Several key elements go into planning a seamless ski getaway for a group of your favourite lady shredders. Whether you’re planning a bachelorette, a friend reunion, a special birthday, or a mother/daughter ski trip – SkiBig3 has everything you need for the ultimate girls’ ski trip to the Canadian Rockies. From unique accommodations, breathtaking scenery, and activities for every kind of skier, snowboarder, and adventure-seeker – we’ve got you covered.
While this itinerary is for 4-days, it could easily be reduced to 2-days for a girls weekend in Banff and Lake Louise. Just cut back one day in Banff and one day in Lake Louise!
Perfect girls weekend in Banff and Lake Louise
- Day 1: Ski at Banff Sunshine Village, overnight in Banff
- Day 2: Explore the town of Banff, tubing or skiing at Mt. Norquay, overnight in Banff
- Day 3: Rest day in Lake Louise, overnight in Lake Louise
- Day 4: Ski at Lake Louise Ski Resort, overnight in Lake Louise
The secret to a successful winter ski getaway with the girls is variety and balance. Mix up the vacation pace, try out all three SkiBig3 resorts – Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay – and visit both destination ‘hubs’ – the town of Banff and the village of Lake Louise. To make the most of it, we recommend splitting your stay between both Banff and Lake Louise.
Both locations have their own unique appeal. While vibrant Banff is the busier of the two and perfect for those looking for excitement, sleepy Lake Louise is a wonderful recluse to recharge and unwind. Starting your vacation in Banff while group energy dynamics are still high makes it a great place to kick off your trip.
Know before you go…
Drive or take an airport shuttle from Calgary
Starting your trip with Banff as your home base works great for several reasons. If arriving via Calgary’s International Airport (YYC), Banff is the closest town within the national park – just a 90-minute drive or shuttle via the 4-lane Trans Canada Highway. The village of Lake Louise is another 40-minute journey past the town of Banff.
Pick up your rental gear at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub
Banff is also where you can pick up your ski and snowboard gear rentals for the duration of your trip. The SkiBig3 Adventure Hub is your one-stop shop for all your SkiBig3 needs, conveniently located right on Banff Avenue.
Choose an accommodation that suits your style
From castles to condos to cabins, Banff and Lake Louise have over 40 accommodation options to suit your group’s budget and travel style. Larger groups may be interested in booking a condo at Hidden Ridge Resort or Banff Rocky Mountain Resort, while smaller to medium-sized groups would enjoy the historic Mount Royal Hotel, or the Moose Hotel and Suites. Looking to glam it up? Consider staying at Fairmont Banff Springs for that classic castle-in-the-mountains experience.
Travel day: Arrive and settle in
Once you’ve checked in to your hotel, head to the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub, located at 114 Banff Avenue, to get fitted for your gear. The SkiBig3 Adventure Hub is located within walking distance of most hotels, or a short bus ride for those located near the town’s boundaries.
No need to travel with extra bulky gear and extra baggage fees. With an extensive ski and snowboard fleet available, you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit for your ability and needs. Plus, the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub will conveniently deliver your gear right to your hotel.
Afterwards, you’ll want to grab a bite to eat before getting a good night’s rest for your next day on the mountain. Hello Sunshine, Three Bears Brewery, or Una Pizza + Wine are all cozy and intimate restaurants that invite you to indulge and relax before a big day.
For those looking for a night out on the town, High Rollers or Rose and Crown are great locales to kick off the party vibes. If the night carries on, you’ll find most creatures of the night at the Dancing Sasquatch, Banff’s most popular nightclub.
Day 1: Shred at Banff Sunshine
Find some breakfast
Banff Sunshine Village is a great resort to start your ski and snowboard trip with the girls. But first – breakfast! You can grab a bite in town – Wildflour Bakery and Coyote’s Southwestern Grill are local favourites – before taking the ski shuttle up to Banff Sunshine. If you want to make the most of your day on the mountain, grab breakfast to go from Creekside Bar & Grill (at the mountain base) – or a little hair of the dog hangover caesar from Mad Trapper’s….
Get in a few laps
Once you’ve boarded the gondola at Banff Sunshine base, it takes you all the way up past the Goat’s Eye Mountain stop to the Village – a great place to start your day on the mountain. With a variety of runs for every ability, everyone in your group will be able to find something to suit their level. After building up your confidence, grab a bite from Mad Trapper’s or Chimney Corner for lunch, and then head down to Goat’s Eye Mountain to give your ski and snowboard legs a workout.
When the day is done…
At the day’s end, head back to the town of Banff via the same convenient shuttle to reconvene back at your hotel. Take advantage of the rooftop hot tub, if your hotel happens to have one – and then get ready to head back out for an evening of bites and bevies.
If your group is looking for a more casual round of drinks to end the day, Banff Ave Brewing Co. has a laid-back and friendly atmosphere with the best local brews on tap. If you’re craving a craft cocktail, head over to Park Distillery and Restaurant to enjoy their campfire cuisine, mountain cabin atmosphere, and small batch, hand-crafted spirits employed into every cocktail.
Day 2: Explore Banff & enjoy a rest day
Do something active
By now, your girl gang may need a little recuperation. Use this ‘off day’ to explore the Banff area and give your body a break. Rent a pair of skates and head out to any of the nearby frozen backcountry lakes, or head up the Banff Gondola to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Banff.
Or, unwind at the spa
If that all still sounds a little too fast-paced, book a spa day for the girls. The SPA at Fairmont Banff Springs and Cedar & Sage Co. are great locations offering several spa services. Or head to the Banff Upper Hot Springs for a front-row seat to the best views of the Rundle range.
Or, tackle Mt. Norquay
On the flip side, if you’re feeling totally fine and ready to tackle another day on the slopes, head up to Mt. Norquay for an afternoon of skiing. If some people in the group prefer to opt out, there is tubing at Mt. Norquay as well! Or, just keep the party going at their Lone Pine Pub while the others log more ski miles.
Then, travel to Lake Louise
Now, it’s time to journey onward to Lake Louise. If travelling by rental car, we recommend taking advantage of a mountain cabin for your accommodation, for those classic ski vacation vibes. Baker Creek Mountain Resort gives you an ‘off-the-grid’ feeling while still being within a 10-minute drive to Lake Louise Ski Resort. Storm Mountain Lodge is another great option, about a 30-minute drive away from the resort.
Day 3: Non-ski adventures in Lake Louise
Soak up the scenery
Today is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a change in scenery. The key for your off day in Lake Louise is to soak in the calming mountain energy and enjoy a slice of serenity. Wander around the Lake Louise shoreline for a quiet winter walk to recharge with some forest bathing, or go for an ice skate on Lake Louise itself for a breathtaking mountain experience. Rent a pair of cross-country skis and enjoy a backcountry adventure near Castle Mountain or the Bow River loop closer to the village. Or, you may want to book an Ice Walk to Johnston Canyon or a dog sled tour..
Grab lunch at the Chateau
Grab a bite to eat at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – the Fairview Lounge has spectacular views while the Walliser Stube has a charismatic Swiss ambience. The Chateau’s Afternoon Tea is a delicious (and Instagram-friendly) experience for lunch as well.
Day 4: Find fresh pow at Lake Louise Ski Resort
Explore endless terrain
For the final day of your girl’s mountain getaway, soak it all in at Lake Louise Ski Resort. There’s no shortage of terrain to discover here, and the views can’t be beaten. We recommend breaking up your day here with a morning on the back side discovering Larch Chair area, followed by a lunch break at Whitehorn Bistro to share a fondue pot (or two!). End your day on front-side terrain, and be sure to snap a few last selfies from Top of the World Chair.
Enjoy apres o’clock
If the weather is mild, at the end of the day you’ll want to kick back with a pint around the outdoor fire pit at the Banded Peak Base Camp. Or if the group needs to warm up, head inside the Lodge of Ten Peaks to Powder Keg and feel your body melt into their oversized leather couches and armchairs. At the end of your last day on the mountain, simply leave your gear with Lake Louise Ski Resort rental team, and SkiBig3 will return them to Banff for you.
Grab a memorable last meal
Grab a memorable final night dinner at The Station in the village of Lake Louise for a meal you won’t soon forget. This historic train station turned restaurant is located right next to the CP rail tracks, and you can feel the trains roar by as you dine.
Still looking for one more night out? While the village of Lake Louise is much quieter than Banff, you can still find some nighttime fun with the locals by heading to Lake Louise Village Grill + Bar in Samson Mall.
Travel day: Time to head home
For your final day in Banff National Park, be sure to catch the ROAM public transit or the ski shuttle back to Banff in time to board your airporter back to YYC, or inquire with our Reservations Team about other transportation options.
Ready to book your girls weekend in Banff and Lake Louise?
Our friendly Reservations Team is always happy to share their local knowledge and experience to help you find the best ski vacation packages for your taste, style and budget. Check out our featured Ski & Stay packages or call us on 1-844-754-2443 to book today!