Lake Louise

Ski Resort in Canada

Introduction

Lake Louise is one of Canada’s largest ski areas offering one of the world's best mountain landscapes including awe-inspiring summits, endless powder and the most photographed lake on the planet.

 Lake Louise Ski Resort in Canada is potentially one of the most beautiful places in the world to ski or snowboard. Ski Lake Louise Canada for the “wow” factor where the views are nothing short of spectacular!

Lake Louise is world famous for its turquoise lakes, the Victoria Glacier, soaring mountain backdrop, palatial hotel, and incredible hiking and skiing. Surrounded by a lifetime’s worth of jaw-dropping sights and adventures, Lake Louise is a rare place that must be experienced to be believed.

The vibrant waters of Lake Louise are five kilometres (three miles) from the hamlet of Lake Louise. Named for Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter, Lake Louise is a truly awe-inspiring sight. The lake was previously known as Ho-Run-Num-Nay (the Lake of Lake of Little Fishes) by the Stoney Nakoda First Nations people. The hanging Victoria Glacier and an amphitheatre of rugged peaks provide an imposing backdrop to the lake, which is about 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) long and 90 metres (295 feet) deep.

During the summer the lake is an intense shade of turquoise, the result of light refracting off the rock flour (glacier silt) deposited in the lake by glacier run off. The colour of the lake is most vibrant in July and August when the flow of the melt water is at its highest. At an elevation of 1,750 metres (5,740 feet), Lake Louise normally thaws in June.

Lake Louise comprises three distinct ski areas which are connected by an efficient shuttle bus service and lift pass, but importantly to note, are too far apart to be linked by ski lifts or piste network. The triumvirate - Mount Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village - is known as an "ensemble" and together constitute a world-class ski destination.

Lake Louise info card

Resort Altitude1661m
Highest Lift2637m
Total Piste200km
Longest Run8km
Directions of SlopesN, S, E, W
Uphill Capacity19667
Total Lifts26
Gondolas/Cable cars2
Chairlifts19
Drag Lifts4
Snow Parks1


Villages

Banff is a pretty town with lively restaurants and bars, the best apres ski, a wide choice of accommodation and plenty of shops and other activities for non-skiers. Lake Louise is a compact little town with good amenities, Sunshine Village lies high up the mountain.

Banff Mount Norquay

Banff Mount Norquay is where families come to play. With its close proximity to the town of Banff, you stay in the bustling town of Banff, which offers an abundance of hotels, B&B guesthouses, lodges, restaurants, bistros, stores, galleries, boutiques, museums and plenty of other activities such as soaking in the natural hot springs. Mount. Norquay has a new base lodge with licensed lounge, dining, day care, ski and snowboard school and rentals.

Mount Norquay, with its history and close proximity to Banff town, is the undisputed locals’ favourite. It might be considerably smaller than its younger siblings, easier to reach from Banff and credited with a family-friendly image, but woebetide complacent ski souls' who think these slopes are easy meat for all comers. There are some steeps and bumps on Norquay to rival the world's fiercest, lift served ski runs. Mount Norquay has consistently produced a massively disproportionate number of top ski racers and freestylers. It is also the only resort in the Canadian Rockies to offer night skiing.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise “village” grew around the railroad station and the majestic Chateau Lake Louise Hotel still dominates. The station is no more but the hotel certainly is. Development is tightly controlled by the Parks Service so the village is compact but has most amenities—gas station, bakery, grocery, liquor store, bus station, a wide range of accommodation, and over 20 restaurants and bars all linked by free shuttle buses.

Lake Louise has the largest and most varied terrain of the three ski stations, offering multiple mountain faces, thousands of acres of wide-open bowls and, critically, a beginner trail off every chairlift. The name of the famous 1.5-mile long (2.5-km) lake, which often reflects the towering ice flows and springs that cascade into its shimmering, emerald depths, from the Victoria Glacier above, is derived from the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – Princess Louise Caroline Alberta. The state of Alberta, which houses all the Banff Lake Louise ski areas, is named after the same princess. Little surprise then that Banff Lake Louise, originally settled in 1884 as a Canadian Pacific Railway logging camp and later designated Canada’s first National Park (Banff National Park, and more recently awarded protection as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), is consistently voted North America’s Most Scenic Ski Area.

