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Lake Louise

Voted “Best Ski Resort in Canada” (in the World Ski Awards), this is one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever ski. With a unique ski area that lets all abilities ski from every lift, a 360° panorama of Banff National Park and iconic hotels like the lakeside Fairmont Chateau, Lake Louise is truly world class.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Legendary ski resort • Designated beginner zones • Massive ski area

Great for: • Groups • Scenery • Luxury

Voted “Best Ski Resort in Canada” (in the World Ski Awards), this is one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever ski. With a unique ski area that lets all abilities ski from every lift, a 360° panorama of Banff National Park and iconic hotels like the lakeside Fairmont Chateau, Lake Louise is truly world class.

Lake Louise Resort

Lying at 1646 metres altitude in the Alberta region of the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise has been photographed to within an inch of its existence, and still manages to delight the eyes. Literally turquoise in summer and overlooked by the glistening Victoria glacier (named after our great former monarch, no less), even the shakiest of photographers will come away with prize shots after a trip here. In the winter, the lake freezes over for the season, and the ice-skating opportunities abound under the watch of the iconic Fairmont Chateau (cue more stunning snaps).

As for the skiing, there’s plenty more to be impressed with. With the highest lifts and ski slopes at 2637m, the Lake Louise area is reliably snow sure, and frequently blanketed in feather-light, dry Canadian Rockies powder. It’s one of three ski areas and linked by an efficient shuttle to nearby Mount Norquay and Sunshine Village. On a SkiBig3 pass, you can ski the lot, and all told cover a colossal 8000 acres of Banff National Park terrain (which is, we might add, a UNESCO world heritage site).

In and of itself, the Lake Louise ski area has plenty to offer and it’s one of the most convenient, set out so that all abilities can ski from each lift, meaning groups of mixed abilities won’t have to split up for the day. It must be doing something right, given this is the only Canadian resort to host the FIS Ski World Cup circuit, and ski stars like Lindsey Vonn.

Calgary International Airport is only a couple of hours drive away (115 miles) – you can get the Banff Airporter transfer to Banff where a bus will take you to the resort itself. 5 minutes among lively Banff’s bars and restaurants and you’ll want to head back. Luckily, it’s easily accessible via the ski bus (included in the Tri Area pass).

Stats & FAQ

Location: Alberta, Canada

Established: 1890

Open: Nov - May

Downhill: 4200 acres / 100km

View our detailed Lake Louise snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Lake Louise snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Calgary120mins
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 35runs 25%

  • 63runs 45%

  • 41runs 30%

Top Altitude:2,637m
Bottom Altitude:1,646m
Resort Altitude:1,646m
Longest run:8km
Slope Orientation:N S E W
Vertical Drop:991m
Skiable Vertical:991m
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:Yes

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 3cm
  • Base
  • 64cm
  • Forecast
  • 104cm

Web Cam

Lake Louise web cams
Downhill Runs:4200 acres / 100km
Beginner slopes:25%
Intermediate:45%
Advanced slopes:30%
Lift Pass Price: $477.12 (Adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts: Banff, Sunshine Village

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Lake Louise

The ski area is one of the biggest in the continent, covering 4200 acres and including 145 runs over 4 mountain faces, but up your ticket to the SkiBig3 pass and you’ll have a whopping 8000 acres to sink your teeth into.

The Minute Maid Adventure Park and Sunny beginner’s area provide the perfect introduction to the snow, with 3 magic carpets to keep things simple. Wiwaxy is run specifically for beginners, where you can practice in peace and quiet. Thanks to the way the ski area’s been designed, you’ll find at least one green from all the chair lifts as well as the gondola, so you can catch the lift with friends and family and meet them at the bottom if you prefer to chicken out of the trickier terrain.

For a quick introduction to Louise, head up the World chair, from which it’s possible to reach nearly every part of the mountain on skis. Work your way up to the most challenging intermediate trail, Boomerang, on the Back Bowls. The back bowls meanwhile are also perfect for experts, offering a variety of chutes and white-knuckle gradients. Be sure to ski the World Cup run while you’re here.

Boarders, meanwhile, won’t be disappointed by the massive Showtime park, the biggest in the Canadian Rockies, with lines of varying difficulty and a bag jump.

Lake Louise Apres Ski

Life moves at a slower pace at Lake Louise, where most of the activity takes place in the resort hotels. The undisputed star of the show is the Fairmont Chateau, where you could arguably spend a week holed up in swish bars and eateries looking out over the lake from on high. For guests and passers-through alike, afternoon tea in the hotel’s Lakeview lounge makes for the perfect end to the day, while the Glacier Saloon (a ridiculously elegant pub and sports bar) will set you up with local ales and craft beers. For lower-key options outside of the Fairmont’s palatial walls, the Explorer’s lounge and Lake Louise Bar and Grill down in the village are also popular destinations.

