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Lake Louise

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This emerald lake is 34 miles west of Banff, Canada, in the Rocky Mountains at the western edge of Alberta, just over the border from British Columbia. Formed by melting glaciers, the lake is nourished by melting snow and ice.

The First Nations people who originally lived here called it the Lake of the Little Fishes, perhaps because fish stayed small in the cold waters at such an altitude. The first non-Native person to visit Lake Louise was Tom Wilson, who was led there in 1882 by a Stoney man named Gold Seeker. Wilson named it Emerald Lake for its color. The lake was given its official name of Lake Louise in 1884 to honor Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, one of the daughters of HM Queen Victoria, and wife of Canada's Governor General, according to a history on the website of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, a landmark inn at the edge of the lake.

Travelers flock to Lake Louise from Banff for hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities.