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Late December 2010 or early January to Lake Louise

Sydney, Australia
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3 posts
40 reviews
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Late December 2010 or early January to Lake Louise

Hi, we are coming to North America in late December 2010, and considering our options for a time to visit Lake Louise. We know it would be looking beautiful at this time of year, but what is the prospect of poor weather such as to make access a problem? Our idea has been to fly into Calgary and then either hire a vehicle or do a bus/coach transfer. It is feasible to come into this area on late notice, based on good weather forecasts, and get accommodation, say at Fairmont? We are pretty open with our plans, but they involve Monterey CA, Victoria BC, and Lake Louise. We don't want to come for 3 days and have blizzard conditions.

Canmore, Alberta
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1. Re: Late December 2010 or early January to Lake Louise

Unfortunately there is absolutely no way to predict the weather in the Lake Louise area until you are here. I lived and worked at the Fairmont there. The weather can change by the minute. The lake can get where it is a white out and you can not see it or the glacier. But if you are there for a day or more then I wouldn't worry about it. It usually only stays like that for maybe half a day at most.

I used to feel sorry for the bus tour groups arriving early in the day when the whole lake and glacier were not visible. They only get an hour at most at the lake before they have to leave. The best they could do was buy a post card.

Then a few hours later in the day, it would stop snowing and the sun would come out and the lake and glacier were clear as a bell with bright blue skies.

Between Calgary and Lake Louise is all on the Trans Canada Hwy which is well maintained, but if they get woppled with snow that they can't keep up with then the conditions can be poor until they catch up with it.

If you are trying to get into the Fairmont at Christmas or between Christmas and New Years, you would most likely have to book in advance. It gets very busy, as would all the accommodation in Lake Louise.

Cheers:)

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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2. Re: Late December 2010 or early January to Lake Louise

I have to agree with Travelbug1999 - there just is no way of knowing about the weather. Although the weather forecasts are at their most accurate about 12 hours in advance, the 12-hour forecast has predicted blizzards that didn't come, and didn't predict blizzards that did come. Overall, the 12-hour forecast accuracy is about 80%, IMO. I pay particular attention to the forecasts in winter because I live outside of the city and if there is a heavy snowfall warning or winter storm warning, then I will usually make an extra run into Calgary for groceries etc. so that I don't have to drive on bad roads once the snow comes.

Snowfalls that are so bad that roads are closed and driving is not recommended is fairly rare - anywhere from 0 to 5 times per winter.

And reservations for anywhere in Banff National Park are a definite necessity between Christmas and New Year's (and a little on each side, no doubt).

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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3. Re: Late December 2010 or early January to Lake Louise

A couple of additional thoughts: Forecasts made more than 72 hours in advance simply are not reliable. In fact, they really shouldn't be called forecasts for that reason.

Also, to learn more about winter driving, have a look at this TripAdvisor Traveller Article on the subject:

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g153339-c55003/Canada:…

TripAdvisor Traveller Articles are written, and compiled from forum postings, by TA members like you and me. To find more Traveller Articles for a destination, click on the Travel Guide link for that destination on the left hand side menu bar (and don't forget to click "more" to see *all* of the articles).

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Lake Louise
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4. Re: Late December 2010 or early January to Lake Louise

Late December is Peak Holiday Season and New Year's Eve the town is usually at full capacity and full price. If you want a winter holiday, it's heavenly even when it is snowing. Like the previous folks said, I don't put much weight into the forecast if it's more than 48 hours in advance. If you did decide you still wanted to enjoy a few days in winter paradise, you will want to book a room in advance. Don't let the possibility of winter weather stop you. If you wanted to stay in Lake Louise, there are 2 possibilities close to Lake Louise: the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and Deer Lodge. These would be your best choices if you didn't have a vehicle and wanted to enjoy winter activities right out your door. If you wanted to stay in the village, the Lake Louise Inn is a good option. Have a look at dates, prices and availability on the Banff Lake Louise Tourism website.

www.banfflakelouise.com

5. Re: Late December 2010 or early January to Lake Louise

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