The 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!
The backdrop adds so much to the great skiing and snowboarding experience, but that’s not the only reason that people flock there in droves. The Lake Louise ski area is a world class ski resort, it’s very family friendly, and the terrain provides a lot of choice for all levels of skiers and snowboarders.
Ski Lake Louise
Lake Louise Ski Resort is also popular because it’s the biggest of the Banff ski
resorts, and is the second largest ski resort in Canada weighing in at a massive 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres). The Lake Louise skiing
terrain is vast and spread across three areas: the frontside; the backside powder bowls; and the Larch area. This is no Whistler Ski Resort
, but it’s still huge!
The frontside has plenty of sedate runs and wide groomed intermediate boulevards, and with a vertical rise of nearly a kilometre, many of these runs might get your legs screaming. The backside is awesome for experts and this area has chutes, gullies, rooooolly steep bowls, and the Ptarmigan area has some good glades.
In part due to its proximity to Calgary, the Lake Louise ski resort can get very crowded, particularly on the frontside of the mountain, and on a powder day it can get skied out in less than an hour and mogul mania ensues. If you want fresh tracks you have to work hard for them.
For such a large ski area, Lake Louise Banff surprisingly has only 10 lifts, of which 3 are magic carpets. The backside lifts are all fixed grip slow chairs, whilst the frontside and Larch area are serviced by modern fast lifts. The long Grizzly Express Gondola is very impressive and provides a great opportunity to appreciate the stellar views.
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 icy slopes.
Where is Lake Louise?
Located in the majestic Banff National Park, Lake Louise Alberta is 57 km from the town of Banff Canada (about 40 minutes by road), and 180km west of Calgary.
There are three parts to Lake Louise. Firstly there’s the actual lake where the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is located. About 5km down the road is the little sleepy village of Lake Louise, with a small collection of hotels and a few shops. Another few kilometres further on is the Lake Louise ski resort.
It’s not essential to have a car, but it can be very handy to provide some flexibility to get to the Lake Louise ski resort and to get around elsewhere.
Otherwise there are shuttles from Calgary International Airport to Lake Louise that can be organized as part of Lake Louise ski packages
, and there are also shuttle buses every 30 minutes between the Lake Louise hotels and the ski area.
Other Banff Ski Resorts
Lake Louise is one of three Banff ski resorts, with its neighbours being Norquay
and Sunshine Village
. You can enjoy all three resorts on an interchangeable lift ticket.
If you don’t have a car, all the resorts are accessible via complimentary shuttle buses from various Banff and Lake Louise hotels.
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 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
, the castle on the lake.
Lake Louise Accommodation Listings
The other option is to stay in Banff lodging
and commute to Lake Louise via car or shuttle bus each day. The advantage of staying in Banff is that there is a vibrant nightlife, lots of shops and other activities for tourists.
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 a few restaurants in the general lodging and at the Chateau. And if you’re not lucky enough to stay at the Chateau, it’s still worth a visit to enjoy the views or a chic cocktail.
Why Ski Lake Louise?
Head to Lake Louise ski area to enjoy the family friendliness, the laidback vibe, the diversity of terrain, and the phenomenal vistas. Rug up well and don’t forget to take your camera!
Tours that include Lake Louise