The vision for a (Canadian) Thanksgiving trip to Banff and Lake Louise was lots of hiking and canoeing in the brisk fall sunshine, sprinkled with breaks of hot tea and good food. Ohhhh, how the weather ended up being anything but sunny…
From the moment my family arrived in Calgary, the snow was coming down hard, and we were exclaiming how thankful we were that we checked the weather forecast before leaving Vancouver. If we hadn’t, I doubt I would have brought as much (code for: any) snow gear as I did!
After arriving at Calgary International Airport, we began driving west for a lunch stop in Banff. The drive was snowy, which I have to admit was lovely – I have always loved snowy weather (even though Vancouver rarely gets a good dump of snow), so the fact that we were driving through a winter wonderland was complete perfection. While at the Fairmont Banff Springs, I had a bowl of chowder (you guys already know how much I love a good chowder from my trip to Whitehorse, YT) and enjoyed taking in the spectacular scenery. While the visibility obviously wasn’t as good as it might be on a non-snowy day, it was beautiful to be surrounded by nature and simply slow down from my normal city life.
After the beautiful stop for lunch in Banff, we carried on to Lake Louise, the location we would be stationed at for the duration of the weekend. Simply put, Lake Louise is stunning. While the color of the lake wasn’t as vividly blue as it might be on a perfect sunny day, it was still an extremely breathtaking view of mountains, lake, and, of course, snow.
Mount Cashmere scarf & Asolo hiking boots.
Due to the snow (that lasted all weekend), the Fairmont closed the canoeing on the lake. Our trip coincided with the last weekend that canoeing was supposed to remain open to the public, but it does make sense that the hotel would close this activity three days early considering the amount of snow that was coming down. We were disappointed to not be able to get out on the lake, b it’s a good excuse to visit Lake Louise again in the future!
We hiked to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House on the last day that it was open before closing for the winter. We couldn’t see much besides snow and trees, but it was such a beautiful hike! It is 7km to the Tea House (14km roundtrip). If you are planning on hiking to the Tea House, bring cash because it is not affiliated with the Fairmont (ie. you can’t charge anything to your room) and there is no electricity (ie. to use credit cards) to buy yourself a slice of cake of a bowl of soup!
Explora Paris headband.
This weekend was filled with relaxation (and a bit of exercise, I guess haha) and family time. I would definitely recommend the spot for a weekend getaway!
Have a great week, everyone!