Banff National Park’s biggest lake is actually man-made and was damned up to bring water closer to Banff town. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Minnewanka Landing was a small mining town and operation on the banks of a nearby river and was purposely dammed in the mid 20th century to bring more freshwater to a growing Banff town.
Minnewanka Landing was left intact and still remains at the bottom of Lake Minnewanka now and is often visited by divers looking for an underwater adventure. The 1912 Dam Blockhouse is the most visited place from Minnewanka Landing. You can dive here year-round as well, but the hiking on the shores of the lake are just as exceptional and provide incredible views. Boat tours are also offered here, too.
Banff National Park is home to 53 species of mammals. This incredible diversity of wildlife is a reflection of the wide range of habitats found in the park due to variations in elevation, climate, and plant communities. you will regularly see elk, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats. Hiking in the mountains you’ll sometimes come across grizzly bears, black bears, mountain caribou, moose, wolves, hoary marmots, wolverines, bald eagles, beavers, owls, and pumas.
BANFF PARK ORIGINALLY STARTED AS A 10-SQUARE MILE RESERVE AROUND THE SULPHUR MOUNTAIN HOT SPRINGS
Lake Louise is one of the most visited and photographed lakes in the world and is home to the world-renowned Fairmont Chateau. Although it was first called Emerald Lake, the lake’s name was later changed to Lake Louise after Princess Caroline Alberta Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of Canada’s Governor-General.
People who work in Lake Louise live in accommodation provided by their employer. There is a “need to reside” requirement in Lake Louise and all of Banff National Park. To be an eligible resident you must be employed or operate a business within the park, or be a spouse or dependent of someone who meets the criteria.
Lake Louise doesn’t thaw until the first week of June and it can and has snowed during any month of the year. As most of the lakes in the Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise is not a lake you would want to swim in. The temperature of the water would rarely get above 5C. (41F.) The water is so frigid that the Lake Louise Polar Bear Dip is held during the Canada Day Celebrations on July 1st.
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