Are you planning a trip to Banff to see Lake Louise? Wondering how to get parking at Lake Louise? With the increasing popularity of this natural wonder, finding a spot to park can be a challenge. But don’t worry, in this guide, I will share some tips and tricks to help you get parking at Lake Louise hassle-free!
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Lake Louise Parking Information
Lake Louise is a breathtaking natural wonder in Banff National Park, Canada. Millions of visitors flock to this destination every year to witness the turquoise waters and stunning views. Let’s jump right into the main question.
can you park at lake louise?
You may be wondering “Can I park at lake Louise” the answer is yes! as of now 2023 season, you can park your personal vehicle at Lake Louise.
However, with such a high number of visitors, finding parking can be a challenge, and even more so during peak seasons. When I visited in September, the number of visitors skyrocketed after Covid. So, I’m taking what I learned and sharing my best Lake Louise parking tips and this guide will help you navigate how to get parking in Lake Louise.
lake louise parking status & Is there parking at lake louise
As of 2023 & 2024 season, parking at Lake Louise lakeshore is allowed. To check the current Lake Louise Parking Status: Parking is extremely limited at the Lake Louise Lakeshore. Lots fill early and remain full until sunset! It’s best to plan other options: see my recommendations below.
Can you park at Lake Louise? Why is parking at Lake Louise So difficult?
Lake Louise is a popular destination and parking spots are limited. Lake louise had over 3 Million visitors in the 2023 season!
During peak season, it’s not uncommon for the parking lot to fill up before 6 AM. This can be frustrating especially if you have limited time and have planned your trip months in advance. I get it, I’ve been there!
Because there is very limited space and the natural reserve status of the area, parking restrictions are enforced very strictly. Vehicles parked illegally may be ticketed and towed.
With the recent ban on personal vehicles at Lake Moraine, I have a feeling this will be implemented shortly for Lake Louise. But until then, lake Louise parking is still available. So, to help you navigate the parking, here are my parking tips for Lake Louise.
Tips for driving to lake Louise and parking lake Louise Tips That Will Get You Parking At Lake Louise
Some tips if you’re planning to drive to Lake Louise and parking at Lake Louise, more tips for visiting Lake Louise below
- What time does lake Louise parking fill up? Very early! I recommend you arrive before 4 AM, with plenty of time before most cars start trickling in and with ample of patience.
- Bring a warm jacket and blanket and snooze in your car until 7 AM
- Have back-up destinations to visit (Peyto Lake is a good backup it’s beautiful and not as busy)
- Bring snacks or a breakfast sandwich and plenty of water
- The fee to visit Lake Louise & Banff National Park. The daily park pass is available to purchase as you enter Banff National Park or online. You have to have the pass on your windshield. the daily passes are available at $10.50 per person or $21 per car/family. The day pass is valid until 4:00 p.m. on the day after purchase.
- If you purchase Parks Canada Discovery Pass it is $75 for each adult, and children are free. The Discovery Pass provides entry to Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, Waterton Lakes and Elk Island national parks.
- lake Louise parking fee is paid at the meter machine it is $12.25 per vehicle per day from 7am- 7pm. If you arrive before 7 AM I recommend you pay for parking at Lake Louise put it on your dashboard.
- Bonus Tip! On Canada Day (July 1) Banff National Park is open free of charge
If you’re ambitious and are planning to drive to Lake Louise you should reserve your rental car early as they do sell out!
I book my rental car with Discover Cars because they offer free cancelations flexible reschedules and a competitive selection of cars and providers. This is the best place to reserve your Banff Car Rental. For the best prices and availability book your car rental now and lock in the best price!
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Where to Park at Lake Louise & 6 Lake Louise Parking Tips
where to park in lake louise | parking at lake louise tips:
1. Lake Louise Lakeshore Parking Lot
If you’re planning to drive to Lake Louise and you’re wondering where to park at Lake Louise? The Lake Louise parking lot is the only available parking lot for personal vehicles to park at. Parking at Lake Louise lakeshore is VERY limited and the lot does get full before sunrise.
Where is the best place to park at Lake Louise?
The lakeshore parking lot is going to be your best bet.
If you’re wondering what time to get to Lake Louise. My best Lake Louise parking tips for you are to arrive before the sun is up at an ungodly hour but I promise you will get parking.
