Lake Louise Ski Resort
It’s hard to believe the frozen turquoise lake in an amphitheatre of snow laden mountains is real. But this is Lake Louise. A tiny hamlet deep in the Banff National Park with a big ski resort to book.
Lake Louise Ski Resort boasts 4200 acres (1700 ha) of skiable terrain across four mountain faces, designed in a user friendly way so beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers and riders can all ride the same chair but take different routes back down.
Be warned, it’s hard to know where to look when skiing at Lake Louise, the vistas are huge and breath taking at every turn.
Why Lake Louise?
It’s a winter wonderland nestled in Canada’s oldest National Park, an icon within the Rockies. The views from the ski runs are next level and it’s close enough to Banff resort town should you want more action. The resort is also part of the SkiBig3 lift ticket which offers almost 8000 acres across Banff Sunshine, Banff Mt Norquay and Banff Lake Louise.
Lake Louise Ski Resort does not have any ski-in, ski-out accommodation options – the closest lodging is located in the village nearby. The historical Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is truly iconic, and a bucket list hotel. As well there are a variety of places to choose from including log cabins, small hotels, and lodges.
About LAKE LOUISE
Lake Louise Resort is known for its free ride terrain and like many resorts in Canada has a ‘front side’ and a ‘back side’. The front is ideal for beginners to intermediates with lots of wide groomed runs and the back features open powder bowls, chutes and glades for perfect tree runs.
The resort has an annual snowfall of 14.75 feet (4.5 m) and has extensive snow making plus a season from November to May. If you can’t ski over the festive and holiday season, think spring skiing and Easter. The snow bunnies will be there too!
Early in the season, in early December, witness the fastest skiers in the world begin the World Cup speed circuit at the Lake Louise Ski Resort. The Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup features speed events on the World Cup circuit and plays host to the first downhill and super-G races of the season. This is the only event of its kind in Canada and is the perfect way to start the winter season. Racers are ready!
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Lake Louise Ski Resort has a small base village with all the amenities from ski rental to retail, cafes, bars and ski patrol services. There is no accommodation at the mountain, as it part of the Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ‘town’ down the road is also small with a gas station and conveniences.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the base for many adventures from ice skating on the lake to snow shoes, xc skiing and fat bikes. Be sure to try the Ice Bar on the lake. It’s a short 10-minute drive to the ski hill.
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WHERE TO STAY
Lake Louise has a handful of accommodation and lodging options. If you want a pumping après town then stay in Banff. If you love the idea of waking in a winter wonderland then bed down in Lake Louise.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise takes pride of place on the shores of the lake and is the hub for many adventure activities. You can melt s’mores around the fire, drink scotch from an ice glass at the ice bar, ice skate on the lake, take the resident hotel pooch for a walk along the lake, and even play hockey.
If you are looking for remote luxe lodging we have that in the bag too. The Post Hotel, one of a handful of Relaix & Chateau moniker hotels in Canada, is the place for that special ski vacation.
Our friends from Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts have a ecletic choice of lodge experiences. Deer Lodge is the classic definition of rustic mountain accommodations. There is history steeped within the walls of Emerald Lake Lodge, with its century-old fireplaces and an oak bar salvaged from an 1890’s Yukon saloon. Imagine some of the fireside tales from yesteryear. The lakeside location and jaw-dropping scenery complete the picture. There is also no shortage of comfort during your stay at Emerald Lake Lodge given the location’s and Mountaineer Lodge are some of our favourites.
In the village of Lake Louise itself, the Lake Louise Inn is always one of our go-to accommodations.
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TOP 5 REASONS TO VISIT LAKE LOUISE
#1. Easy to get to — a mere 2 hour drive from the hassle free Calgary International Airport, and close to Banff. The town of Banff is 30 minutes down the road with regular shuttles.
#2. The most romantic lake in Canada. Trust us, we’ve had clients ‘pop’ the question here as well as winter weddings. The backdrop is simply stunning. A photographer’s dream shoot.
#3. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Old world romance in the Rockies. Seriously, it doesn’t get better than waking on the edge of a frozen lake, breathtaking scenery, and the stunning Rocky Mountains. You may never want to check-out of your fairy tale on the edge of wilderness.
