Lake Louise reopened after overcrowding Sunday

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Lake Louise reopened after restricted access
The height of summer tourism is proving too much for one Alberta hotspot. On Sunday, Lake Louise temporarily restricted access to visitors without proof of reservations. As Sarah Offin reports, it’s a disappointment to far-flung travelers eager to experience this iconic stretch of the Canadian Rockies – Aug 7, 2023

Alberta RCMP has confirmed to Global News that Parks Canada closed Lake Louise due to overcrowding on Sunday evening but access has since been restored.

According to an RCMP spokesperson, nobody was able to enter Lake Louise unless they are a resident of the area or have a hotel reservation.

511 Alberta tweeted access has been restored just before 7 p.m.

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Nathaniel Ledard, a barista at a local coffee shop in Lake Louise, said the town was “way too busy” which led Parks Canada to declare a traffic emergency to relieve the pressure. However, most of the traffic was up at the lake and not in the town itself.

According to Ledard, there are three stages of closure of traffic management. Sunday’s closure was considered a stage two closure.

“Before we had the stages, it was way too crazy. There would be a line up from the lake all the way down the hill,” he told Global News.

“It’s been way busier since the pandemic. I think everyone wants to get out more and enjoy their seats and whatnot, but you’ll see it just all throughout the whole valley that there’s just not the infrastructure for this number of people.”

Barrie, Ont. residents Shruti Saxena and her family are visiting Lake Louise as part of a road trip from Vancouver. The family did not have a hotel reservation because they are travelling in a recreational vehicle, but managed to find a place to park and spend the night.

The family is planning to visit Lake Louise on Tuesday.

“Having a (portable) home obviously helped us a lot,” she said. “Everybody is saying today is the last day of the long weekend … We still have a couple of more days to enjoy this place.”

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Violet Moore and her husband Val Moore are visiting Lake Louise as part of a camping trip in Banff National Park. The pair had to take a detour when the town was closed on Sunday evening because they did not have a hotel reservation.

“We were a bit disappointed. We were curious to know what the emergency was but we couldn’t find out,” Violet said. “Otherwise, everything is beautiful around here so we were hoping to see it the next day, which we did.”

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