When I went, we arrived by 4 AM and the parking lot was half full. We were able to get Lake Louise parking at the upper parking lot. I know this is not an easy feat to wake up this early, but it’s worth the effort!
what time does lake louise parking open
The Lake Louise parking hours are from 7 AM to 7 PM. You won’t be allowed to park overnight here unless you are staying at the Fairmont Hotel.
How much is the lake Louise parking & lake louise parking pass
If you’re wondering how much is parking at lake louise, the Lake Louise parking fee is $12.25 per vehicle. The Lake Louise parking fee is paid at the meter machine. There isn’t a parking pass for Lake Louise, but there is a fee to enter Banff National park and there is park pass to enter Banff National Park. More details below. If you arrive before 7 AM I recommend you pay for parking at Lake Louise and put it on your dashboard.
2. Parking At The Fairmont Lake Louise Chateau
Another Lake Louise parking tip is to stay at the Fairmont Hotel. As a hotel guest, parking the Fairmont is guaranteed for hotel guests and it is on the lakefront of Lake Louise.
Because of the parking at the Fairmont Chateau for all hotel guests. It is worth it for you to book at least one night here. You won’t have to stress about finding parking and you will have a lakefront view the whole time you’re there and access to the Lake Louise lakeshore. If you can get a reservation (the hotel books up quickly and well in advance) spending even one night at the Fairmont Lake Louise is well worth the price for the convenience!
UPDATE: The Fairmont charges hotel guests $30 per vehicle. Which is still worth the convenience especially if you’re traveling far to see Lake Louise and have limited time.
Book A Hotel Room At The Fairmont Hotel
Free Cancelations | Rating: 4.5/5
Update: here is the current Lake Louise parking map including all the zones so you can get an idea of how many parking spots there are and how early you should arrive to secure parking. The areas not marked with a color, are the available parking spots for you to park.
Also, there is no waiting allowed anywhere on the road, as there are no spaces to wait. You will waste a lot of time looping around as the gatekeepers will tell you to turn around and keep going. It’s better to see something else and come back before sunset!
3. Lake Louise overflow parking
If the lakeshore parking lot is full, there is parking near Lake Louise overflow parking lot for Park & Ride shuttle (scroll down to more detailed information and map of the park and ride shuttle).
Where is lake Louise park and ride? The Lake Louise overflow parking lot is located 4 km away from the lake and can accommodate up to approximately 250 cars.
Visitors can park here and take a shuttle bus to the lake. The shuttle runs every 15 minutes, and the round trip takes about 20-25 minutes. You need to purchase tickets and reserve your timeslot AHEAD OF TIME. You cannot purchase these tickets at the parking lot.
The Lake Louise Park and Ride shuttle runs from May to October (exact dates change annually) and departs every 20 minutes from 8 am to 6:20 pm
NOTE: this parking lot is only for Parks and Ride shuttle ticket holders. You will be turned away if you do not have a ticket with an advance reservation.
If you book the Park and Ride to get to Lake Louise, you will be able to ride the Lake Connector Shuttle for free
The park and ride shuttle is a bus service that runs between the Lake Louise Ski Resort parking lot and the lake. Again, tickets must be purchased and seats must be reserved in advance.
where to park in lake louise
4. parking at lake louise village
if you can’t get parking at lake louise lake shore. Lake Louise Village parking lot is another place to temporarily park. If you’re wondering if you can walk from Lake Louise Village to Lake Louise: Maybe, technically you can but it is about a 10-15 minute drive so about an hour to walk to reach Lake Louise Lakeshore.
The entry to Lake Louise village is typically blocked off by the traffic controller but you can (carefully pass them) and turn in and park. So it’s a good option to park your vehicle here and have a snack or nap before you try to loop back into Lake Louise lakeshore parking.
This tiny little parking lot is popular among the locals who go biking and meet up here. Please try to be mindful and considered when parking here, if Canada Parks notices too many people parking here, this parking lot will also be blocked off permanently in the future to everyone.
how to get to lake louise: other options if you don’t want to drive
1. Take The Roam Bus To To Lake Louise
The Roam Transit bus service runs between Banff and Lake Louise. Here’s some more information:
you’ve got two awesome options with Roam Transit! There’s Route 8x, also known as the Lake Louise Express, and the Route 8S, aka Lake Louise Scenic (with stops at Johnston Canyon and Protection Mountain Campground). These routes are up and running from May 20 to September 18, 2023.
roam Bus Pricing For Lake Louise
Now, let’s talk about the cost. It’s just 10 bucks per adult, and while it’s a good idea to make a reservation, you can totally do a walk-up and pay at the fare boxes too. Oh, and by the way, they accept U.S. and Canadian currency, even as small as a nickel, and they’ll happily take a $20 bill.
