What To Wear To Banff Lake Louise
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How To get from Calgary to Lake Louise

Banff, Canada

by Coco Tran On September 8, 2023

calgary to lake louise

Here are all the different ways you can get from Calgary to Lake Louise and my recommendations and tips! Keep reading if you want to know all the details.

No time to read full article? This is the best ways to go from Calgary To Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Calgary To Lake Louise Shuttle

  • fast and convenient
  • 2-3 hours

Lake Louise Banff Coco Tran

Calgary To Lake Louise Tour

  • fast and convenient
  • 2-3 hours

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Calgary To Lake Louise Car Rental

  • fast and convenient
  • flexible cancelations
  • best rates

How To get from Calgary to Lake Louise

The alluring blue waters of Lake Louise attract travelers from all over the world. (including me! I visited in September for the first time).  Getting from Calgary to Lake Louise is a relatively simple drive, but the journey can be just as rewarding as the destination! Here are all the different ways you can get from Calgary to Lake Louise.

Be sure to allow extra time to make stops along the way to take in the magnificent scenery and partake in activities before arriving at the picturesque glacial lake nestled in the Canadian Rockies.

How To get to Lake Louise from Calgary

There are three ways to travel from Calgary to Lake Louise each with pros and cons:

1. Car rental and driving from Calgary to lake Louise

the fastest and most convenient option. Click here to jump to this section

2. Shuttle From Calgary to Lake Louise shuttle

A great way if you don’t want to hassle with parking and driving. Click here to jump to this section

3. Private tour from Calgary to Lake Louise

The most convenient way if you have limited time in Bnaff and would like to see all the highlights without having to stress over driving.  Click here to jump to this section

calgary to lake louise fairmont lake louise

Calgary to Lake Louise by car

Calgary to Lake Louise driving

The fastest and most direct route from Calgary to Lake Louise is to take Highway 1, also known as the Trans-Canada Highway. This is the route that is most common if you’re renting a car in Calgary like I did. 

For a slightly more scenic option, take Highway 1A from Calgary through Cochrane and Morley before connecting back to Highway 1 near Canmore. This adds only about 15 minutes to the trip. 

Remember to check driving conditions and traffic reports before going, especially in winter. The roads are well-maintained but occasional snowstorms can cause delays. Weekends tend to be busier, so allow extra time.

Calgary Car Rental

Rent your car at Calgary Airport It’s convenient and easy. Just be sure to reserve your car ahead of time.

I recommend at least 4 months as Calgary airport is the only airport people fly into to go to Banff national park. Keep in mind if you’re going during the winter when there is snow, renting a car that has AWD is important.

Book your rental car from Discover Cars: They have the best rates and lots of options to choose from.

calgary to lake louise fairmont lake louise

Calgary To Lake Louise Car Rental

  • fast and convenient
  • flexible cancelations
  • best rates

Get their rental car insurance for an extra blanket of peace of mind. They have easy and flexible cancelation policies and guarantee the best rate so you can be confident you’re getting a good deal!

Is it easy to drive from Calgary to Lake Louise?

The drive from Calgary to Lake Louise is a beautiful well well-maintained road. it’s an easy and straightforward drive. The trans-Canada Hwy Hwy #1 is a four-lane road. Very similar to any US major highways

Is it free to enter Banff National Park?

 just a heads up,  A National Park Pass is required to access Lake Louise, which sits inside Banff National Park. These can be purchased online in advance or at the park gates.

Do you need tickets for Lake Louise?

 the prices to enter Banff National Park are:

  • For adults (age 18 and over) – $10.50
  • For seniors (age 65 and over) – $9.00
  • For youth up to age 17 – free admission
  • For families or groups of up to 7 people total – $21.00 total cost
  • For commercial tour groups, each person will pay $9.00

The daily admission tickets allow you to enter the park until 4:00 p.m. the next day. After that time, you would need to purchase another daily ticket.

Tip: You can purchase multiple-day passes at once (especially if you’re planning to stay a few days)

If you are planning to visit Banff National Park multiple times in the next year or stay for longer than one day, you may want to purchase a Parks Canada Discovery Pass instead of daily tickets.

The Discovery Pass gives unlimited admission for one full year to all of the national parks across Canada including Yoho and Jasper.

The prices for the annual Discovery Pass are:

  • For adults (age 18 and over) – $72.25
  • For seniors (age 65 and over) – $61.75
  • For families or groups – $145.25 total cost

Where is the Banff National Park entrance? 

Banff National Park entrance gates are located 100 kilometers west of Calgary on Highway 1. You can purchase a Discovery Pass when you arrive at the park. Or you can also buy it online ahead of time before you visit.

Distance from Lake Louise to Calgary & distance from Calgary to lake louise

The distance from Lake Louise to Calgary is 182 km , and the Calgary to lake Louise drive takes just over 2 hours when road conditions are favorable.

lake louise banff
lake louise at 7 am

How many days do I need to see Lake Louise?

Because lake Louise is a very popular destination and parking is challenging, you can find out how to get parking at lake louise by checking my 6 tips here, I would recommend staying in the area for at least 4 days with a flexible schedule just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate or you can’t get parking at lake louise. If you pre-book a tour to visit lake Louise or a shuttle I’d reserve ahead and plan on one day for lake Louise. 

How far apart are Banff and Lake Louise?

Lake Louise is 62 km from Banff and it takes about 45 minutes drive to reach Lake Louise. 

Parking at Lake Louise

Parking is a huge challenge and I dedicated a whole post about parking at lake Louise here.

Flying into Calgary Aiport

The Calgary airport is the closest airport to Lake Louise. The Calgary airport code is YYC. 

If you’re flying into Calgary, head north from the airport on Highway 2 to Stoney Trail (201), which connects to Highway 1 west. You should stay overnight if you’re arriving later than 7 p.m. before beginning the drive the next morning.

The airport area has many hotels, but downtown options like Hotel Clique or Four Points Sheraton Calgary West.

Tip: Many of the hotels offer free shuttles from the airport to the hotels. book your hotels at Booking or Expedia.

Is Banff or Lake Louise closer to Calgary?

Banff is closer to Calgary. Lake Louise is 40 minutes further west from 

How do I get from Calgary to Lake Louise without a car?

Rather than driving, There are shuttle busses, private transfers, and public busses that offer service between Calgary and Lake Louise for those preferring to sit back and enjoy the views.

 For an easy and hassle-free way to visit Lake Louise: Book a tour of Banff National park including Lake Louise from Calgary: The tours I recommend are

Calgary to lake louise tour

Are there shuttles from Calgary to Lake Louise?

Private Shuttle services and group shuttles to Lake Louise are available.  Private transfers From Calgary to lake Louise are also available to provide door-to-door service for the most convenience and comfort. 

Calgary Lake Louise shuttle:

Lake Louise to Calgary distance is about 2 hours.

Calgary to Lake Louise train

Currently, there is no direct train from Calgary to Lake Louise. But there is a beautiful and scenic luxury train that goes from Calgary to Vancouver with a stop in Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. 

Bus from Calgary to Lake Louise:

The bus to from Calgary to Lake Louise is a long 4 -4.5 hour journey. It’s an affordable option but it takes significantly longer.

You need to first take the Canada Bus from Calgary to Banff it takes 1:20 mins and costs $25-35 one way and departs twice daily.

Schedules at thecanadabus.com After the Canada bus you will have to take the the https://roamtransit.com/) which is 45 minutes long and costs $2-10 dollars. 

Calgary to Lake Louise Drive by car: what to expect

Once on the highway headed west from Calgary, the landscape slowly transforms. The prairies give way to rolling foothills dotted with cattle ranches and small towns. Jagged snow-capped peaks loom ever closer as you enter Banff National Park.

Consider stops along the way to admire natural wonders like Hoodoos and Heart Mountain, browse the mountain towns of Canmore or Banff, or stretch your legs on scenic hikes.

Stops from Calgary to Lake Louise:

A road trip from Calgary to Lake Louise offers stunning scenery as the prairies transform into the magnificent Canadian Rockies. The approximately 200 km journey allows you to immerse yourself in nature at your own pace. Schedule at least 2-3 days to make the most of sights along the way.


Start by exploring Calgary’s urban attractions like the Calgary Tower, Prince’s Island Park, and Studio Bell. Wander the pedestrian bridges overlooking the Bow River or tour the many murals and street art. See where the 1988 Winter Olympics were held at Canada Olympic Park. Sample craft beer at breweries like Village Brewery or Annex Ale Project.

Leaving the city, make your first stop the Half Hitch Brewing Company in Cochrane to try their signature Papa Bear Prairie Ale. Nearby Glenbow Lake Provincial Park has beautiful foothill views. Stop at the historic Cochrane Ranche site where Alberta’s first large cattle ranch operated in the 1880s.

Kananaskis Country

Entering Kananaskis Country, walk amongst the hoodoos at Hoodoos Viewpoint. Hike to marble cave at Grotto Canyon or the tiered Ribbon Falls. Go skiing at Nakiska Ski Resort or cross-country ski along scenic trails. Walk across the glass bridge suspended high above the valley at Canmore’s Three Sisters viewpoint.


The vibrant mountain town of Canmore has even more adventures like ascending the Via Ferrata climbing route. Take a caving tour to explore the extensive Rat’s Nest Cave system. Sign up for a stargazing night tour to admire the brilliantly dark skies. Hike to turquoise green Grassi Lakes or try paddling a canoe on Lake Minnewanka.

Near Banff

Near Banff, visit the wolves at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. In town, ride the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain for panoramic views. Explore the Cave and Basin National Historic Site where the hot springs were discovered. Hike to the cascading Bow Falls along the turquoise Bow River.

Along Bow Valley Parkway, walk through forested Johnston Canyon to a series of thundering waterfalls. Stop at viewpoint pullouts like Castle Mountain and Morant’s Curve, watching for passing trains with the mountains behind. Spend a night in cozy cabin accommodations at Baker Creek Mountain Resort.

Just before Lake Louise, don’t miss a stop at Moraine Lake for its turquoise waters backed by the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Arrive early to beat crowds and see the morning light illuminate the mountain peaks. Hike to Sentinel Pass or Paradise Valley for spectacular views from high alpine meadows. 

Finally reach the glittering Lake Louise, strolling along its shoreline trail. Ride the Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola up the ski hill for sweeping vistas. Go canoeing or paddleboarding on the vivid blue waters. Hike through fragrant larch forests to alpine Lake Agnes Teahouse. Sign up for night sky photography workshops under the brilliant stars.

With so many incredible sights, schedule ample time to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes along the way. The road trip from Calgary to Lake Louise offers boundless opportunities to renew your spirit in the magnificent Canadian Rockies.

Though the 180 km journey from Calgary to Lake Louise is direct, the contrasting landscapes provide constantly changing vistas. Schedule ample time for excursions along the way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty. The alpine splendor of Banff and Yoho National Parks will rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit before arriving at the cerulean waters of Lake Louise. One visit will never seem like enough time in this mountainous haven.

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