Location: Given away by its name, the famous lake is an impressive 2.5 kilometres long and 90 metres deep, set against the magnificence of the backdrop of the Canadian Rockies. The town is small with only 1,000 inhabitants, but the Lake Louise ski area is impressive boasting 4,200 skiable acres making it one of the largest ski areas in North America.
Located a further 30 minutes west of Banff, Lake Louise is known for its reliably long ski Season and unique layout (it offers a green run down from every chairlift so works well for varying degrees of experience). Of its 139 runs though it also offers 30% for advanced skiers.
Getting there: Daily flights depart to Calgary fom London Heathrow with Air Canada and British Airways. In the winter, Canadian Affair operates twice weekly charter flights from London Gatwick.
Lake Louise is a 2.5 hour drive from Calgary Airport. You can get there by renting your own car, booking a private taxi or hopping on one of the shuttle buses that run on a regular basis.
Where to stay: Considering the size of Lake Louise, it surprisingly plays host to one of the best hotels in North America. The Post Hotel has won Conde Nast Traveller’s Gold Award for food excellence and had a fantastic spa and restaurant. Alternatively head up the hill for stunning views of the lake staying at Fairmont’s Chateau Lake Louise. For a cheaper option you can stay at Deer Lodge which is more than comfortable and spoils you with a stunning rooftop Jacuzzi.
Highlights: When conditions are good, Lake Louise can offer exceptional skiing with the famous dry powder that Canada is famous for.
Downsides: The village is tiny so don’t expect much of a social life – the hotels are dotted around the village 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 (easy) blacks.
Best mountain restaurant: Expect conveyor belts and unexciting food compared to our European experiences, so we recommend grabbing a hot dog or Starbucks at base and head back out to the slopes!
Best restaurant in town: The Post Hotel’s restaurant is exceptional with a wine list of dreams but CRMR’s Deer Lodge has great food as well.
Best après bar: Lake Louise isn’t known for its après ski – we’d head to the spa at the Post Hotel instead or their pub downstairs for some nachos and beer.
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 guide: Hugh Tafel knows the area like the back of his hand and we’d recommend him for those looking for some off piste tips before they sample the snow by helicopter. Lake Louise does offer daily ski hosts but we found them suitable for beginners and extremely slow – it’s not a way to discover Lake Louise and Hugh is worth the private guide cost.