If you’re traveling with kids, no worries! Children aged 12 and under ride for free, but you’ll still need to reserve a spot for them.
Just a quick heads up, though: Roam Transit routes and dates might change, so it’s always smart to double-check their website for the latest updates.
Roam transit bus tips
Now, here comes the super useful roam transit tip – the Roam Transit Super Pass! For just 25 bucks, you can get a One Day Super Pass that lets you travel on any Roam route you want, from Canmore to Banff to Lake Louise. It’s like the ultimate freedom pass for exploring the area!
And guess what? If you snag the Super Pass, you’ll also get free access to the Parks Canada Lake Connector shuttle. Yup, that’s right! So, after buying the Super Pass, you can hop on the shuttle from Lake Louise Lakeshore or Moraine Lake, all for no extra charge. How cool is that?
Just remember to show your valid Roam Super Pass to the Parks Canada staff at Lake Louise or Moraine Lake, and they’ll hook you up with a Parks Canada boarding pass.
2. Take A Sunrise Shuttle To Lake Louise
If you dont want to hassle about Lake Louise parking. This is one of the two shuttle providers that are allowed to go to Moraine Lake & Lake Louise for Sunrise, they also offer a shuttle en route to Lake Louise at an affordable $29 RT! Definitely book this if you aren’t taking a car to Lake Louise.
3. Take A Private Shuttle to Lake Louise
this is the most convenient and easy way to go to Lake Louise. Have your pick up and drop off taken care off, no need to look for parking or wait in long line cues. Booking a private tour allows you and your friends and family to be comfortable and have a stress-free experience! Book well in advance as they sell out almost every day in the summer.
4. Book a Private Tour to Lake Louise & Lake Moraine
You should consider booking a private shuttle or take a private tour. Leave the stress of parking. If you’re planning to see Lake louise and Lake Moraine. It’s an affordable option and will make your experience a much better one especially if you have limited time to see the jewel of Banff!
Free Cancelations | Rating: 4.5/5
5. Use Other Public Transportation
If you can, use alternative modes of transportation to get to Lake Louise. Consider taking the park-and-ride shuttle, Roam Bus, or book a private tour, book a sunrise shuttle, or book a group tour. Stay at The Fairmont Lake Louise Hotel
6. Book a Hotel at the Fairmont lake Louise chateu hotel
You are guaranteed to park at Lake Louise if you book a hotel for one night or more at the Fairmont Lake Louise, which is a waterfront hotel with the most amazing views.
If you can book early enough and secure a reservation here, you don’t have to fuss over parking and will have access to the hotel and all the amenities the hotel offers.
fairmont lake louise parking
fairmont lake louise parking
As a guest staying at the hotel , you have guaranteed parking at lake Louise lakeshore and the parking fee at The Fairmont charges $30 to park your car there.
Tips to get parking at Lake Louise
1. Arrive At Lake Louise Early
The best way to guarantee parking at Lake Louise is to arrive very early. What time to arrive at lake louise? Plan to arrive before 4 AM, before the crowds start pouring in. You cannot park here overnight. It seems that no matter what day of the week it is, the parking lot will most likely be full before sunrise.
2. Arrive At Lake Louise Before Sunset
The other option is to go right before sunset when the majority of day trippers start to clear out. The last shuttle is at 6:30 pm so it may be a good time to go when most of the shuttle visitors clear out before the last shuttle departure!
3. Stay close to Lake Louise
It may surprise you that Lake Louise is NOT located next to Downtown Banff. It’s actually a 30-40 minute drive from downtown. So be very considerate of where you plan to stay during your visit! The closer you are to Lake Louise the better because the drive will be closer and the higher chance you’ll get to secure parking Lake Louise.
We made the mistake of staying all the way in Canmore and had to wake up at 2:30 am to make it to Lake Louise at 4 AM.
4. Visit Lake Louise in the Off Season
The busiest months to visit Lake Louise is June – September. The rest of the year is relatively quiet and easy to find parking at Lake Louise.
5. Park At Lake Louise village
you can park your car at the Lake Louse Village and either hike or bike to Lake Louise. Just a warning, this bike ride is very challenging as it is mostly on gravel road and has a steep incline! It’s not suitable for young children. It will also take you a while to reach Lake Louise from Lake Louise village as it is about 4.5 KM one way.