Sunshine Village

Sunshine Village upper alpine lies at 7,082 feet (2,159 m). Lodgings are found at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge as Banff National Park’s only ski-in, ski-out accommodation. Combined with the gondola base are, Sunshine Village features two licensed day lodges, nine food outlets, cocktail lounges, ski & snowboard school, rental store, day care, snowboard park, outdoor hot pool, and reputedly Canada’s best snow, and lots of it—396 inches (1,006 cm) a year! Sunshine Village does not enjoy the same international cachet as Lake Louise but as the highest of the Banff resorts, Sunshine typically offers its growing number of winter sports enthusiasts a deep blanket of superb powder snow on its intriguing variety of terrain, ranging from wild and gnarly steeps to wide open groomers, all making it a more than worthy, but friendly rival, to Lake Louise.

Western Canada is also the spiritual home of helicopter skiing and Banff Lake Louise, is a popular pick up area for skiers and snowboarders wanting to notch up this unforgettable thrill. Helicopter skiing is not permitted in national park territories but helicopter companies quickly whisk powder skiing junkies over the nearby border into British Columbia where helicopter skiing terrain is practically unlimited.


Skiing in Lake Louise

The vast and varied terrain is located in the heart of the Banff National Park. With 4200 acres of skiable terrain, Lake Louise ski resort ranks among the biggest ski resorts in North America. It is pretty remarkable that all ability levels are covered on every single lift in Lake Louise, which makes it easy for families to spend the day together despite their different skiing skills.

The three ski areas Lake Louise Mountain Resort, Banff Mount Norquay, and Sunshine Village Resort Banff collectively form the Ski Big3. The Big3 Season Pass is valid all season at all three ski resorts, which equals almost 8,000 acres of terrain on one pass.

In total, Lake Louise offers 145 marked runs plus its Back Bowls. These include 25% runs for beginners, 45% for intermediate skiers as well as 30% for advanced skiers. The longest run is about 8km (5 miles).

You can just keep in mind: All lifts in Lake Louise have a green descend going down which is great. As soon as you feel more secure you can grab the Glacier Express Quad. This one will take you to run #9, Wiwaxy which is amazing for ski novices. Serviced by the Grizzly Express Gondola, you could also hit #55, #56 and #65. Those are all great to find your ski legs and get comfortable in the area. The Top of the World 6-Pack Express will whisk you up the mountain and give you access to run #109. The Larch Express features run #143, #150 and the super long trail #155 that actually brings you back to the Front Side.

The Lake Louise Showtime Terrain Park usually opens its gate in December, latest January. It is located on the Easy Street, just above the base, and it is one of the largest terrain parks in Western Canada. It features progressive lines for every ability level. From super newbie to extreme athlete, everyone will find their own spot. Especially the bag jump is a blast for every advanced freestyle skier. Before the Showtime opens, there is always a smaller terrain park setup somewhere in the resort.

Lake Louise Skiing - Beginners

Complete novices can start out on the very mellow slopes right near the base, in a zone that is largely separated from “scary” fast skiers and is serviced by magic carpets. The next step is to take the Glacier Express quad or the gondola and schuss the green runs down the front face, although some of them are rather pitchy.

One of the advantages of Lake Louise is that confident beginners can really explore a lot of the mountain. There are “Easiest Way” signs to indicate the green runs down from a few of the lifts. Unless super confident, there are some runs worth avoiding on bad visibility days including Saddleback, and basically any runs serviced by the World Six Pack Express Chair.

Intermediate Ski Terrain at Lake Louise

Intermediates have 45% of the trails rated as blue, so there are plenty of runs to choose from and it’s possible to explore most of the mountain.

The front face has lots of long groomers so you can cruise or zoom until your legs can take it no more.

The Summit surface lift is tricky, not so much because the runs off the top are challenging, but rather for the hairy steep ride on the way up. And avoid the Boomerang run out the back when the visibility isn’t great.

The Larch Area has good intermediate skiing, and is accessed by a high-speed quad. Wolverine, Larch and Bobcat are all lovely long cruisers.

Terrain Park

The terrain park has a handful of different zones and lines. The progression line has various hits for those on the “L plates”, a couple of lines are for intermediates, whilst the pro line has big jumps and rails for experienced shredders.

Advanced Snowboarding & Skiing Lake Louise

There are plenty of runs for advanced skiers to lap up at the Lake Louise ski area. The Men’s Downhill run on the frontside is great for a race. When visibility is good, runs off the Summit Platter are worth a go.

If you’re a bumps lover, give the runs under Ptarmigan lift a rip, and for tree skiing there are plenty of options over the back side that also tend to develop moguls very quickly.

The powder bowls are also epic with new snow. All the lines vary a little with regards to pitch, but in these alpine bowls you can pick a line that takes your fancy.

