Tuesday, July 26, 2005 -- Moraine Lake
and Lake Louise
This was the first "real" day of our vacation, the previous day having
been taken up entirely by planes, airports, car rentals, traffic jams,
The short story is, we went to Moraine Lake and then to Lake
Louise. We found way too many people clustered around the main
viewing sites and spent most of our time hiking the surrounding
trails. We couldn't hike the trail that was recommended by the
desk clerk at the Paradise Lodge and Bungalows, because it was
restricted to groups of 6 or more due to bear activity. But it
seemed that pretty much any trail at all was sufficient to get away
from the people.
Moraine Lake was very pretty. There were a lot of people when we
arrived and hugely too many when we left. (The road was filled
with cars starting several hundred yards before the parking lot.)
The nice level trail out along the lake was pretty quiet, though.
Moraine Lake is one of the most heavily photographed lakes in the
Canadian Rockies and there are many wonderful photographs published on
the web and available for sale, see for example Google's image search
Lake". For us, it looked as follows. (All images can be blown
up by clicking on them.)
On top of the "Rock Pile"...
At the other end of the lake, where the creek enters...
There was a very nice plaque at Moraine Lake that illustrated how high
the glaciers had been when they shaped the landscape.
Lake Louise, at the main viewpoint close to the Chateau Lake Louise,
looked like this (and I strongly recommend blowing this one up to full
size). The trail below right of image center leads to the Plain
of Six Glaciers, which we hiked later in the trip.
While hiking, we didn't see as many flowers as we expected to, and
hardly any butterflies. But the flowers that we did see were very
This little moss-like flower was growing on a vertical surface.
(The inset photo is a blowup of two blossoms at lower center.)
This Penstemon (the purple flower) and the yellow Composite were in a
rockslide above Lake Louise.
These were beside the road on the way to Moraine Lake.
These were on the road to Moraine Lake too.
Here's a delightful little fungus that Kyle called my attention to, on
the hillside above Lake Louise.
Here is a little hillside beside the road, about 1 km away from Lake
Louise, near where we had to park because the official lots were all
And this huge larkspur was growing beside the trail between Lake Louis
and the place we parked.
We ended this day by going to dinner at "Bill Peyto's" place in the
International Hostel. It was very good, and we ended up going
back there several times. The Pepper Steak Stir Fry was