The Burgess Shale and Emerald Lake

Lake Louise Travel Blog

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May 27
Hotel: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Today we were planning to head up to Lake Louise for two nights. We ran into Alan again at checkout, he was heading up to Lake Louise today as well on his tour. The concierge at the Fairmont had provided us with great prepared trip itineraries, they had called out all the sites by km along the way. We planned to head up the Bow Valley Parkway (1A), which runs up east of the Trans-Canada highway. There are a few places to stop along the way, one of them Johnson canyon has a trail up to some waterfalls. We got to the waterfall turnoff around 9:30AM; the walk up is about 3kms and took two hours.
Johnson Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta
Some of the path was on catwalks hanging out over the canyon below. Most of the canyon was still in deep shadow and had lots of snow on the southern side. The waterfalls were pretty nice. The lower one had hollowed out a grotto in the rock; there is a side trail down where you can view the water from inside the grotto. We returned to the parking lot at 11:30; by now it was nearly full of RVs and other hikers.

Checkin at the Fairmont wasn't until 3:00 so we decided to head over to Yoho park and Emerald Lake which was back across the Kicking Horse pass in British Colombia. The drive over was alot quicker than I expected.. the train had taken a few hrs but only took us about 30 minutes from Lake Louise village. We stopped at the natural bridge carved by the Kicking Horse river, then over to Emerald Lake.
The lake lived up to its name which was a gorgeous blue color. Yoho Park is home of the Burgess Shale, a treasure trove of 500-million year old bizzare fossils; I'd heard the name before but hadn't realized it was here. We had lunch at the lodge here on the lake, then back over to Lake Louise where it was time to checkin. This time we were upgraded from a Lakeview Deluxe to a huge Lakeview Jr. Suite. We opened the windows to get a view of the lake, only to find out it was still frozen! They say the lake doesn't thaw until the first week in June, then still takes another month or so to turn the gorgeous blue color seen in most photos. We were just in time to catch the afternoon tea in the lounge overlooking the lake. At $39 each it was overpriced.. it came with champagne, teapot, and usual finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries. Overall we didn't think it was very good, at least not for the price. The view was gorgeous, but the huge windows and the blazing sun meant it was boiling hot inside even though it was still quite chilly outdoors.
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Johnson Canyon, Banff National Par…
Johnson Canyon, Banff National Pa…
Emerald Lake, Yoho Park, British C…
Emerald Lake, Yoho Park, British …
Emerald Lake, Yoho Park, British C…
Emerald Lake, Yoho Park, British …
High Tea, Fairmont Chateau Lake Lo…
High Tea, Fairmont Chateau Lake L…
Lake Louise Hotels & Accommodations review
The only place to stay in Lake Louise
We stayed at the Fairmont Lake Louise for two nights. This time we were upgraded from a Lakeview Deluxe to a huge Lakeview Jr. Suite. We opened the w… read entire review
Lake Louise
photo by: mountaingirl