For the Expert

There is some fantastic terrain to challenge hard-core skiers and snowboarders. There are some great steeps that fall into the category of “if you fall, you might die” so helmets are a must. As examples, some of the runs under the Eagle Ridge off the Paradise chair have cornice-capped chutes. The snow base changes the back bowls significantly, as there are lots of rocks that are either fully covered or provide interesting terrain features.


Lake Louise Snow

Whilst the Lake Louise ski area has amazing terrain, the snow quality and quantity is probably not its forte. The average annual snowfall is rather modest at only 3.6 metres (140 inches), which is half of the average for a western Canadian ski resort. Ski Louise often has very low temps so the quality of the powder that falls is generally very dry and fluffy. However the snow quality is often not well maintained, particularly on the frontside where a sunny aspect and high traffic results in frequently slick slopes.


Lake Louise Accommodations

Unfortunately there’s no ski-in ski-out accommodation or on-mountain lodging at Lake Louise, but there are accommodations a few kilometres away in the quiet and peaceful village. Lake Louise accommodations consist of a handful of hotels and lodges, a hostel, and the gargantuan Chateau Lake Louise on the lake.


Facilities and Nightlife

The Lake Louise ski resort has world class facilities and services, and it seems like a very well run resort.

Down the road in the village, there are only limited amenities and very limited après activities or nightlife. Lake Louise is more of a little hamlet than a town, and there are just a few shops and several restaurants in the village and at the Chateau. And if you’re not lucky enough to stay at the Chateau Lake Louise, it’s still worth a visit to enjoy the lake views and a chic cocktail.

Transportation - Get In


By car 

Lake Louise is 186 km (120 miles) west of Calgary, and 56 km (36 miles) North-West of the town of Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1, Alberta 93).

An alternative from Banff is the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A), this is a restricted speed narrower tree lined road, which although does not provide such clear views of the mountain does provide a better chance of seeing wildlife such as bears and deer.

If you are driving and would like to check out the Parks Canada road report


By plane 

  • Calgary International Airport is a 2.5 hours drive to Lake Louise. There are several car rental agencies at the airport or you can book one of the many shuttles which drop off at hotels in Banff and Lake Louise.

By bus 

  • Greyhound does a few different scheduled runs throughout the day from the Calgary Bus Terminal.

Transportation - Get Around

Once in Lake Louise, you have access to some of the most beautiful drives in North America.

  • North: The Icefields Parkway, connects Lake Louise to Jasper. It is 230 km (142 mi) taking you along the most beautiful drive in North America. Along the Icefields Parkway you can stop and take a tour on the Columbia Icefield which is a glacier that covers an amazing 325 square km of land. An information centre there includes an interpretive section and a café.
  • West The Great Divide denotes the highest ridge-line in the Canadian Rockies and creates a natural border with British Columbia and Yoho National Park 10 km west of town.
  • East Banff is 60 km (36 miles) south-east of Lake Louise on either Hwy 1 (Trans Canada Highway) or the 1A (Bow Valley Parkway). Hwy 1 is quicker, but if you have some time to explore and enjoy the scenery the 1A is the way to go. There tends to be more animals sighted on the 1A and the scenery is breathtaking (not that you're going to get a bad view from any road in Banff National Park). Leave some time for a walk at Johnston Canyon, it's an easy walk anyone can do to the lower falls (1.1 km) or you can continue on further to the Upper Falls and the Ink Pots.

National Car Rental is located in the village of Lake Louise and there is a Hertz location in the Fairmont Lake Louise hotel. Otherwise the tour buses are an option.

Accommodation & Hotels


Nestled in a beautiful valley in Banff national park- the Post Hotel offers a stunning panorama of the Canadian Rockies. Just a few kilometres from famous Lake Louise with its magnificent palette of emerald greens- the hotels little log cabins with their red roofs overlook the Pipestone River. This is a mountain lodge at its finest where the comfy and romantic interiors make way for spacious suites in pale wood- always stocked with a good supply of logs to warm up your evenings. If your muscles are complaining after a few long ski runs ice skating on the lake or snowshoeing to spot the nearby elk- deer or moose- a visit to the Hotels Temple Mountain Spa will surely soothe. For the more adventurous- helicopter skiing is not far away. Enjoy the award-winning menu based on fresh produce and local game. CLUB 5C- Hotel welcomes Relais and Chateaux Club 5C members with a VIP Welcome and a Discovery Privilege. Please include the Club 5C membership number in the reservation and please show your Club 5C membership card on arrival.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great menu
    • Could be quieter
    • Friendly atmosphere
    • Nice building
  • POST HOTEL AND SPA SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 92. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and food.