With scenery like this to enjoy, Lake Louise is undoubtedly at its finest in the daytime. As soon as the ice permits, Lake Louise, Vermilion Lakes, and the Bow River are open to skaters. Sleigh rides round the lake in traditionally styled six-seater sleighs make for a special afternoon, while snowmobiling and dog sledding are also available to up the pace a little.

If you venture into downtown into Banff (a 45-minute bus known to run through the night) your options multiply. There’s a huge choice of restaurants, bars and non-skiing activities like heli-sightseeing, bowling, canyon ice walks, hot springs, carriage rides, ice fishing, curling and ice hockey, mountaineering, fitness facilities, snowshoeing and tobogganing. Art galleries and museums are another local Banff specialty, an interesting way to discover which is by taking the self-guiding "Banff Historical Walking Tour", which takes you to some of those silent witnesses of the past.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Lake Louise

When is the best time to ski Lake Louise?

Considering Lake Louise is coated in about 30ft of the white stuff annually, you’ve got a good chance of freshies anytime in the season here. Nonetheless, February to April is considered the peak of the season. With slopes facing in all directions, there are no months to avoid in Louise – and there’s always the option of bussing to nearby Norquay or Sunshine depending on conditions. As a rule, March tends to see the most snowfall. This is the time the weather warms up (average temperatures of 1°C) and the days get longer (12 daylight hours compared to January’s 8), making this an ideal time to ski here. That being said, there’s nothing more magical than a quiet Christmas or New Year in the idyllic Lake Louise setting – just be sure to bundle up against the chill.

Peak Dates

Jingling sleigh rides, scenic skating and gala dinners are just a few of the festive treats usually on offer during Christmas in Lake Louise. Browse Lake Louise Christmas ski holidays ‣

If toasting in the new year in a grand ballroom sounds like the ticket, New Year in Lake Louise is just for you, with Banff bars just down the road to ramp up the celebrations. Browse Lake Louise New Year ski holidays ‣

An extra leg on the trip for a Half-term in Lake Louise is well worth it for photos that will make family and friends green with envy. Meanwhile, the Chateau Fairmont’s activities could keep the kids busy even without touching a ski. Browse Lake Louise Half Term ski holidays ‣

Easter egg decoration, tales from the Easter bunny and leisurely brunches in the Fairmont ballroom are just some of the surprises usually in store at Easter in Lake Louise. Browse Lake Louise Easter ski holidays ‣

Lake Louise Ratings & Customer Feedback
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Average Rating 5 out of 5
We had our honeymoon here – this is the perfect resort if you want some alone time, lovely but quiet with the most scenic skiing in the Banff area. + more
Gary Davis, Kendle
5 out of 5
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Families in Lake Louise

With a whopping 7 ice rinks, the enchanting forests of the Banff National Park and at the heart of it all, the monumental Fairmont Chateau, Lake Louise is a winter paradise for families. You don't have to know the Frozen soundtrack inside out to appreciate the soaring architecture of the lakeside Fairmont Chateau, nor the thousands of child-friendly features within. Specifics change with the seasons, but events usually include appearances from Santa and the Easter bunny over school holidays, with services like childcare and restaurant deals (in the past including kids under 5 eating free!) looking set to continue. Last time we checked, other offerings included after dark expeditions, 2 snow tubing parks, a climbing wall and a cinema - ensuring even the sulkiest teens will thank you for bringing them.

Over in the ski area, child-friendly skiing is plentiful with the Minute Maid adventure park, a progressive beginner's area, tonnes of wide open and pretty forested greens. The unique piste system here is arranged so that families can split between different graded runs at the top of a lift and still meet at the bottom. Friendly ski instructors will collect and drop kids off in day-care from their lessons, while the Terrain park under the Grizzly Express was the venue for the 2014 Snowboard Cross World Cup; a big draw for teenage freestyle fans.

GroupsGroup Holidays Lake Louise

Great for groups, the clever layout of the Lake Louise ski area allows groups of varying abilities to ski together; with beginner, intermediate and advanced runs from every chair. And the terrain parks here are equally all-encompassing, with progressive lines at several different sites. The Showtime Terrain Park, in particular, is one of the largest in Western Canada.

In recent years, groups of 15 or more have benefitted from reduced lift passes and rentals at Louise, and the resort has hosted torchlit dinner and ski sessions that are a great way to wrap up a trip with drinks, dancing and a freshly groomed firelit run.


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"Wonderful honeymoon"

Gary Davis, Kendle
5/ out of 5
We had our honeymoon here – this is the perfect resort if you want some alone time, lovely but quiet with the most scenic skiing in the Banff area.
1/1: Show Review list
Gary Davis