By far the most popular spot for sunrise in all of Banff National Park is Lake Louise and it is easy to see why as the scene that unfolds when light first hits the peaks across the lake it is pure magic. Banff is one of the most beautiful spots on the planet and I’m sure that anyone else who has been there will agree that Lake Louise is one of the many jewels that the national park has to offer. The one thing that detracts from this particular spot are the crowds and photo tour groups bus people in at the pre-dawn hours in an effort to get this iconic shot. Therefore, you need to get there early to pick out your spot – I arrived about an hour before the ‘sunrise time’ and there were already a dozen or so people setup in their spots. I also like to move around and get different viewpoints/foreground items and that is one thing you really cannot do at Lake Louise because enviably someone has already setup in that other spot you had in mind. Still if you are in Banff National Park this is one sunrise location that cannot be missed – plus, if you have the money to stay at the Fairmont Lake Louise ($500+ a night) you can walk out in your pajamas and snap away (plenty of folks were still in their slippers).
Sunrise at Lake Louise (Banff National Park)
I will complement the other photographers though for their good manners – for the most part it was complete silence with the exception of the snapping shutters and sounds of autofocusing lenses. Occasionally, a whisper could be heard but there were not any obnoxious people so it wound up being a very relaxing morning before I drove back to Calgary to meet with my client. I will never tire of Banff and I envy those who are able to have this scenery in their backyard.
Here are a few other photos I’ve taken at Lake Louise and posted here in the past – sunrises in the winter are much less crowded (and infrequent with the clouds) but they can be pretty as well. I took the one below from a bridge that goes over a small stream that flows from Lake Louise. This is the one place you can find open water in the winter since the lake freezes over and they setup a skating rink and of course a hockey rink!