We drove to Lake Louise on the scenic Bow Valley Parkway, which runs parallel to the Trans-Canada Highway. The Parkway has a lower speed limit and allows you the opportunity to see wildlife and make sightseeing stops along the way. One of the first things that we saw was a giant elk eating along the side of the road, which triggered cars to pull over to get photos (it reminded me of being on safari in Africa). We made stops at Moose Meadows, the Castle Mountain viewpoint (a mountain that used to be named for President Eisenhower), and Morant's Curve, with its views of the Bow River and the railway. The most surprising discovery was a memorial for the Castle Mountain Internment Camp, which housed hundreds of "enemy aliens" of Eastern European descent during World War I.
We arrived at Lake Louise around lunchtime, so decided to stop and eat at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. We sat at a window table in the Lakeview Lounge, which had magnificent views of Lake Louise and the Victoria Glacier. The food was quite good. For mains we had the Lakeview beef burger and dal makhani, and for dessert we ordered the lemon cheesecake and spiced blackberry pear cake (along with a hot chocolate for me).
When you first see Lake Louise you are in awe of its crystal clear turquoise glacial waters and the beauty of the whole area. We walked along the path that goes around the right side of the lake to get closer views of Lake Louise, Victoria Glacier and the surrounding mountains.
Next we headed south to Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, which also presents a breathtaking view when you first see it. There is a giant Rockpile as you enter the lake area, and you can walk along the rocky shoreline or the trail running parallel to the lake. There are pretty amazing views from whichever angle you stand at.
As we drove back to Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway we were lucky enough to see a rainbow appear across the highway. Overall it was a day of spectacular natural beauty.