Insiders view on Banff Lake Louise

The Wanderers in conversation with Lukas Prochazka

Everything the guide books or tourism websites won’t tell you about the place.

One little known fact/trivia that everyone should know about when travelling to Banff Lake Louise.

Banff was established as Canada’s first national park back in 1885. It is the World’s 3rd oldest national park (#1 is Yellowstone NP in USA, established in 1872, #2 is Royal National Park in Australia, 1879).

Once ‘Siding 29’ on the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Town of Banff was intended to be a tourist town from its very inception. The park’s first superintendent, George Stewart, even oriented the town’s first street in such a way that it would offer the best possible views of Cascade Mountain.

What is a must buy when in Banff Lake Louise?

With over 200 shops, outdoor retailers and art galleries in Banff and Lake Louise, there is endless selection of souvenirs to take home for every type of traveller. That includes art, jewellery, locally made chocolate and hand-made local beauty products at the Rocky Mountain Soap Company.

One take-away after a visit to Banff Lake Louise?

Everlasting memories, created by enjoying this vast mountain playground, and perhaps a photo of local wildlife if you are lucky.

What is your advice to first time travellers?

Make sure you spend enough time in Banff National Park to really enjoy its attractions and activities at a leisurely pace. Take time to slow down and breathe fresh mountain air. Try one of our outdoor adventures, go for a soak in the hot springs or enjoy a spa treatment. Stroll down Banff Avenue with its many shops, restaurants and pubs.

Banff National Park is not only a place to see, it is a place to explore!

One thing to definitely pack when travelling to Banff Lake Louise.

Enough memory cards for your camera, as Banff National Park offers unparalleled scenic beauty, with opportunities to admire high peaks, majestic glaciers, turquoise lakes, and a chance to spot wildlife, such as black and grizzly bear, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, or deer.

One activity anyone travelling to Banff Lake Louise should not miss.

A hike or horseback ride to Plain of Six Glaciers in Lake Louise in summer or Johnston Canyon Ice Walk in winter!

By far one of the most scenic hikes in the Canadian Rockies, the Plain of Six Glaciers hike offers expansive views of the impressive mountain features that surround Lake Louise, including Mount. Lefroy, Mount. Victoria and the Victoria Glacier. After your steady hike up, enjoy a snack at the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse.

A canyon full of rushing water in summer, Johnston Canyon freezes in winter to form sparkling walls of ice. Formed by ancient glaciers, this is a spectacular geological landmark that is well worth the visit on a guided tour.

Where should anyone, travelling to Banff Lake Louise, definitely get their picture taken.

On the Rock Pile, a beautiful viewing spot only 5 minutes away from the parking lot at Moraine Lake (short 15 min drive from Lake Louise).

Which is the best place to get a panoramic photo?

The top of Sulphur Mountain that can be easily reached by the Banff Gondola.

Best place to enjoy sunset/sunrise?

Vermillion Lakes just outside the town of Banff.

Most romantic place to take a special someone to?

Any of the two “Castles in the Rockies” – The Fairmont Banff Springs and The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Imagine yourself a turn of the century railway baron at the European inspired Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, nestled amidst the Rocky Mountains on the shores of the world’s most famous emerald glacier lake. Ask about the rich history of the Banff Springs, the renowned “Castle in the Rockies”, a National Historical Site located in the heart of Banff National Park.

Best place to have local food?

Maple Leaf Grille & Lounge, right on Banff Avenue.

Head Chef Morne Burger has created an award-winning menu showcasing the best in Rocky Mountain cuisine. Choose from a variety of fresh seafood from both Canadian coasts or enjoy succulent cuts of Alberta bison, beef and elk. With over 600 wine selections, the Maple Leaf has won nine consecutive Awards of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine.

Your favourite local dish and drink that you would recommend.

With over 120 restaurants, pubs, and lounges, it’s almost impossible to pick one favourite dish. This travel destination has attracted some of the very best in Canadian and internationally inspired foods, also known as Canadian Rocky Mountain Cuisine. Many restaurants help you sample the regional fare, bringing in organic and sustainably sourced Alberta beef and bison, fine cheeses and wines. If you’re in the mood for sushi, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Swiss fondue or pizza, you’ve got more than enough choice of restaurants to try. After dark, kick up your heels at a local dance club or relax with a beverage at a groovy lounge.

One place only the locals would know.

With over 1,600 km of hiking trails of various lengths and difficulties, there is many options to get off the beaten path and visit hidden jewels visited mostly only by knowledgeable local people.

The best pub and best place to catch up for a drink.

The Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon on Banff Avenue.

A local festival you feel more travellers should come and see

Ice Magic – international ice carving competition taking place outside in front of The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

The things guide books won’t tell anyone about Banff Lake Louise?

Banff National Park is such a magical place that many people who originally came only for a short visit, move and stay here permanently. That is why tourists visiting Banff and Lake Louise will encounter workers from many different regions of Canada and even from different countries, when staying in local hotels, eating in local restaurants and shopping in our gift shops.

Is there any particular month you would not recommend travel to Banff Lake Louise and what would that reason be?

Banff National Park is a four season destination that offers unique experiences and world class attractions 365 days a year.

There is no wrong time to visit Banff and Lake Louise!

In one sentence, Banff Lake Louise is Canada’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering a unique combination of unspoiled wilderness, modern amenities and opportunities for active exploration.

Lukas Prochazka is Manager, Asia at Banff Lake Louise Tourism and in charge of all sales and marketing activities in India, China, Japan and Korea. Born and raised in Czech Republic in Europe, Lukas moved to Banff in 2004 and has made it his new home.

On his days off, Lukas can be found hiking, running, climbing, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the most remote corners of Banff National Park, enjoying everything this unique protected mountain playground has to offer.

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One thought on “Insiders view on Banff Lake Louise”

  1. Hi Lukas, my girlfriend and I are interested in hiking the Banff National park. We would like to spend about 4 days hiking and and staying overnight on trail at designated sites. we would like to include as many of the most popular and scenic views as possible. Do you have any recommendations on what 3-4 day hike or any other options. We are both intermediate hikers with gear. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Sean

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