Fully Modernized Cabin and Hotel Suite Accommodation in Lake Louise AlbertaCanada is Charmingly AuthenticLocated near the shores of world-famous Lake Louise in the Canadian Rocky Mountains of Banff National Park Paradise Lodge and Bungalows is a family run business steeped in mountain history. The hotel/lodge and adjacent cabins have been owned and operated by the Pedersen family for more than 50 years. Today the facility boasts newly renovated luxurious cabins as well as spacious hotel suites which are as well-appointed as they are cozy. In updating the lodge facilities to contemporary standards of comfort and convenience the operators of Paradise Lodge have not compromised any of the charm of the original facility. Log construction and natural materials are in evidence everywhere to complement the look and feel of the spectacular peaks and forests that surround the lodge. Visitors continue to enjoy the warm ambience of the historic main lodge and the riot of colors evident in the flower gardens. The verdant grounds are a pleasure to walk through and of course the magnificent Canadian Rockies form a breathtaking backdrop to everything.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Pleasant hotel grounds
    • Nice building
    • Spacious rooms
    • Impressive bathroom
  • PARADISE LODGE AND BUNGALOWS SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 91. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, location and service.


Property Location: When you stay at Baker Creek Mountain Resort in Lake Louise, you'll be connected to the convention center and within the vicinity of Moraine Lake. This hotel is within the region of Wilsons Mountain Sports and Helen Lake Trail.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 35 air-conditioned rooms featuring fireplaces. Rooms have private furnished balconies. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, while iPod docking stations help you enjoy your music in the comfort of your room. Conveniences include complimentary newspapers and separate sitting areas, and housekeeping is provided daily.

Amenities: Be sure to enjoy recreational amenities, including a lazy river, a sauna, and a fitness center. This hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands. The complimentary ski shuttle makes getting to the slopes a breeze.

Dining: You can enjoy a meal at a restaurant serving the guests of Baker Creek Mountain Resort, or stop in at a grocery/convenience store. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby, multilingual staff, and luggage storage. Planning an event in Lake Louise? This hotel has 660 square feet (61 square meters) of space consisting of a conference center and a meeting room. Free self parking is available onsite.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Food is a bit overpriced
    • Very quiet
    • Great menu
    • Friendly atmosphere
  • BAKER CREEK MOUNTAIN RESORT SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 90. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, location and food.


Stop at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel to discover the wonders of Lake Louise (AB). The hotel offers a wide range of amenities and perks to ensure you have a great time. Service-minded staff will welcome and guide you at the The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel. Each guestroom is elegantly furnished and equipped with handy amenities. Access to the hotel's hot tub, fitness center, indoor pool, spa, massage will further enhance your satisfying stay. Convenience and comfort makes The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel the perfect choice for your stay in Lake Louise (AB).

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great view
    • Rooms could be larger
    • Friendly atmosphere
    • Nice building
  • FAIRMONT CHÂTEAU LAKE LOUISE SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 90. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, location and service.


Located in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, this lodge offers free guided hiking programs and free canoeing. Each room and cabin features custom made, hand-crafted log furniture.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great view
    • Good beach sports
    • Nice building
    • Great menu
  • MORAINE LAKE LODGE SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 88. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, location and service.


Property Location: With a stay at Mountaineer Lodge in Lake Louise, you'll be in a national park and minutes from Wilsons Mountain Sports and close to Lake Louise Mountain Resort. This ski hotel is within close proximity of Helen Lake Trail and Lake Louise Gondola.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 78 guestrooms featuring refrigerators and microwaves. Complimentary wired and wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming provides entertainment. Private bathrooms with bathtubs or showers feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include coffee/tea makers and irons/ironing boards, and housekeeping is provided daily.

Amenities: Spend the day on the slopes, or enjoy recreational amenities including a spa tub and a steam room. Additional amenities at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, ski storage, and tour/ticket assistance. You'll be on the slopes in no time with the ski shuttle (surcharge).

Dining: A complimentary continental breakfast is served daily.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access, a computer station, and luggage storage. Free self parking is available onsite.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great shopping
    • Could be quieter
    • Rooms need regular maintenance
    • Average hotel building
  • MOUNTAINEER LODGE SUMMARY
    • With a good TrustScore of 76, guests choose this hotel because of its location and breakfast. However, some guests complain about the Vibe and internet.


