Doing anything in Lake Louise is becoming harder and a hassle; too many people, not enough parking, and poorly planned transportation. It is a beautiful destination with a wilder beauty than most people explore. If you do make it out and want a stunning hike to see some of the best of Lake Louise while getting away from the crowds  Fairview Summit would be a natural choice.

Getting There

Rather straightforward but getting parking is hard so be there early or before the summer rush. Head to Lake Lousie and make your way up to the main parking lot that is right beside Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

The Hike

From the parking lot make your way to Lake Lousie as in the lake itself. Looking at the mountains across the lake are some of the mountains you will see from the top. Go to your left and pretty much right away you will be in the woods.

There will be a few signs for lookouts and the Fairview Lookout trail which are all much shorter trails and you will be going to Fairview Mountain. It will be a fairly wide trail that keeps going toward your left and deeper into the woods. This is where you will lose most of the rest of the crowd. However, the Fairview Mountain Summit hike is a popular enough hike.

The trail stays wooded for about 2 kilometers with steady incline. You will have a clearing break with views of Highway 1 with the mountains across on your left and a towering mountain your right. You will continue to zig zag some more until you get to a little plateau between the mountains. There are a few other hiking options from here including Paradise Trail and Saddle Mountain. This area in itself is beautiful to take in. The mountains views here including a glacier are just spectacular.

Since we are going to Fairview Mountain which is the mountain on your right as you were coming up that is where we will continue. You have to make your way through little bit of the next woods and around to start of the last push. This part of the trail is a little harder to find with snow on the ground. Just aim to the mountain and a little bit to the left of it. The woods will be fast to clear and the path will be obvious at that point.

This final push to the top is only about 1.7 kilometers but this is where the rest of your elevation be with a couple long zig zags on the mountain. The terrain here can be slippery and tricky if it is a little wet or snowy. Coming down or going up be careful and make sure you have good shoes. I slipped once. There is very little dirt to step on, pretty much all rock. The views from the top are definitely worth the grind. It is probably one of my favorite hikes from the 2022 season.

This a great choice of a hike early into the season and during larches. Be prepared with layers as mountain tops are known for their strong winds. There isn’t too many spots on top to hide from the weather but you should enjoy the views as long as you can. You might even have the mountain to yourself.

If you go too early in the season there could be a significant build up of snow between the wooded are and the plateau of the mountains. A good idea in that case is to have snowshoes. I have turned back around on this hike because of snow a couple times.

Distance: 10km.

Elevation: 1050m.

Time: Give yourself 5 – 6 hours to enjoy the area.

Difficulty: Moderate – difficult.

Season: June to October.

Dog Friendly: Yes but there are no water spots and the final push can be hard on their pads.


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