4 Tips That Will Get You Parking At Lake Louise

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How To Get Parking At Lake Louise

Are you planning a trip to Banff To see Lake Louise and 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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What To Wear To Banff Lake Louise

4 Tips That Will Get You Parking At Lake Louise

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. 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 tips and this guide will help you navigate the parking situation at Lake Louise.

Why is parking at Lake Louise So difficult?

Lake Louise is a popular destination, and parking spots are limited. 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, you can park at Lake Louise. Read on to find out how you can secure parking at Lake Louise.

Quick Tips for driving and parking at Lake Louise

Some tips if you’re planning to drive to Lake Louise, more tips for visiting Lake Louise below

  •  arrive before 4 AM, with extra time and patience
  • and have back-up destinations to visit (Peyto Lake is a good backup it’s beautiful and not as busy)
  • pack snacks and plenty of water
  • there is a fee to visit Banff National Park. Have the pass on your dashboard ( if you purchase Parks Canada Discovery Pass it is $75 for each adult, and children are free) the daily passes are available at $10.50 per person.
  • there is a parking fee at Lake Louise, paid at the meter machine it is $12.25 per vehicle per day from 7am- 7pm

Where to Park at Lake Louise

1. Lake Louise Lakeshore Parking Lot

The Lake Louise Parking lot is the only available parking lot for personal vehicles to park at. Parking is VERY limited and the lot does get full before sunrise.

When I went, we arrived by 4 AM and the parking lot was half full. We were able to secure 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!

If you can, I recommend booking your hotel and staying at the Fairmont Hotel which is on the lakefront of Lake Louise. There is free parking for all hotel guests. You won’t have to stress about finding parking and you will have lakefront view the whole time you’re there. 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!


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Update: here is the current parking lot structure 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.

lake louise parking lot map
from parks canada website
COT06014 scaled

Google Maps Parking Lot Location

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!

2. Lake Louise overflow parking

The 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.

The 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

Google maps location for Park & Ride over flow parking lot

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. Tickets must be purchased and seats must be reserved in advance!

3. Public Transportation

The Roam Transit bus service runs between Banff and Lake Louise, stopping at various points along the way. This is a good option for those who don’t want to drive or rent a car. It’s year-round and reservations are encouraged.

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Tips to get parking at Lake Louise

1. Arrive Early or Before Sunset

The best way to guarantee a parking spot at Lake Louise is to arrive very early. 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.

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!

2. Use Public Transportation

If you can, use alternative modes of transportation to get to Lake Louise. Consider taking the park-and-ride shuttle, or Roam Bus, or book a private or shared tour.

3. Stay at The Fairmont Lake Louise Hotel

You are guaranteed to park if you stay 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.

4. Book a Tour or a Private Shuttle

If all else fails, consider booking a private shuttle or take a private tour. Leave the stress of parking. 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!

Mykonos Hotel in Platis Gialos - Branco Mykonos

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Read Next:

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Itineraries & What To Do in Banff

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Planning Resources: All things you need to book your trip and helpful tips!

Rental Car: reserve your car as soon as you know your travel dates!

Hotels : Accommodations book up fast, Booking at least 6 + months is recommended!

How to Find Cheap Flights: Using Google Flights price alerts (free tool!) and how to use google flights search (must know tips!)

Must Have Travel Essentials

71 Must Know Travel Tips


Yes, there is a fee for parking at Lake Louise. The fee is $12.50 CAD per day.

No, overnight parking is not permitted at Lake Louise. Vehicles parked overnight may be ticketed and towed.

Yes, there are electric vehicle charging stations at the overflow parking lot and the park and ride shuttle.

  • The best time to visit Lake Louise is between late May and early October.

No, parking for RVs and trailers is not permitted at Lake Louise. There are several RV parks and campgrounds in the surrounding area where you can park your RV.

You can loop back around and try your luck again or make plans for something else and try before sunset

The parking lot will fill up before sunrise and typically as of 2022 by 4 AM

Still have questions?

If you cannot find an answer to your question in our FAQ, you can always ask in the comments below!

Want more helpful planning tips?

How to book your trip & booking resources

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71 must know travel tips

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Check out these articles :

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  1. Was just wondering when you said arrive at Lake Louise Carpark by 4am, did you manage to secure a parking at that time or did the traffic controllers tell you to leave and come back later?

    1. Hey Trace,

      Yes! When I went in September, We found parking and the parking lot was half full. There are large signs on the way to lake louise that will let you know if the parking lot is already full and were able to park in the upper lot. A tip, if the signs ( large lighted sign) it says “parking limited” there’s still spots left, if it says “full” then there isn’t any parking left. I hope that helps! When are you going?

      1. I am going mid-September and just bought bus shuttle tickets for the 6:30am slot. Hopefully the more reason I can secure a spot if the traffic controllers tell me to leave… feeling anxious but your response really help. Thanks.

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