At Lake Louise Inn, a 247 room property, we have the accommodations and amenities to enhance your vacation experience. In our collection of lodges, the guest rooms may feature kitchens, balconies, fireplaces or Jacuzzi tubs. Enjoy spectacular mountain scenery through floor to ceiling windows as you relax and unwind in our heated indoor pool and hot tubs. Browse for souvenirs in our gift shop or enjoy hearty mountain cuisine at one of our three on-site restaurants. Our hotel guests enjoy complimentary parking and wireless internet service and love the convenience of our on-site laundry facilities.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
    • Guests recommend this for traveling with friends.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Elevator in need of updating
    • Hotel could use some updating
    • Rooms could be larger
    • Friendly service
  • LAKE LOUISE INN SUMMARY
    • With a good TrustScore of 75, guests choose this hotel because of its location and service. However, some guests complain about the comfort and Vibe.

Ski Area

Lake Louise, the largest resort in the Canadian Rockies, and nearby Sunshine and Banff Norquay have a great mix of trails for every level of skier, and Champagne powder, of course!

The ski season in Banff Lake Louise is one of the longest in North America, opening mid-November to late May, with temperatures typically fluctuating from -15 C to +2 C in Town. -25C to +2C on slopes. Slopes have to be shut at -40C,but this only occurs very rarely.


Mount Norquay Ski Area

Mount Norquay packs a serious punch with its variety of terrain, family friendly facilities and its close proximity to the town of Banff. On its one mountain face there are five ski lifts, 190 acres (77 ha) of skiable terrain and 28 runs. Designed by skiers for skiers, it has plenty of carving and freeriding options, and appeals mostly to experienced intermediate and advanced skiers. The terrain is deceptively steep and unattentive cruisers can easily get caught out with the speed they gather. It is easy to traverse the entire mountain face, using the well connected lifts, to take in all the different groomers with their exciting rollers and sometimes vicious cambers.

But Norquay also has a reputation for bumps and some of its runs attract hard core skiers from far and wide. Take a long look at “The Big Chair” as locals' call the North American chair. Do not be fooled by its granny-like speed as its destination is strictly precipitous steeps, always adorned by huge but well formed moguls, because only very good skiers form them, and then ski them. If you can handle the unrelenting bumps on the double black diamond, Upper Lone Pine descent, then head for the steepest Norquay offers. This is the Gun Run, accessible off the same chair but with pitches reported to be above 50 degrees. Night skiing is also famous here, with two ski parks open and two downhill runs.  Also there is the excellent tubing park which attracts children and adults alike.


Lake Louise Ski Area

Lake Louise ski area, the largest in the Canadian Rockies, covers a vast 11 square miles (28 sq km). This includes over 80 miles (128 km) of trails across four mountain faces covering 4,200 acres (1,700 ha) of skiable terrain. That’s not forgetting the six Back Bowls “claiming” the driest, lightest powder in the world in 2,500 acres (1,012 ha) of pristine, natural, wide-open, backcountry wilderness for more advanced skiers and riders. The best snow is usually found at higher elevations, off-piste in the Back Bowls, and on the pisted trails, where there is the back up of artificial snow-making. Most major Front Side trails have snow-making and are generally in good shape throughout the season. All of the beginner (green) and intermediate (blue) trails are groomed daily.

A key ingredient to Lake Louise Ski Area’s appeal is that there is a beginners trail from every chairlift on the mountain: in other words all chairs have an easy and difficult way down and the varied terrain above and below the tree-line appeals to all types of skiers. Even when visibility is poor, Lake Louise’s long, tree-lined trails offer protection and visibility. Boarders and freestyle skiers will be impressed by “Showtime,” an impressive terrain park, which features all the bumps, jumps, table tops and rails imaginable on this 2,000 feet (650 m) vertical ride. The park is also split into two half-way down, so you can ski-off and onto the easier park which has much more boxes and rails. Or you can continue on the “big park” and try your luck at some of the xl jumps. And if that’s not enough to tie you over at the end of the run, there’s a race circuit adjacent to the lower park with built in rolls.


Sunshine Village Ski Area

Sunshine is a three-mountain ski area offering everything from easy beginner slopes to some of the toughest advanced terrain in North America for experts. Mount Standish and Lookout Mountain are Sunshine’s original two mountains, the latter having the ultimate hardcore backcountry face, Delirium Dive. The Dive is a 40+ degrees gradient and severe at its most gentle. It is a mile-wide (1.6 km) cirque, patrolled by the park service who deny access to anybody failing to carry avalanche transceivers, probes, shovels or who fails to ski or ride with a companion (“buddy”). There is also the Wild West backcountry face that offers an excillerating challenge equal to that of Delirium Dive. Wild West offers fast paced tree/ bump runs off-piste as well as the tough and very steep runs at the Dive. It is located west of the Goats Eye Mountain.