You can technically hike this if you plan ahead and know what to expect. It will take you anywhere from 2-3 hours to reach Lake Louise lakeshore. But if waking up early is not your thing and you are physically fit and. up for the challenge you can do this. Just note that there isn’t an official walking path and you will be walking on the shoulder of Lake Louise Drive.
Bonus tip that will guarantee parking at lake louise:
6. Book High Noon Tea at the fairmont Chateau hotel
If you’re wondering if you can park at Fairmont lake Louise, the answer is yes BUT not without this caveat! This is a Lake Louise parking tip still not known by a lot of people, but you can park for free at the special reserved parking behind the Fairmont hotel lake Louise if you book and reserve high noon tea. The earliest tea reservation is at 11 am so you will not see sunrise here. But after you enjoy some delicious tea and snacks you’ll be able to stroll the Lake Louise lake shore at your leisure.
The Parks Canada Park and Ride information
Parking and Shuttle Service at Lake Louise
All visitors to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are required to leave their vehicles at the Park and Ride parking lot. It’s essential to note that parking at Lake Louise Lakeshore or Moraine Lake is not permitted for boarding the shuttle service. However, you’ll be pleased to know that parking at the Park and Ride is entirely free, and there’s ample space available for all visitors.
Park and Ride Lake Louise Location and Shuttle Reservation
The Park and Ride parking lot is now located at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, from where direct shuttle buses operate to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. To guarantee your seat on the shuttle, it is highly recommended to make a reservation in advance.
Booking the Lake Louise Park and Ride Shuttle and Availability
If you’re wondering how to book park and ride lake Louise shuttle reservation this section is for you.
Shuttle reservations for the Park and Ride service will be made available in the spring of the year.
Parks Canada will release 40% of the operating season for reservations. The remaining 60% will follow a rolling window system, starting at 8 am, 48 hours before the departure day, throughout the entire season. This approach allows for fair access to the shuttle service for all visitors.
if you’re looking to reserve a spot on the Lake Louise shuttle, here’s how you can do it. You’ve got two options: use the Parks Canada Reservation Service online or just give them a call at 1-877-737-3783.
Oh, and by the way, before you go ahead, make sure you’ve got yourself an account with Parks Canada Reservation Service. It’s a must to proceed with the booking. So, better set that up beforehand to avoid any hassles during checkout
Operating Hours of Park & Ride Shuttle
The Park and Ride shuttle service to the lakes commences at 6:30 am, ensuring an early start to your adventure. The last return bus from the lakes to the parking lot departs at 7:30 pm, providing you with ample time to explore the natural wonders of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
Lake Connector Shuttle Frequency
- Lake Louise to Moraine Lake: Every 15 minutes between 9 am and 6 pm.
- Moraine Lake to Lake Louise: Every 15 minutes between 9:10 am and 6 pm.
For more information, such as schedule and up-to-date fairs, check out the Parks Canada Website.
Exploring the other Lakes via lake connector shuttle
Once you arrive at Moraine Lake or Lake Louise via the shuttle service, you can conveniently connect between the two lakes using the Lake Connector shuttle. The lake connecter bus is free of charge if you have a shuttle ticket, it operates on a first-come-first-serve basis, allowing you to explore both lakes in one day and make the most of your visit.
Special Lake louise Park and Ride Shuttle Rules
Please be aware that the Lake Connector shuttle is exclusively available for reservation holders. Therefore, you cannot park at Lake Louise and use the Lake Connector service separately.
Certified service animals are welcome aboard the shuttle buses, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the beauty of the lakes comfortably. However, for all other pets, it is mandatory to keep them crated and on their owner’s lap during the shuttle ride. Large pets, unfortunately, are not permitted on the shuttles.
Lake Louise Park And Ride Shuttle price (Return Trip)
To avail of the Park and Ride Shuttle Service, here are the fares for the return trip (prices listed in CAD):
- Adults: $8
- Seniors (65+): $4
- Youth Under 18: Free
Please note that when purchasing shuttle tickets through the Parks Canada Reservation System, there’s a $3 non-refundable transaction fee per reservation. Additionally, these shuttle fares are separate from the National Parks entry fee, which is another essential aspect to keep in mind.
how early can you park at lake louise?
The parking lot officially opens at 7am but the parking lot is open to park at from 3am. As there isn’t anyone monitoring the parking lot you can arrive any time. But you cannot park here overnight as the parking lot closes for the night at 7pm.
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