Lake Louise is a winter lover’s paradise with snowcapped peaks, marshmallow trees, and spectacularly scenic trails. Pack your skates, skis, and snowshoes, because you’re gonna want to do it all in this winter wonderland! Here are nine of our favorite winter activities in Lake Louise.
- Skate at Lake Louise! It’s easy to see why Lake Louise was named “Best Skating Rink in the World” in 2014 by The Huffington Post! With Mount Fairview to your left, the Victoria Glacier straight ahead, Beehive to your right, and magnificent Chateau Lake Louise at your 6, beauty is all around! You can usually skate from mid-December until April, but the most magical time to go is when the Ice Castle is up for the Ice Magic Festival (January 18-28, 2018)!
Skating at Lake Louise
- Walk, snowshoe, ski, or ride to 100 m tall ice falls! You can go across Lake Louise during the winter, or take the lakeshore trail. 4 km return. Even if you don’t make it to the falls, the views are breathtaking! For more information regarding sleigh rides ($), visit Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Brewster Sleigh Ride, Lake Louise Louise Falls at the end of Lake Louise
Look for the ice climber in the red jacket for scale.
- Cross country ski! With incredibly scenic trails and amazing snow, Lake Louise is a dream ski destination. Beginners will love the Bow River Loop and Tramline, while intermediate skiers will enjoy the challenge of Pipestone’s rolling trails. For more information, please visit:
- The Best Beginner Cross Country Ski Trails in Lake Louise
- Amazing Cross Country Skiing at Pipestone, Lake Louise (intermediate)
- Parks Canada – Winter Trails in the Lake Louise Area (for information on other trails)
Bow River Loop, Lake Louise Mud Lake, Pipestone Trail Network, Lake Louise Tramline Trail, Lake Louise
|Snowshoeing to Fairview Lookout, Banff|
|Cave next to Lower Falls, Banff|
|Lower Falls, Johnston Canyon|
|Upper Falls, Johnston Canyon|
|Lake Louise Ski Resort
Image Credit: Chris Moseley, Lake Louise Ski Resort
Embrace Winter at the Ice Magic Festival. The Ice Magic Festival is truly magical. We look forward to it every year for the incredible ice sculptures and ice castle on Lake Louise (an international ice carving competition is a major part of the festival). You may view the ice sculptures for free on weekdays and evenings, but tickets are required to view them on festival weekends from 10 am – 5:30 pm. We usually go at least one day during the festival, then spend time at Lake Louise after the festival ends and the crowds disperse. Festival dates: January 18-28, 2018.
|Ice throne at the Ice Magic Festival, Lake Louise|
|Ice Castle at Lake Louise|
|Ice sculpture at Lake Louise|
|Ice Castle at the Ice Magic Festival, Lake Louise|
Explore the Icefields Parkway! Easily one of the most scenic drives in the world, you would be missing out if you didn’t check it out. The closest stops to Lake Louise are Bow Lake, Peyto Lake Viewpoint (1.5 km return), and Mistaya Canyon (800 m return, bring snowshoes). If you don’t mind driving further, the Columbia Icefields are a must see. For more information, please see Touring the Icefields Parkway With Kids. Note that the Glacier Adventure and Skywalk tours do not run in the winter.
|Toe of the Glacier Hike, Athabasca Glacier|
Where to Eat
- For coffee and a treat, we always stop at Laggan’s Mountain Bakery and Deli. They make the most amazing gingersnaps (soft, chewy ones!), apple turnovers, and peanut butter cookies!
- The best pizza around is at Timberwolf in Lake Louise Inn.
- For fine dining, Deer Lodge is our favorite (we actually got engaged there!).
- Fondue lovers will enjoy Walliser Stube at Chateau Lake Louise.
- For an amazing brunch, visit Chateau Lake Louise! We’ve gone for Easter and Mother’s Day and loved everything!
|Enjoying an apple turnover at Laggan’s|
Where to Stay
- We have stayed at Lake Louise Hostel, Mountaineer Lodge, Lake Louise Inn, Deer Lodge, and Chateau Lake Louise. For more information, please see my Where to Stay page.
- Mosquito Creek Wilderness Hostel offers rustic accommodations in a pristine setting, only 29 km from Lake Louise on the Icefields Parkway. For more information see: Get Closer to Nature at Mosquito Creek Wilderness Hostel.
|Deer Lodge, Lake Louise|