In terms of risk of crime or disease, Lake Louise is an extraordinarily safe place to visit.  There is very little street crime in Lake Louise at all and there is hardly any risk to visitors.  Travelers should use standard precautions to protect themselves against common travel crime problems, such as pickpocketing, but in general, visitors do not need to worry about threats in this area.

In terms of danger, the most common problem visitors have is related to unsafe practice around the water.  Travelers are reminded that drinking alcohol while boating or engaging in other on-the-water activities is both illegal and dangerous.  Travelers are also reminded to wear PFDs (life jackets) and observe other standard lake safety throughout their stay in the area. The water temperature in Lake Louise is rarely above 5°C (40°F), which means that a fall from a boat into the lake means a serious and immediate risk of hypothermia. Use of a PFD with the H.E.L.P. position will also increase the amount of time which you can spend in the water before getting hypothermia. More information on boating and hypothermia from Transport Canada.

Over-exposure to the sun can also be a problem at Lake Louise.  Interestingly, this is more likely to be a problem in the winter than in the summer.  (See Inside Lake Louise: Weather & When to Go here at TripAdvisor for additional seasonal information about the area.)  This is primarily because, in the summer, visitors are more conditioned to take precautions such as wearing sunscreen and staying hydrated.  In the winter, the sun is more subtle.  However, the rays of the sun can still be harsh, especially for skiers who have the sun reflected on to them off of the snow.  Visitors are reminded to be safe in the Lake Louise weather in order to enjoy their vacation to the fullest extent.


Feeding bears (and other wildlife) is a very dangerous practice for both people and wildlife, and therefore it has been illegal within the national parks for the last forty years or more. Cougars are nocturnal, and therefore rarely seen, however it is dangerous to engage in activities such as cross-country skiing, cycling, or hiking solo or after dark, even if you are very close to the hotel or townsite.

Pepper spray is legal in Canada if used for protection against bears; however, it is considered a prohibited weapon for all other purposes. So if you feel you would like to carry pepper spray when hiking, it is best to purchase it in Canada, rather than to attempt to bring it across the border. And be careful not to carry it with you if you are not hiking.

 Elk are dangerous in the spring, when they will charge at you to protect their calves, who will likely be well-hidden. If an elk charges you, back away, or you risk broken limbs or worse.

Other Natural Hazards 

Within the Lake Louise area, there are many natural hazards. Please make sure to pack your common sense. Don't go past barriers, and don't expect that there will always be a barrier to protect you from danger. Do not short-cut the switchbacks (S-bends) in mountain trails; not only do your feet increase the damage caused by erosion, but you risk a serious fall by trying to take the shorter, steeper route.

Most lakes, rivers, and streams in the mountain parks are going to be at near-freezing temperatures year round, so a fall into them means a serious and immediate risk of hypothermia, as mentioned above.