But there are plenty of thrills on Sunshine’s 107 pisted trails without going near the Dive or Wild West. Sunshine, prides itself in the claim to have more annual snowfall that its immediate piers and this is apparently due to its proximity to the Continental Divide, and doubtless to the on-piste snow-fencing that prevents storms from blowing away their riches of “white gold”. Thus plenty of snow and a natural terrain park on Mt. Standish make Sunshine something of a free-riding mecca. And with a vertical drop of 3,514 feet (1,072 m)—Sunshine Village is the longest in the Canadian Rockies. There is also a natural gulley in between the runs coming off the Stanish lift and the new Strawberry lift, which is so big at the top that the locals have given it the name “The Compression”.  And if that is not challenging enough there are natural shoots, some of which are almost vertical with natural, unmissable drops that trickle off the Standish side of the gulley.

Ski Pass


Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine offers multi-day tri-area lift tickets and unlimited skiing on 8,000 acres of terrain, including complimentary roundtrip shuttle service between Banff or Lake Louise hotels and all three ski areas in Banff National Park. Lift tickets can be bought in the base area at every ticket outlet and at Customer Service. Ski Big3 Vacations offers customized ski vacation packages inclusive of lodgings, tri-area lift tickets and lesson programs. You can also buy lift tickets online at SkiBig3.com including free delivery of lift tickets to your hotel the day before your first ski day to avoid having to wait in line to buy tickets at the base station.


LAKE LOUISE RESORT LIFT TICKETS

DAYCHILD
(6-12)
JUNIOR
(13-17)
ADULT
(18-64)
SENIOR
(65+)
WeekdayCAD$38.00CAD$77.00CAD$99.00CAD$77.00
WeekendCAD$38.00CAD$77.00CAD$99.00CAD$77.00


LAKE LOUISE SEASON PASSES

CHILD
(6-12)
JUNIOR
(13-17)
ADULT
(18-64)
SENIOR
(65-79)
CAD$329CAD$769CAD$998CAD$829

Ski lifts


In Lake Louise, there is invariably a “working liftie” to greet you at both ends of the lift. Even if you’re the first one up in the morning and there’s been a huge dump of snow the night before, the seats will always be brushed off.At Mount Norquay the first lift you will approach is a short and sweet ride up. From there you can ski either the small or big park or ski down and onto the main mountain. At Lake Louise you have the choice of taking the gondola all the way up the right side of the mountain or you can take a chairlift on the other side. From the chair you can ski both parks, ski the home run or take the Top of the World chair up. And from there just about any run is reachable. At Sunsine you have to take the gondola lift up to the main village, there is the option to get off at the Goats Eye mid-station as well. From there you can ski any part of the resort. There is a connecting chair that takes you from the Goats Eye side of the mountain to the top of Lookout Mountain. From there you can ski down to the day lodge or any other lift.


Lift NameLengthVerticalTypeRide TimeMakeBuild Year
Grizzly Express Gondola2918 m736 m6-person gondola12 min.Leitner Poma2003
Top of the World 6-Pack Express1344 m411 mHigh-speed 6-pack5 min.Leitner Poma2003
Glacier Express Quad1822 m442 mHigh-speed quad7 min.Leitner2000
Larch Express Chair1463 m375 mHigh-speed quad6 min.Leitner1998
Ptarmigan Quad Chair1021 m412 mFixed-grip quad9 min.Leitner Poma2008
Paradise Triple Chair1100 m394 mFixed-grip triple9 min.Lift Engineering1982
Summit Platter1119 m410 m1-person platter lift8 min.Mueller1976
Sunny T-Bar361 m44 m2-person T-bar lift3 min.Doppelmayr
Magic Carpet79 m18 mMagic carpet2 min.2006

 

Activities & Things to do

As a ski-resort and wilderness area, tourist activity varies according to the season. The primary form of spring and summer recreation in the area is walking around the lake on the lakeside path, hiking on mountain trails leading from the lake, and admiring the scenery. During the summer, canoes can be rented and fishing is a popular activity. The ski resort turns into an interpretive centre in the summer months and gives visitors a beautiful view of Lake Louise from the top of the Gondola.


