If you’ve ever seen a postcard of Lake Louise—specifically of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and the view across the lake to Victoria Glacier—and wondered if it really is as pretty there as it seems … well, there’s a reason it won the top score for Scenery. It’s as if each vista in this neck of the Canadian Rockies is just slightly more scenic than the last. That’s also true at Lake Louise Ski Area, 10 minutes from the Chateau.
With over 4,000 acres of terrain, Lake Louise easily satisfies all levels of skiers. The frontside is mostly long, cruisey greens and blues with a stately National Park-style wood-beam lodge at the base, while the expansive backside is where the action’s at: chutes, nicely pitched steeps, and high alpine bowls that funnel down into perfectly spaced glades. Experts, be sure to take the Summit Platter to the chutes, a sweet spot when conditions are good.
And though there’s very little development due to its National Park location—we can rest assured that cookie-cutter condos will never mar the views—the ski town of Banff is 45 minutes down the road.
Lake Louise Stats
Lake Louise Pass
Lake Louise is on the Ikon Pass. Ikon Pass holders get 7 combined days at Lake Louise, Banff Sunshine, and Mt. Norquay. Ikon Base Pass holders get 5 combined days at the same resort.
Check out last season’s Westbowl expansion, 480 acres of steep frontside glades. Also, a new quad chairlift replaced the Summit Platter (circa 1977) that offered access to Mt. Whitehorn’s fabled backside and its alpine cirques and chutes.
Watch for a rope-drop on the seldom-open Gullies: nine chutes off the Summit’s backside that preserve deep, blown-in powder.
At the mid-mountain Whitehorn Bistro, the food is great—but the view is incomparable, dominated by 11,375-foot Mt. Victoria and its knifelike sub-peaks.
Sign on for a free guided tour, offered twice daily, on your first ski day. This place is too big to figure out your own.
Make time for a European-style lunch, complete with the wine flowing, at the mid-mountain Whitehorn Bistro.
Take your intermediate-and-up skiers over to the Rock Garden, a boulder field that fills in with snow, for a skiing-on-the-moon experience.
The panoramic vistas from Sunset Terrace are picture-perfect. You can see the Chateau in the distance.
Hop on a complimentary mountain tour, running daily at 10 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.
Whitehorn Bistro has a European-chalet feel and a menu to match.