Home Destinations Skate, Ski, Walk, and Snowshoe on World Famous Lake Louise

Skate, Ski, Walk, and Snowshoe on World Famous Lake Louise

by Karen Ung
For a few months each year, you can skate, ski, walk, or snowshoe on Lake Louise for a magical experience in a winter wonderland. Lake Louise was named “Best Skating Rink in the World” in 2014 by The Huffington Post, and it’s easy to see why with dramatic peaks and the stunning Victoria Glacier as its backdrop. After an epic skate, swap skates for boots, skis, or snowshoes, and travel across the lake for a better view of the glacier and icefalls. There is one set of falls at the end of the lake (Louise Falls >110 m high), and a smaller one just a few minutes further. If you’re lucky, you’ll see ice climbers on the big ice falls!

Cross country skiing on Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Cross country skiing on Lake Louise, Banff National Park

Lake Louise Hike/Snowshoe/Cross Country Ski

Distance: 5 km return. Be sure to turn back at the avalanche warning sign as there is significant avalanche danger after that point. Allow 1-2 hours.
Elevation Gain: n/a
Washrooms: flush toilets at parking lot
Equipment Rentals: Wilson’s Mountain Sports in Lake Louise Village
Dining: various options within Chateau Lake Louise and down at the Village (we like Laggan’s Mountain Bakery & Timberwolf Pizza and Pasta Cafe – located inside Lake Louise Inn)
When to Go: The lake is frozen from mid-December to April, but mid-January to late February are the best times to see the ice castle and ice sculptures. Conditions vary, so check the trail report before you go!
Cross country skiing on Lake Louise
Little POG double poling on Lake Louise
Big POG towing the Chariot on Lake Louise
Louise Falls, Banff National Park
Louise Falls, Banff National Park – see the ice climber? (red dot)
Cross Country Skiing at Lake Louise
Cross Country Skiing at Lake Louise
Cross Country Skiing at Lake Louise
The 2nd set of ice falls at the end of the lake

Skating on Lake Louise

The rink is open for skating every day until 11 pm from mid-December until late March, but mid-January to late February are the best times to see the ice castle and ice sculptures. Conditions vary, so check with the Chateau Lake Louise or Parks Visitor Information Centre before you go!

There are usually two rinks – one for hockey and one for skating. Please note that hockey sticks are not allowed on the main skating rink.

Washrooms: flush toilets at parking lot
Equipment Rentals: Chateau Mountain Sports (at Chateau Lake Louise, 8 am – 7 pm), or Wilson’s Mountain Sports in Lake Louise Village
Dining: various options within Chateau Lake Louise and down at the Village (we like Laggan’s Mountain Bakery & Timberwolf Pizza and Pasta Cafe – located inside Lake Louise Inn)
Skating on Lake Louise
Skating on Lake Louise
To see a photo slideshow of skating at Lake Louise, check out my Youtube video below!

If you’re short on time, you can take a horse-drawn sleigh along the side of the lake to the ice falls! Contact the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for more information.

What will you try first at Lake Louise??
hike, skate, ski, or snowshoe on Lake Louise

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