic shops, great food, and lots of people-watching opportunities.
All-in-all, I was surprised and impressed by the Lake Louise campground. Even on a long weekend, it was peaceful, quiet, and a beautiful escape.