Winter

  • Lake Louise Ski Resort1 Whitehorn Road, Lake Louise (45 minutes from Banff),  +1 403-522-3555, toll-free: +1-877-956-8473, e-mail: Lake Louise hosts men's and women's World Cup ski events every November, making it the best-known ski area in Banff National Park. As such, it is also the busiest and most touristy. It is located close to the Lake Louise town site. The scenery is fantastic, as is the terrain when there is fresh snow. Snowshoe tours and Sunny Tube park (next to the magic carpet) for those who don't ski or board. Excellent all you can eat buffet breakfast served in the Whiskey Jack Lodge ($12). If you're on the Club Snowboard/Ski program get the early bus! $85 for full day adult ticket.
  • Kingmic Dogsled Tours,  +1-877-919-7779is the oldest dog sled tour company in the west, and goes along the Continental Divide
  • Ice skateon the lake, rental skates are available within The Fairmont Château Lake Louise and down in the village at Wilson Mountain Sports.
  • Sleigh Rides (Brewster Lake Louise Stables). leave from in front of The Château Lake Louise
  • Snowshoeing, cross country skiing and winter walking trailsare abundant, rentals are available at the same places as the ice skates and Parks Canada will be more than happy to give you trail info, or guided tours do leave from The Fairmont Château Lake Louise.

Summer

  • Gondola -1 Whitehorn Road (at the Lake Louise Ski Area). Lake Louise Mountain Resort runs one of the chairlifts with gondolas in the summer up to an interpretive centre giving you a great spot to take breathtaking photos and learn about the local wildlife.
  • Canoerentals are available on Lake Louise and Moraine Lake
  • There is some great rock climbing in the area. Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise rents all the climbing gears except rope and harness.

Events

  • Ice Magic: 16–25 January 2015 . international ice carving competition 

Facilities & Services

The Lake Louise Ski Resort has well developed facilities and amenities, although sometimes they don’t cope too well with the Calgary weekend crowds. Most of the amenities are located at the main base area near the car park. Facilities include ski and snowboard school, child care, multiple dining options, equipment rental outlets, and a retail shop.


Lake Louise Ski Rentals and Snowboard Hire

The Lake Louise ski resort has its own equipment rental shop located on the lower level of the 10 Peaks Lodge. They have standard and high performance alpine ski and snowboard rentals, and they also have cross country ski equipment. Rates are pretty standard for a western Canadian ski resort.

If you’re staying at Chateau Lake Louise, the Chateau Mountain Sports shop rents out mid and high performance gear including downhill ski equipment, snowboards, cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice cleats, ice skates, toboggans, clothing and hockey gear. Rates are pretty similar to those at the Lake Louise ski resort.

Otherwise for Lake Louise ski rentals, you can head to Wilson Mountain Sports in the village. They rent out a huge array of gear including downhill skis and snowboards, cross-country skis, telemark gear, avalanche safety gear, ice skates, and camping equipment. Prices for ski rentals are slightly cheaper than the two options above.

Or if you’re staying in Banff, there are lots of options for Banff ski rentals, and prices tend to be a little cheaper due to the abundance of competition.


Facilities for Children

The Lake Louise Ski Resort has a licensed childcare facility in a building next to the Lodge of Ten Peaks. The child care is for a half or full day. They cater for babies up to 6 year olds, and rates are very reasonable. For ages 3-4 they also offer Kinderski, a combination of daycare and 1 or 2 hours of ski lessons.

The Chateau Lake Louise can offer babysitting or there are other babysitting services in Lake Louise whereby a sitter can come to your lodging.


Lake Louise Ski School

Kids ski school caters for ages 5 to 12. Lessons are either for the full day or half day and rates are pretty standard for a Canadian ski resort. Lessons can also be packaged up with lift tickets and/or equipment rentals.

Adults’ ski and snowboard lessons are also for a half day or full day. The latter, like at Sunshine, are rather expensive. Of course the other option is private lessons, and rates for these are pretty standard.


Eating On Mountain

The beautiful Lodge of the Ten Peaks at the base area has various dining options including a self-serve cafeteria, a sushi restaurant, a coffee bar, and a lounge bar for table service. Next door, the Whisky Jack Lodge has another cafeteria, a brown baggers area for the many ski racing families, and a bistro with buffet options. The latter is a great spot to retreat on the weekends when the cafeterias are jam packed. Or if you just need a quick bite, the Kokanee Cabin is good for nice weather days.

Over on the backside of the mountain, the lovely log cabin Temple Lodge has another cafeteria as well as a restaurant with table service.

What’s common about the Lake Louise cafeterias is that the selection of food is very ho hum and not particularly healthy. The cafeterias are also often like a zoo on weekends, and you’ll need plenty of patience and assertiveness to find a table.

Sights & Landmarks

The main attractions at Lake Louise are the vibrantly coloured glacial lakes and Victoria Glacier at the head of Lake Louise. The lakes to stop and explore are: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Bow Lake and Peyto Lake.

On the shores of Lake Louise is The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise [www]. During the summer you can canoe on the lake and in the winter months they offer ice skating around the ice castle or horse drawn sleigh rides. Every January there is an international ice carving competition held called Ice Magic.

