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Lake Louise History

Tom Wilson, adventurer, horsemen & packer for the Canadian Pacific Railway, was the first white man to see Lake Louise on August 21, 1882. His native Stoney guides took him to see Ho-run-num-nay, the "Lake of the Little Fishes". Tom chose to name it Emerald Lake because of its magnificent colour. The lake would later be renamed Lake Louise in honor of Princess Louise, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth & wife to the Marquis of Lorne, Governor General of Canada in 1884.

In 1890 construction began on the Chateau Lake Louise and Swiss guides imported by the Canadian Pacific Railway began to develop an extensive trail system along with explorers Walter Wilcox and Samuel Allen who mapped much of the vicinity. Today there is over 270 km (over 165 miles) of trails surrounding Lake Louise village.

In 1892 Lake Louise Forest Park was created and in 1902 the area including Lake Louise and Moraine Lake came under the protection of a now expanded Banff National Park.

The construction of the Lake Louise ski area began in 1936 with the building of Temple Lodge which still stands today.

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