Parks Canada has announced that those wanting to visit Lake Louise or Moraine Lake will have to pay more for parking.

"Paid parking will be in effect at the Lake Louise Lakeshore from 3 a.m. until 7 p.m. from May 17 to October 14, 2024. Parking rates are $36.75 for the day - no hourly parking is available," Parks Canada stated on social media.

The hike in parking fees is 75 per cent from last year's fee, which was $21 a day.

"This fee, along with fees collected from the shuttles, helps Parks Canada offset the costs of the traffic management program in the Lake Louise area. Parks Canada shuttles continue to offer another way for visitors to access the lakes. Youth under 18 ride for free, seniors’ tickets are half-price, and tickets for adults are only $8," the post continued.

Parks Canada also added that if visitors do not have a reservation on the Parks Canada Shuttle, Roam Public Transit, or other transportation provider, they should consider returning when they have secured reservations in advance.

"Visitors without reservations are not likely to find parking at Lake Louise."

The increased prices in parking aren't the only issue visitors will have to deal with this summer. Construction is also set to begin as early as April for one of the most popular roadways in Banff National Park.

"Construction on Lake Louise Drive will begin as early as April 2024. Summer 2024 visitors are reminded to plan, prepare for delays, and book a shuttle if they are planning to see Lake Louise or Moraine Lake," Parks Canada stated on its website. 

Lake Louise Drive hosts about one million vehicles per year. The road connects the community of Lake Louise to upper Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, which are two of the most visited destinations in Banff National Park.

"Over the last ten years vehicle traffic on Lake Louise Drive has risen by roughly 70 per cent."

The construction, part of the Lake Louise Area Strategy, 'has identified this road as a major opportunity to improve ecological integrity and visitor experience in the Lake Louise area.'

Some of the proposed construction for this year includes asphalt resurfacing and road repairs, and a roundabout proposed for the intersection at Sentinel Road, Fairview Drive, and Lake Louise Drive. Other elements include better traffic flow that connects St. Piran, Chateau Lake Louise, and Upper Lake Louise parking, which is meant to ensure pedestrian safety, improvements to the Fairview day-use area, as well as updated signage, road paint, lights, and arrows to improve pedestrian crossings and sharing of the road.

"Due to high demand, visiting Lake Louise and Moraine Lake requires planning. Parking lots fill up before sunrise and remain full until sunset. Taking transit or booking a Parks Canada shuttle is easy, stress-free and the only way to ensure you see these iconic lakes. Booking your shuttle in advance is required," Parks Canada stated.

According to the Parks Canada website, reservations for the suttle are required for all shuttles departing the Park and Ride to either lake.

"Tickets are for a one-hour window; you may show up anytime during that hour. Once at the lakes, you may stay as long as you choose and connect between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake on a first come first serve basis, via the Lake Connector shuttle (available to Parks Canada Shuttle reservation holders only). Your ticket includes a return shuttle service from either lake back to the Park and Ride when you are ready."

As of 2023, Moraine Lake Road has been closed to personal vehicles year-round. Parks Canada shuttles, Roam Public Transit, and commercial buses are permitted from June to mid-October. Exceptions are possible for visitors with valid parking placards, for people with disabilities and guests of Moraine Lake Lodge.

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