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5 AWESOME Lake Louise Tours from Calgary to See All the Highlights!

5 AWESOME Lake Louise Tours from Calgary to See All the Highlights!

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If you’re looking for the ideal way to explore the Rocky Mountains, a tour from Calgary to Lake Louise is undeniably one of the best ways to go about it! Lake Louise is one of the most beautiful lakes in Banff and the entire country and it’s less than a two-hour drive from Calgary

We might be a little biased because we live in the area and visit every year, but trust me, you need to visit Lake Louise at least once in your life!

Below, we’ve sorted through the countless tours to Lake Louise, providing you with, in our opinion, the best of what’s available. So, if a tour to Lake Louise from Calgary is on your itinerary, keep reading and be ready to take some notes!

Don’t have time to read the full article? There is no better way to see Lake Louise from Calgary than on a tour! We recommend this full-day small-group tour that takes you to all of the highlights. You’ll get an hour to explore the majestic Lake Louise, then visit Moraine Lake in the summer or Johnson Canyon in the winter, before heading to the quaint Banff Town to end the perfect day!

Best Lake Louise Tours from Calgary

1. Lake Louise & Banff Highlights Tour

Bailey on the shores of Lake Louise
Lake Louise is so beautiful!
Bailey canoes in Moraine Lake, Banff NP
It’s magical!

Covering some of the best sights around Lake Louise, this highlights tour is the perfect fit for travelers looking for a great overview of this part of the Rockies. From Calgary, get ready for a full day of the most Instagrammable spots in Banff National Park. It’s a small group (max 14) so there’s a personal touch that some larger tours lack.

It starts at one of the most beautiful lakes in Canada – Lake Louise. You’ll have a full hour to enjoy the postcard-worthy views. If you’re visiting Lake Louise in the summer, the color of the water will blow you away. The first time I saw it, I didn’t even think it looked real!

If you’re here from June to October, the next stop is Moraine Lake. I know I said Lake Louise was beautiful, but Moraine Lake might even edge out Louise a bit, it’s just that gorgeous. Plus, you can’t drive yourself right to Moraine Lake anymore, but tour vehicles like the one you’ll be on are an exception.

If you’re planning a winter tour to Lake Louise, hear me out, it’s still worth it. You can’t visit Moraine Lake (the road is closed), so this tour substitutes with a worthy contender – Johnston Canyon. My favorite time to visit Johnston Canyon is in the cold because then you’ll strap on a pair of ice crampons and hike to a frozen waterfall. It’s like being in the movie Frozen – but our guide was the helpful Andre, not Olaf!

Scenic views of the walking street in Banff Town
Banff!

Then, you’ll have an hour of free time in Banff town itself. It’s just enough time to get a feel for this cute mountain town and grab a bite to eat at one of Banff’s cafes.

Overall, this tour made it possible for us to take in the highlights of the Lake Louise area from Calgary. It costs $155 CAD (plus a $10 CAD service fee) and often sells out quickly. You can book this tour directly via the Viator website, with free cancellation until 24 hours before your tour begins.

2. Discover Banff National Park Day Trip

Bailey relaxes on a rock at Lake Louise
Lake Louise!
People enjoy water sports on Two Jack Lake in Banff as seen from the lake trail
Two Jack Lake!

If you’re looking for a tour that stops at all the best spots in Banff National Park, look no further than this full-day Banff Tour. Whether you’re visiting in winter or summer, you will hit all the major attractions as well as some hidden gems!

It is hard to beat this carefully thought-out itinerary, and with a group size of a maximum of 12 people, you really get a personalized experience. The guides made this tour so special, they told stories and were cracking jokes the entire time. Plus they made great photographers when needed!

We went to the best spots including Lake Minnewanka, Two Jack Lake, Lake Louise, and the picturesque town of Banff. In winter you will also visit the quaint mountain town of Canmore, and in the summer the tour includes a trip to the beautiful Moraine Lake!

With over an hour to spend at Lake Louise you’ll get to take lots of pictures and can go ice skating in the winter. In the summer there is an option to do a short hike depending on your group’s dynamic – so make sure to bring your hiking shoes!

This tour picks up from most downtown Calgary hotels, making it a simple way to take a day trip from the city. It costs $177 CAD which we think this is a great price when you consider that transportation and all park entrance fees are included! It only runs on select days of the week, so be sure to check the schedule and book in advance here!

Related Read: If you are going on a road trip across Western Canada from Calgary to Vancouver, be sure to check out all of the best stops to make along the way!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

3. Lake Louise & Yoho National Park Tour

Views looking out at Lake Louise from the Fairmont
Views looking out at Lake Louise from the Fairmont
People canoe with mountain views at Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park
What a place to canoe!

