It’s one of those iconic must do’s in the Canadian Rockies, experiencing breathtaking views as you paddle across Lake Louise towards the Victoria Glacier.
In the summer months the lake is buzzing with canoes and remains busy all day, there can be a wait to get a canoe. As with many attractions the quieter times are in the early evening after the majority of tourists have left. If the boathouse is offering earlier morning rentals that’s another good time to try.
Even though you won’t have the water to yourself in the summer, it’s is still a unique way to experience the lake. At the very least it will allow you to leave behind the hoards of tourists lining the lake front and shoreline trail.
Renting a canoe for one to one and a half hours is enough time to paddle near the end of the lake and back.
Canoe Rental Hours And Rates
- The seasonal start up of the canoe rentals depends on when the lake thaws, it’s generally open by mid-June.
- Rentals continue through to the end of September or into early October, weather permitting and with reduced hours.
- The hours are 11am to 7pm daily, weather permitting. The last boat goes out oat 6pm. They may offer earlier starts in the peak of summer. These hours may vary, check with the boathouse or hotel concierge.
- The rates for non-hotel guests are per canoe, $115 plus tax per hour and $105 plus tax per half hour. For hotel guests the rates are $75 plus tax per hour and $65 plus tax per half hour. Guests take priority over the general public. There is a guest priority line that goes behind the back of the boathouse. A room key must be presented to prove you are a guest of the hotel.
- The maximum number of people in a canoe is 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 small children under (25kg) 55 lbs. One person in the boat must be at least 16 years of age.
- Hotel guests can book an evening canoe experience where they can avoid the daytime crowds. $75 per canoe for one hour departing at 8:15pm. Reservations must be made by 6pm the day before. Cancellations and no shows between 6pm-8pm will incur a $75 fee.
- Guests can also book a voyageur canoe experience (an authentic 26 foot cedar group canoe) $55 per person.
For more information about the canoe rentals see: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Canoe Rental Information.
Tips For Renting A Canoe
- There is only one boat rental on the lake and it’s operated by the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel. Standing at the hotel looking out at the lake it is located on the left hand side accessed by a pathway. Canoes are available on a first come, first serve basis. They can’t be reserved.
- The weather can fluctuate and change rapidly. The boathouse closes if the lake becomes too windy, rainy, fogged in or has snow falling.
- The temperatures tend to be cooler in June and September. In the morning and early evening during any month you need to be prepared by dressing in layers.
- On warm days wear a sun hat and bring sunglasses, the reflection from the water is strong. Even on a cloudy day you can sunburn easily, cover up or wear sunscreen. Don’t forget to bring drinking water with you.
- Use common sense when out on the water. Remain in your seat, don’t stand up or walk or sit on the sides of the canoe. Don’t make sudden or jerky movements or rock from side to side. Every summer the rescue boat has to go out to pull people out of the water. At a frigid 5.C you do not want to fall in the lake.
- Life jackets are provided.
Can I Bring My Own Canoe Or Kayak To Use At Lake Louise?
Yes, you can use your own canoe or kayak at Lake Louise or any of the lakes or rivers within Banff National Park. There’s no public boat launch at Lake Louise. You will have to carry your canoe from the government parking lot area and launch it from shore of the lake. Parks Canada offers more information on paddling in the parks.
For more information on canoeing opportunites in the Rocky Mountains see: Canoeing and other water activities.