Location: Lake Louise is a hamlet located in the Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. Its name comes from the extraordinary vibrant blue lake which is at the base of Mount Victoria. The lake itself is a 6-minute drive from the centre of the hamlet and was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth Daughter of Queen Victoria. Although the hamlet is small with only a few hotels and shops, Lake Louise’s ski area is impressive boasting 4,200 skiable acres making it one of the largest ski areas in North America.
Lake Louise is known for its reliably long ski season and unique layout – and it is perfect for every ability of skier – offering a green run down from every chairlift and 30% of its runs are for advanced skiers. It is also very popular during the spring and summer with tourists coming to view the Lake’s blue waters and stunning scenery.
Getting there: Daily flights depart to Calgary from London Heathrow with Air Canada and West Jet operate twice weekly flights from London Gatwick.
Lake Louise is a 2–hour drive from Calgary Airport. You can get there by renting your own car, taking a private transfer or booking onto one of the shuttle buses (which run every 3 hours).
Where to stay: Considering the size of Lake Louise, it surprisingly plays host to two of the best resort hotels in Canada. We highly recommend The Post Hotel which is known for its excellent food, service and wine (with a 23,000 bottle wine cellar – one of the country’s largest). Alternatively head up the hill for stunning views of Lake Louise whilst staying at Fairmont’s Chateau Lake Louise and with every room with a view and lots of restaurants on site to enjoy. For a more affordable option you can stay at the Lake Louise Inn which is comfortable and offers everything you need for a short stay. The ski hill is a short complimentary shuttle from each hotel.
Highlights: When conditions are good, Lake Louise can offer exceptional skiing with the famous dry powder that Canada is famous for and to top it off the views are incredible!
Downsides: The village is tiny so don’t expect much of a night life – the hotels are dotted around the hamlet so taxis are a must if you’re looking to explore.
Best piste run: Head to the Paradise Bowl / Eagle Ridge area round the back side of the mountain – it tends to be quieter here and there are great steep runs as well as fun gladed blacks.
Best off piste run: Hike up the Larch area or play around by the Ladie’s downhill where you can find some good tree skiing amongst good groomed black runs.
Best mountain restaurant: Dining with a view – The Whitehorn Bistro – is fantastic on-mountain dining offering gourmet dishes. If you prefer something more laidback head down to the base to Powder Keg Lounge or Kokanee Kabin where they offer BBQ food; which is good for après too.
Best restaurant in town: We highly recommend the Post Hotel’s restaurant, it offers exceptional French cuisine with a wine list of dreams – it’s very popular so make sure you book in advance! If you want to just grab a sandwich and coffee head to the Trailhead Café in the main town.
Best après bar: If it’s après that you want then Lake Louise isn’t the place for you – maybe try Banff for a more vibey scene. Having said that, the Kokanee Kabin at the base of the resort is good for a few cold beers post ski.
Best guide: Lake Louise offers ski with the locals which we think is the best way to see the resort – the locals can take you to the best runs! If you are looking for a faster pace of skiing with lots of off-piste runs, then we can help book a private guide to take you to the best parts.
If you like the sound of skiing in Lake Louise for your heli skiing warm up, contact the heli skiing experts at Pure Powder!