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Will we regret basing ourselves in Lake Louise?

Iowa City, Iowa
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121 posts
25 reviews
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Will we regret basing ourselves in Lake Louise?

I am planning 10 nights in the Canadian rockies as part of a 15 night roadtrip this July. We will have a dog with us, and are tent camping, so that pretty much limits us to accepting we won't be using any restaurants (since the dog is not allowed and we have no place to leave her)- as such, I don't think I need any town site services.

Right now my plan is 5 nights at the Lake Louise campground, 2 nights at Whistler campground in Jasper, and 2 nights at Two Jack Lake in Banff.

I am planning the most days in LL as most of what we want to do is hiking, and it looks like a good base to spend one of those day in Yoho National Park.

But I've also heard about the train noise. We are usually sound sleepers, but over 5 nights- will it just be too much? Is it worth the inconvenience to not have to drive to the LL area almost every day? (My understanding is that is where most of the tourist type hikes are- that there will be less iconic hikes in the southern area near Two Jack Lake, for instance).

I appreciate your advice. I'm trying to get this all sorted out before campsite reservations open (next week, I think).

Calgary, Canada
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for Canadian Rockies
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3 reviews
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1. Re: Will we regret basing ourselves in Lake Louise?

Greetings

You are probably the best judge of how much noise would be too much noise. The train tracks are next to the campground and trains come through relatively regularly. I've never camped there, but have stayed in the hostel right nearby. I certainly hear the trains, but with earplugs, they don't bother me. It's less whistles and more grumbly, low pitched vibrations. Most campsites will have train or road noise, so it's not something you would necessarily escape at another location.

It is worth being aware though, that the area around the campground & river in Lake Louise requently has bear alerts & closures. The tent camping area is surrounded by an electric fence for safety purposes. So it's very important that your dog be on a leash at all times, and if in the tent, ensure he/she cannot get out. I see lots of dogs enjoying the trails in the area, but it's not an area I would be comfortable leaving a dog unattended, even for a few minutes.

Iowa City, Iowa
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121 posts
25 reviews
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2. Re: Will we regret basing ourselves in Lake Louise?

No, our dog would NEVER be unattended or allowed off leash. We'd take bathroom breaks and showers in turns so that one of us is always with the dog! (I like that the tent camping area has an electric fence. We've done a lot of camping, but never in bear areas. I know that is something we'll have to take a lot of caution about in Jasper and the other Banff area campsites.)

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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3. Re: Will we regret basing ourselves in Lake Louise?

The prime hikes in the Canadian Rockies are the ones that get you up into the high subalpine and alpine elevations. There are some nice trails near Banff and Jasper townsites, but most of them are lower elevation (montane) trails. From Lake Louise, besides the busy tea house trails and the trails at Moraine Lake, there are some great trails not too far north, up the Icefields Parkway (Mosquito Creek to Molar Pass or North Molar Pass, Helen Lake/Cirque Peak). Most of the prime hikes in JNP are roughly an hour's drive from the townsite - at the Mt. Edith Cavell, Maligne Lake, Miette Hot Springs, or Columbia Icefield areas.

Note that in Jasper National Park, dogs are not permitted on any of the trails that are in caribou habitat. This includes the Cavell Meadows and Bald Hills trails. (You can still walk to the viewpoint at Mt. Edith Cavell, just not further up to the meadows.) Opal HIlls would be a good option (although it often has bear warnings or closures in July and August), and on your drives up and down the parkway, Wilcox Pass and Parker Ridge are both great hikes. You are probably aware that dogs need to be leashed at all times in the national parks. Do not leave your dog unattended, especially if it is a small one. A couple of years ago, a dog that was leashed at the edge of a campsite at Pocahontas campground was taken by a cougar.

I can't speak to your concerns about the train noise, sorry. I have never camped at LL campground. You could opt for Mosquito Creek campground or one of the ones in Yoho NP.

4. Re: Will we regret basing ourselves in Lake Louise?

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