Also Lake Louise Mountain Resort changes with the seasons, a world class ski resort [www] in the winter and a Sightseeing Gondola [www] in the summer.

If you are interested in hiking or climbing you've got lots of access to all sorts of trails in this area.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Lake Louise dining is great but the options are somewhat limited, whilst choices for nightlife are even more restricted.


Lake Louise Restaurants

The Lake Louise restaurants can largely be found within the hotels and lodges. Like some other aspects within the Banff National Park, the prices for meals can be somewhat inflated.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has lots of dining options. Fine dining is at the Fairview Dining Room, which serves up local Canadian fare. There is the Lago Italian restaurant, whilst the Walliser Stube serves Swiss style food such as fondue in an old world setting, along with an amazing selection of wines. The stunning Lakeview Lounge also serves meals that are somewhat casual (and very expensive). The chateau also has a deli for light meals or take-away food.

An extensive menu is available at the Lake Louise Station, an old train station that has been lovingly restored. For special functions, it’s possible to get a table in the old railroad car. Elegant dining is available at The Post Hotel for lunch and dinner, serving modern and classic European delights. The food is exceptional although expensive.

For something a little more casual, family oriented and easier on the hip pocket, head into the Outpost Pub instead. Or go to the Lake Louise Village Grill and Bar, a family oriented restaurant. They serve up lots of burgers, Chinese food, steak and a little seafood.

Or for an inexpensive feed you can head to the Bill Peytos Café at the hostel. The food is simple, the menu is extensive, yummy and best of all, cheap.


Other Lake Louise Dining

The small shopping area in the village has the Trailhead Café for healthy take-away food, and a bakery that has all sorts of yummies.

There are plenty of options for dining in Banff as well.


Lake Louise Bars & Nightlife

Après ski festivities can be reasonably lively, whilst further into the evening, the Lake Louise nightlife becomes fairly sedate with most activity occurring within the lodgings such as the hotels, the hostel and the chateau.

For an après ski drink there’s the Powder Keg Lounge in the Lodge of the Ten Peaks at the Lake Louise Ski Resort. This is an enjoyable spot to perch and watch the activities outside. Kokanee Kabin is another après hangout for good weather days, and it often has live music on the weekends.

For a more sedate drink, the cocktails in the lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise are fantastic, and an enjoyable way to enjoy the lake views. Expect to pay through the nose for the privilege of drinking in the presence of such fine views! Or some evenings, there is an ice bar out the front of the chateau where you can look at the beautiful ice carvings. You’ll probably only want to stay for one drink considering the often nippy conditions.

The Outpost Pub at the Post Hotel has a lovely fireplace and is a good place for a drink.

You can also enjoy the Banff nightlife which is much more vibrant than Lake Louise.

Shopping

The Lake Louise shopping is not particularly extensive. Shopping addicts are not likely to score a fix, but there are a few Lake Louise ski shops and outdoor stores, and various gift stores.


Lake Louise Ski Shops

At the Lake Louise Ski Resort there is a ski and snowboard shop, Sports Alpine. This Lake Louise ski shop is reasonably large and is jam packed with hardwear (skis and snowboards), boots, outerwear from a range of brands, and more ski and snowboard accessories than you could poke a stick at. If you’ve scared yourself on the steep rocky slopes and are in need of a brain bucket, they have a big range of helmets. The shop also stocks an array of Lake Louise souvenirs and logowear.

At Chateau Lake Louise is the Chateau Mountain Sports shop, selling ski and snowboard gear and accessories, with an emphasis on the finer things in life.

Another Lake Louise ski shop is Wilson Mountain Sports, located in the village “mall”. They have a large range of snowsports gear for sale, and a bit more emphasis on backcountry riding compared to the other two Lake Louise ski shops.

Otherwise for a slightly larger range of equipment and clothing, you can head to the Banff ski shops.


Lake Louise General Shopping

The Lake Louise village has a very small “shopping centre”. It’s the type that you could miss if you blinked. The Samson Mall has a little gift shop, a gallery, a candy store, and a small grocery store and liquor store. The latter are pretty expensive, so try and stock up in Canmore or Banff if possible.

More shopping can be found at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise which has multiple elegant shops within the resort. Other than the ski shop, there’s the Fairmont Shop that sells logo souvenirs of Lake Louise and the Fairmont, including the all important bathrobe! And if your primary reason for coming to Lake Louise was to buy Royal Doulton china then you’re in luck!!

The chateau also has some of the typical “resorty” type unique shops such as bizarre boutiques, a jewelry shop, photography store, bookstore, gallery, gift shop, and a candy store with chocolates and maple syrup products.

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