In this awesome full-day tour, you’ll not only visit the natural wonders of Banff National Park but also Yoho National Park – which is equally as gorgeous!

This tour visits the most beautiful lakes in the region, including Lake Louise, Moraine Lake (summer only!), and Yoho’s famous Emerald Lake. You’ll also get to see the Natural Bridge Rock formation along the Kicking Horse River. And keep your eyes wide open to look for wildlife – this is a popular area to spot moose, deer, elk, and even bears!

We love that this tour provides ample time at each stop to really explore and take photos. You’ll get 2 hours at Lake Louise, which is a good amount of time to do one of the many gorgeous hikes there. And in the winter a 20-minute snowshoeing experience is included!

We think this tour is perfect for nature lovers who want to explore the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains and don’t care to spend time in the mountain towns. In the summer you’ll witness the bright blue and emerald green colors of the lakes while in the winter you’ll get to marvel at the snow-capped mountains!

Pickup in Calgary is at the Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel, and the tour lasts about 10 hours in total. It is a larger tour group with a maximum of 50 people and costs $160 CAD per person. There are no hidden costs here, it includes air-conditioned (or heated) transportation, park entrance fees, AND gratuities! All you’ll have to budget for is lunch and souvenirs.

This tour runs throughout the year but doesn’t operate every day of the week. Make sure to plan in advance and secure your spot online or you may miss out!

4. Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls Full-day Tour

lake Louise boathouse with magnificent mountain views
Lake Louise boathouse with magnificent mountain views

As one of only 22 Canadian UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Rocky Mountain Parks, including Banff and Yoho are unmissable attractions. This particular full-day tour takes you right through Moraine Lake, Yoho National Park, and, of course, the gorgeous Lake Louise. 

What really sets this tour apart is the visit to Takakkaw Falls, Canada’s second-tallest waterfall! Standing at 373 meters (1,224 feet) tall, it is a fantastic sight on a clear, crisp day. As part of this package, you’ll have the chance to see it in all its glory and snap some unforgettable pics and videos!

So, when we say day tour, we mean the entire day – this tour lasts about 15 hours from start to finish! The bus picks you up bright and early (around 6 am) from select locations in Calgary before heading out on your epic mountain adventure. Also note that this tour is seasonal, running from May to September every year.

Even though it is slightly more expensive than the previous tours we’ve covered at $372 CAD per person, it visits all the main attractions near Lake Louise and also includes lunch, snacks, and refreshments along the way.

As this is one of the most popular tours, we recommend booking this before your trip so you aren’t disappointed and find it’s booked up when you arrive!

5. Canadian Rockies 2-Day Tour (Banff & Yoho National Park)

Bailey at the Upper Falls at Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park
Upper falls!
Bailey at Natural Bridge Lower Falls in Yoho National Park
What a place!

Itching for more than one day to explore Banff, Lake Louise and Yoho? We can’t blame you – we’ve spent countless days exploring here and still can’t get enough! This Canadian Rockies 2-Day Tour is the perfect way to explore Banff National Park, with one night spent in a comfy hotel, before checking out Lake Louise and Yoho National Park the next day.

Day 1 begins at Sulphur Mountain where you can choose to ride up the Banff Gondola for some surreal panoramic views of the mountains and Banff Town. Next, you’ll head to Bow Falls, Hoodoos Trail, and Johnston Canyon for some more adventures before cozying up in your Banff hotel for the evening.

Day 2 is equally as great, as you head to Yoho National Park and Lake Louise. You’ll stop at the Spiral Tunnels, Emerald Lake, Natural Bridge, Lake Louise, and Moraine Lake before heading back to Calgary with so many new memories!

The cost of this 2-day adventure depends on the number of people booking and sharing a room (up to a maximum of 4 people). If you are a solo traveler it will cost $900 CAD, for 2 people it will be $550 CAD, and for 4 people in a room, it’s $469 CAD each.

We think that’s a pretty awesome deal, especially considering you get to enjoy the major highlights of each park without doing the driving, parking logistics, or pre-planning! The price includes park entrance fees, accommodation, and tour guides. You’ll have to budget extra for meals, and if you want to add on the Banff Gondola experience it will cost an extra $85 CAD.

Enjoy two amazing days in the stunning Canadian Rockies by booking your spot on this 2-day tour here.

Related Read: Did you know that there are actually four incredible gondolas in Banff National Park? We even compared two of the most popular in our Banff Gondola vs Lake Louise Gondola blog.

Why Take a Tour of Lake Louise From Calgary? 

Yellow flowers and blue water at Lake Louise
So stunning!

I mean, the better question is, why not? There are so many amazing things to do in the area, and taking a tour can give you the best idea of what Lake Louise has to offer!