#4. The slopes — uncrowded slopes, wide groomers, powder bowls, tree runs and views, views, views. Plus it’s part of the tri-resort SkiBig3 pass, and located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
#5. Truly a winter wonderland – a frozen lake, adorned with life-size ice carvings, awe-inspiring mammoth peaks, sleigh rides with bells, if Santa wasn’t in Lapland he’d be living here.
|Season Length||November – May|
|Hours of Operation||9:00 am – 4:00 pm|
|Vertical||3,250 feet / 991 metres|
|Base Elevation||5,400 feet / 1,646 metres|
|Summit Elevation||8,650 feet / 2,637 metres|
|Acreage||4,200 acres / 1,700 hectares|
|Average Snowfall||179 in / 454 cm|
|Trails||145 marked runs + back bowls|
|Terrain||25% Beginner 45% Intermediate 30% Advanced|
|Longest Run||8 kms (5 miles)|
|Cumulative Length of Runs||Over 100 kms (62 miles)|
|Lifts||10 lifts – 1 High Speed 6 passenger gondola, 1 High Speed 6 passenger chairlift, 2 High speed quad chairlifts, 1 Quad chairlift, 1 Triple chairlift, 1 Platter Lift, 3 Carpet Lifts|
|Lift Capacity||13,716 people/hour|
Lake Louise is home to some of the most scenic cross-country ski trails the country. Regardless of your ability, there are endless trails around Lake Louise and Banff National Park that you can enjoy. Glide through the winter wonderland and soak in the spectacular mountain views.
No night skiing at Lake Louise. Banff-Norquay offers the only night skiing in the Banff-Lake Louise area. Let’s face it, after a day on the mega-slopes of Lake Louise, you’ve well and truly earned après ski time. Our recommendation, head to the Fairview Bar at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. As you spot Fairview’s namesake peak just across the lake, it’s hard to deny the sense of connection to the mountains that surround this corner of the storied Chateau. Cheers!
SEASON DATES & OPENING HOURS
Lake Louise is usually open from early November to mid-May each season. Most years, Lake Louise kicks off the season in early December, playing host to the Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup.
WINTER HOURS OF OPERATION
9.00 am – 4.00 pm Note: These times are provided by the ski resort and can vary based on external conditions, day of the week, school, and public holidays.
The Calgary International Airport is located just 2 hours away from Lake Louise and 90 minutes from the town of Banff. Calgary International Airport was recently voted as one of the world’s top five “hassle free” airports, so you’ll arrive in comfort. Self drive from the airport or take a bus or private transfer.
Take one of our free return shuttles between Lake Louise hotels, Sampson Mall and the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Shuttles between Banff and Lake Louise are also available for SkiBig3 ticket holders.
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Things to do at lake louise
If you love the park then you’ve come to the right place. You’ve hit the terrain park jackpot at Lake Louise. Four parks with some of the biggest and best terrain designs in the world.
Exhilarating, freedom, fresh air, and stunning scenery as you fly through the air, with a sweet mix of features to thrill and challenge. This is the place to work on those jumps, 180s, and tricks to make’ em look. Lake Louise has some of the biggest and best designed park terrain in the world. Jump for joy with a variety of small, medium, large, and extra-large jumps, rails, boxes, and other features. Everyone whether you’re a skier or boarder; from brand-new beginners to seasoned pros can embrace the exhilarating feeling of freestyle. This is your time to fly.
Choose from Easy Street, Triple Bridge, Boulevard or the mighty Boulevard XL.
Video credit: Lake Louise Ski Resort
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You’ll find a full service ski school at Lake Louise ski resort, filled with top level instructors for first timers to old timers.
Take a free mountain host tour with a local to get to know the mountain – open to all ability skiers and snowboarders, the Ski Friends will take you across the mountain, offering info and advice on the best lifts, areas, runs, facilities and history.
For lessons, choose from private lessons, group lessons and multi week programs, free ride and women’s only – there’s even First Tracks lessons on the super groomed.
5-12 year olds have full program group and private ski and snowboard lessons also on offer. 3-4 year old kids have the option for Kinderski Group Lessons where they get to explore the mountain and improve their skills through fun games. Instructors focus on safe “kids-only” teaching techniques. Daycare available for children from 18 days to 6 years.
COVID-19 Policy: The resorts’ products, programs and prices may change or vary for the upcoming 2020/21 season as they continue to act in accordance with the instructions of the Alberta Health Services and other Government officials.
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However long your vacation is, convenience is the key when travelling. Nothing can beat Lake Louise’s convenient slopeside stores which are complemented by a carefully selected line-up of ski and snowboard equipment, backed up by eager and well-trained staff, to kit you out, and get you out onto the hill in double-quick time.
You will find everything you need at the Lake Louise SkiBig3 Adventure Hub to enjoy a day, or even weeks, on the slopes.
THINGS TO DO
There is so much to do at both Lake Louise and in the Banff National Park.
From ice climbing to fat biking, ice skating, xc skiing, backcountry skiing, Johnston Canyon hiking, shopping, dining, gourmet progressive tours and more.
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There’s enough to keep you entertained at the base of the Lake Louise ski resort until you head to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for more après fun and sundowners.
The big après offerings are found in downtown Banff. Base area dining includes Bier Stube, Northface Bistro, Kuma Yama, Powderkeg Lounge and others.
Contact us for your Lake Louise holiday needs.
Contact us for all your Banff Lake Louise vacation needs.