Exit the TransCanada Highway at the Lake Louise interchange, 56 kilometers (35 miles) northwest of Banff, and take the first left beyond Samson Mall and under the railway bridge to reach Lake Louise Campground, within easy walking distance of the village.
The campground is divided into two sections by the Bow River, but linked by the Bow River Loop hiking trail that leads into the village along either side of the Bow River. Individual sites throughout are close together, but some privacy and shade are provided by towering lodgepole pines. Just under 200 serviced (powered) sites are grouped together at the end of the road. In addition to hookups, this section has showers and flush toilets ($38).
Across the river are 216 unserviced sites, each with a fire ring and picnic table. Other amenities include kitchen shelters and a modern bathroom complex complete with hot showers ($34). A dump station is near the entrance to the campground ($8 per use). An interpretive program runs nightly at 9 p.m. (except Tuesday) throughout summer in the outdoor theater.
Sites can be booked in advance by contacting the Parks Canada Campground Reservation Service (877/737-3783, www.pccamping.ca). The many sites available on a first-come, first-served basis fill fast in July and August, so plan on arriving early in the afternoon to ensure a spot. The serviced section of this campground is open year-round, the unserviced section mid-May–September.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition