A Trip of Firsts – Visiting Lake Louise

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Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

We had never been to Waterton. Or in a canoe.

Never been quadding, or never tried Lumpy Dick.

This trip to our home province has been one of many ‘firsts’, where even though we lived here for 30+ years, we finally did all of the above (and more).

And one final ‘first’ that we completed is our most embarrassing one to date. I believe, for it was to visit one of the most stunning lakes in Canada, one that was well within our reach for almost two decades.

While we had visited Lake Louise on one brief occasion before, we never walked it’s shoreline and took it all in. We couldn’t comment on the alternating shades of blue and green that shimmered in the water, or the fresh and intoxicating alpine smell. We never understood why it is so often called the “Jewel of the Rockies”.

until now…


And I suppose (hope), that’s okay, right? As long as ‘firsts’ are still undertaken, no matter when, no matter how, as long as they are.


Many thanks to Banff National Park tourism for their assistance on this trip. As always, all opinions are our own.

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    1. For sure it was superb timing, right in between summer and ski season. We only saw 1 tour bus the whole time. Plus there were only a handful of folks who decide to actually walk around the lake, instead just staying on the shore by the Chateau. The only downfall is that when we went to see Moraine Lake, the ranger had just closed the road and access for the season 🙁

  1. Holy….wow.

    I’m from Seattle originally and have been to Canada for all of 2 hours in my entire life. That’s embarrassing.

    1. There truly is, it’s difficult not to get stuck behind the lens. I had to force myself to put the camera down and just breathe them in.

  2. When I was a little girl a great aunt showed me pictures of her trip to Lake Louise, where she stayed in the Chateau. I thought it was the most glamorous place on the planet. Still haven’t got there, but your photos confirm my opinion!

    1. How cool Vera. I was looking at pictures of when they first built the Chateau and thought how magical it would have been back then when the tourism was not at the height it is at now. It still is as glamorous as it was back then.

  3. Lovely photos! I was lucky enough to work at the Chateau Lake Louise for a summer a few years ago, and it still feels like a second home to me. It’s such an amazing place for hiking.

  4. Don’t feel bad. I lived at Castle Mountain, halfway between the Banff and Lake Louise townsites for 8 months and never really went to Lake Louise. Or radium, or the hotsprings or… I did get in some great hikes though.

  5. It really sucks sometimes that Canada is SO big 🙁 I really wish I could have gone there already!

  6. I have wanted to go to Lake Louise ever since I was a child, it seems like such a beautiful area to visit. Your photos make it look even more so. I have heard that it can get crowded, but it seems that you picked a quite time, with less crowds. Your photographs are really stunning!

    1. I really think we did go at the perfect time – just after the summer rush, yet before ski season! There were quite a few people there still, but it wasn’t overpowering, that’s for sure.

  7. Being lucky enough to live in British Columbia, we always enjoy camping in and around Lake Louise. Never get tired of the natural beauty! 🙂

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