Exploring Lake Louise by Canoe

The full moon above Lake Louise sinks lower in the morning sky

After climbing into our warmest clothes, we stepped outside into the eerie quiet. The full moon pierced the darkness lighting our path.

We thought we were alone in the crisp alpine air until we stumbled upon a lone photographer. He hunched over his tripod, with his lens pointed across the lake at the shimmering glaciers of Mt. Victoria.

As we approached the boathouse, the aroma of coffee and hot chocolate welcomed us like a warm hug. A small group huddled together on the dock and even in my semi-conscious state, their excitement was electric.

After a quick briefing, we selected life jackets and paddles, before launching our canoe. The magnetic pull of the full moon hanging above Victoria Glacier, and the promise of sunshine propelled us along Lake Louise.

A full moon illuminates the Lake Louise boathouse
Lake Louise boathouse

Our paddles sliced through the glacial water as the sun began to peek over a mountain.  At the end of the lake, the closest point to the retreating glacier, we stopped and waited.  The warm glow illuminating the summit of Mt. Victoria began to creep toward us.  I might have been holding my breath as the sun began to bathe the ancient ice in a rosy glow.

The full moon above Lake Louise sinks lower in the morning sky
The moon sinks lower in the morning sky

A full moon, clear sky and incredible sunrise aligned to make this early morning paddle on Lake Louise a once in a lifetime experience.

Exploring Lake Louise by canoe
Exploring Lake Louise

Regardless of the size of the moon, exploring Lake Louise by canoe is a fantastic experience during the warmer months.


The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is in an unbeatable location. Consider upgrading to a room on the Fairmont Gold floor for an even more exclusive experience.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on the shore of an emerald glacial lake
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Getting There

Calgary, Alberta is the nearest urban centre and is approximately 200km from Lake Louise. A private vehicle is a great option because there are many other incredible sites in the region, including Banff and the surrounding Banff National Park.

Travel Tips

6 thoughts on “Exploring Lake Louise by Canoe”

  1. Beautiful writeup and photos! Lake Louise is one of my favorite places. Deer Lodge (next door to the Chateau) is also a wonderful place to stay with an incredible menu featuring bison, venison, and caribou. I may be partial to it as we got engaged there but the rooms have a different feel and have fireplaces! : )

    1. LuxeTravelFamily

      Thank you so much Charles! I am so grateful we were able to take the boys on the lake that day. We traveled to Lake Louise to hike up to the Tea House because my husband has memories of his family hiking there when he was younger.

  2. Lake Louise is one of my favorite places – summer or winter! I think a full moon paddle around Lake Louise is a marvelous idea! Summer 2016 I will be in Calgary for a couple of months so I look forward to at least one weekend escape to Lake Louise.

    1. LuxeTravelFamily

      Thank you for the comment Susan. I haven’t spent time at Lake Louise in the winter but imagine it is beautiful! The full moon paddle was an unforgettable experience. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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