Canoeing On The Turquoise Waters Of Lake Louise

It’s one of those iconic must do’s in the Canadian Rockies. Experience breathtaking views as you paddle across world-famous Lake Louise towards the Victoria Glacier. Renting a canoe for one to one and a half hours is enough time to paddle to the end of the lake and back.

During the busy summer season the lake is buzzing with canoes by late morning and through the afternoon. You may have to wait for one to become available. As with many attractions the quieter times are first thing in the morning and in the early evening after the majority of tourists have left.

Even though you won’t have the water to yourself, it 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.



Canoe Rental Hours And Rates

  • The seasonal start up of the canoe rentals depends on when the lake thaws. Generally the boat house is open by mid-June. 
  • Rentals continue through to the end of September or October, weather permitting. (with reduced hours)
  • The hours are 11am to 7pm daily (weather permitting) The last boat goes out at 6pm.
  • Rates are $65 per hour or $55 per half hour
  • The maximum number of people in a canoe is 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children under 55 lbs. One person in the boat must be at least 16 years of age.
  • For more information about the canoe rentals, contact the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

Tips For Renting A Canoe On Lake Louise

  • There is only one boat rental on the lake. Looking at front of the lake it is accessed by taking the pathway to the left. It is first come, first serve.
  • If you are staying at the hotel consider booking a sunrise canoe rental. This is the only way to reserve a canoe in advance. They will give you an early morning wake up call so you can get out and enjoy the solitude and tranquil blue waters of the lake.
  • The weather can fluctuate and change rapidly. The boat house 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 we have witnessed the rescue boat go out to pull people out of the water. At a frigid 4.C you do not want to fall in the lake.

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.


    • Audrey says

      Yes, you can bring a non-motorized boat such a a row boat, canoe or kayak to the lakes and rivers in Banff National Park. For Lake Louise keep in mind you would have to carry it from the parking lot area to the lake. I don’t think the Fairmont boat house would let you use their dock. You would have to launch from the shore, but it should be easy enough to do.

  1. Allison says

    Sadly the rates have gone up to $65 per hour and $55 per half hour :(
    Spring hours this year are 11am-7pm.
    And thank you for all the great info!!

    • Audrey says

      Thanks for the updated info. That is too bad that the rates have been raised so much and strange they have changed the start time to 11am.

  2. Shania says

    Hi there! I will be coming early next week and the weather forecast predicts rain. I only have one day to spend in Lake Louise and I would like to know if we can still go on the lake with light to medium rain? Thanks! See you next week!

    • Audrey says

      It will be one of those situations where you will have to wait and see when you get there. You’ll likely find that if it’s anything other than a very light rain the boathouse won’t open. Or it will shut down if inclement weather occurs during the day such as rain, wind, a chance of thunder and lightening or if it’s there’s poor visibility due to fog or mist.

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