You could rent a car and drive yourself, however, I need to warn you that with SO many people coming here, well, parking at Lake Louise isn’t easy to find. I might go as far as to say it’s impossible depending on the time you show up and that’s a big sticking point that many people talk about after they visit.

Tour guides often have incredible local knowledge of the area and can answer many questions you might not find anywhere else, even on Google! (They also have no issues with parking – getting you right up close to all the sights!). We think the authenticity you get from a local tour guide and their passion and pride for their local area is often unparalleled.

The Calgary airport is the closest international airport to Banff National Park, making this a great spot to fly into and stay while you take a tour to Lake Louise. Accommodation in Calgary is much more affordable than hotels in Banff, so you’ll actually save money by making a day trip! Plus a day trip allows you to meet other tourists and lets somebody else drive so you can soak in all the beautiful sights along the way!

Related Read: Before your trip, check out our list of the best summer activities in Calgary for 25 ideas!

Where to Stay in Calgary

the outside of the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire
This hotel is huge! Photo Credit: Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire

Calgary is a pretty large city, so you can bet that there are a ton of options when it comes to places to stay! For day tours to Lake Louise, I’d suggest picking somewhere in the downtown area as that is where the majority of the tours pick up from.

Here are some of my top picks for accommodation in Calgary:

Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire – $$$

For a really luxurious stay, then you’ll want to check out the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire, which must have one of the most amazing views of the Bow River we’ve seen in Calgary! The hotel also has its own indoor pool (with a waterslide), a hot tub, a fitness center, a hair salon, and so much more. With a wide range of suites on offer, this is also a great option if you’re spending your honeymoon in Calgary.

You can book a room here at the Sheraton for as low as $246 CAD. However, rooms usually average $300-$400 CAD per night.

Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel and Suites – $$

If your budget allows for a bit more, then I’d suggest taking a look at Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel and Suites, where all rooms come equipped with a full kitchen – great for homemade meals that can save a lot of money! With its very own on-site fitness center, this hotel is also located in the middle of downtown, which is ideal for this itinerary.

Rooms here start at $167 CAD per night, which we think is great value considering the location and that breakfast is included too. You can secure your reservation online here.

Wicked Hostels – $

Right in the center of the city is Wicked Hostels, which is a great choice for travelers on a budget. We’ve found this hostel to be super clean, comfortable, and located in a great area too (bonus points from us)! While there technically are cheaper places to stay in Calgary, the location and the reliability of clean dorms here put Wicked Hostels at the top of our budget category in Calgary.

Dorms here start from $90 CAD per night and can be booked online on Hostelworld or Booking.com.

Parks Canada Pass Quick Info

If you plan on spending time in Canada’s national parks (including Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, Kootenay, and more) then you’re going to have to pay for a Parks Pass.

Single Daily Admission:

This type of pass is valid for one person for one day. It is ONLY the best value if you are traveling alone and only plan to visit a national park for a couple of days.

  • Adult (ages 18-64) is $11 CAD
  • Senior (65+) is $9.50 CAD
  • Youth/Child (17 or younger) is FREE

Group Daily Admission:

If you’re traveling in a group or with family, you can buy a single-day admission for your entire vehicle (up to 7 people in one vehicle.)

  • $22.00 CAD gets your entire vehicle entry for one full day

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

The “Discovery Pass” is what Parks Canada calls their year-long (365 days from the purchase date), multi-park entry pass. This pass will give 365 days of access to all participating national parks in Canada. This includes the most popular parks like Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, and so much more.

  • Adult (age 18-64) – $75.25 CAD
  • Senior (65+) – $64.50 CAD
  • Group/Family (up to 7 people in one vehicle) – $151.25 CAD

Hot Tip: Although more expensive up front, if you plan on spending more than 7 days in different parks in Canada within a 12-month period, then the Discovery Pass is actually the better deal!

Parks Canada Passes can be bought online here or at one of the Visitor Centers or booths at the entrance to many national parks.

Renting a Car in Alberta

A car drives along the Icefields Parkway
The drive is mesmerizing!

If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport, on some occasions, it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Renting a car will definitely make exploring all of the fun things to see and do in Alberta easier.

Car rental in Canada isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t overly expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website DiscoverCars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at Lake Louise
Thanks for reading!

Lake Louise is such a beautiful place and I know you’ll have the best time exploring it on a tour from Calgary! We can’t get enough of this area and have written many other posts about Banff and the surrounding area. Here are a few you may enjoy:

5 BEST Moraine Lake Tours from Calgary to See All the Highlights!

10 Absolute EASIEST Hikes in Banff (with EPIC Views!)

ULTIMATE Guide to Christmas in Banff + Seasonal Events (2024!)

9 BEST Banff Tours from Calgary