One Week Ski & Stay Itinerary: Experience both Banff & Lake Louise

Planning a vacation itinerary can be daunting when you aren’t familiar with a destination. When time is at a premium and you want to see, ski and experience as much as possible with the SkiBig3 Lift Ticket and all its benefits, help make the most of your limited vacation time.

Here’s a sample itinerary for your next week-long, 7-night ski vacation with a split-stay including both Banff and Lake Louise and five days of skiing.

At a glance: 7-nights, 5-ski days, Banff and Lake Louise split stay itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Banff, gear up, and discover the many shops & restaurants in this vibrant ski town. Overnight, Banff
  • Day 2: Warm up your ski legs, partake in some tubing, and check out the views at Mt Norquay. Overnight, Banff
  • Day 3: Explore endless alpine at Banff Sunshine before an apres soak in the Banff Hot Springs.  Overnight, Banff
  • Day 4: Discover the hidden stashes of Banff Sunshine and a live-show at the Banff Centre. Overnight, Banff
  • Day 5: Enroute to Lake Louise, experience an ice-walk in the deep recesses of Johnston Canyon. Overnight, Lake Louise
  • Day 6: Discover the expansive terrain of The Lake Louise Ski Resort and a moonlight sleigh ride across the frozen waters of Lake Louise.  Overnight, Lake Louise
  • Day 7: Embrace your final day in the Rockies in powder filled back-side bowls at The Lake Louise Ski Resort before partaking in some Ice-Magic. Overnight, Lake Louise
Mt.Rundle
The view of Mt.Rundle from the frozen bow river

Day 1: ARRIVAL IN BANFF

If you’re planning to fly to Banff, the closest airport is located in Calgary, within an easy 90-minute drive. Frequent airport transfer services are available between Calgary International Airport and local hotels. Our reservations specialists can book these transfers for you as part of your vacation package.

Car rentals are also available if prefer more freedom to explore at your own pace and the chance to stay in both Banff and Lake Louise during your week-long vacation.

Ski Shuttle - Pow Day
Sunshine Villages' retro ski shuttles

Accommodation

Whatever your taste and budget, you’re spoilt for choice with accommodation options in Banff and Lake Louise, from luxurious castles and comfy condos to budget-friendly hotels. Insider tip: the early bird really does get the worm here. It pays to book early to get the best options and the best prices.

Once you’ve arrived at your hotel, your lift tickets will be ready to collect at check-in (if purchased 3+days in advance).

Ptarmigan Hotel
The Ptarmigan Hotel

Ski & snowboard rentals

Collect your rental gear (skis, snowboards, boots and more) from the Banff Ski Hub, then you’re ready to hit the snow the next day.

Reserving your equipment in advance of arrival offers a number of benefits: guaranteed access to a variety of top-rated equipment most suited for Canadian Rockies terrain, no extra luggage charges on flights, and hassle free pick up & drop off. Once you’ve tried on and sized up your equipment, the Banff Ski Hub team will have it delivered back to your hotel.

The Banff Ski Hub
The Banff Ski Hub

Dining

Now that you’re settled into your accommodation and your lift tickets, rental gear and transport are sorted, you’re all set for your first ski day the next morning.

But first, food! For your first local meal, head to the hotspots on Banff Ave, the main street in town, home to a variety of comfort food havens. Enjoy Canadian inspired cuisine at the Maple Leaf Grill, hand-crafted cocktails at Park Distillery, or go bowling with your travel buddies at High Rollers, specializing in pins, pints and pizzas.

The Block
Tapas at The Block restaurant

DAY 2: MT NORQUAY

Start your first ski day with a hearty breakfast—whether you’re looking for something light and energising or hot and satisfying, you’ll find lots of variety at local eateries.

While you wait for your meal, check out the daily snow report and our guide to the top runs at each ski resort.

Coyote's stuffed French toast is an attraction in itself! Photo by @salt_water_mermaid_ on Instagram.
Coyote's stuffed French toast is an attraction in itself! Photo by @salt_water_mermaid_ on Instagram.

For your first day on the snow, warm up your ski legs and take in the stunning views at Mt Norquay. Located just 10 minutes from Banff via ski shuttle, Norquay is head of the pack for ease of accessibility. Here you can hit the slopes sooner and maximize your powder-shredding time. Norquay is also known for its excellent Tube Park (the largest in Western Canada), offering seven tubing lanes and guaranteed thrills.

Leave the driving to us. Don’t forget that ski shuttle service is included with your SkiBig3 Lift Ticket, so transportation from your hotel to each of the Big3 resorts is always included.

Mt.Norquay
Mt.Norquay has some of the best views of Mt.Rundle

Head to Norquay’s Lone Pine Pub for great lunch options, or ride the North American Chairlift to Cliffhouse Bistro for some of the best views across the Bow Valley.

While the North American Chair provides access to expert terrain only, skiers and snowboarders of all abilities can still enjoy the views. Simply ride the chairlift up to the top, take in the Instagram-worthy sights, then ride the chairlift back down again to access beginner or intermediate areas.

Take the North American Chair at Mt Norquay for stunning views and challenging terrain. Photo: Ski Big 3/Luke Sudermann
Take the North American Chair at Mt Norquay for stunning views and challenging terrain. Photo: Ski Big 3/Luke Sudermann

DAY 3: BANFF SUNSHINE

For your second ski day, enjoy a hearty breakfast at Mel’s (Melissa’s MissSteak) in downtown Banff, known for its extensive menu and great atmosphere.

Then jump on the ski shuttle to Banff Sunshine, a 20-minute drive from Banff. Enjoy the scenic gondola ride to the top of this mighty mountain where you’ll find some of Canada’s best snow. Known for its dry champagne powder that lasts all season—from November until late May—Sunshine boasts the longest snow season in the Canadian Rockies.

April 8, 2017: 27cm powder day at Banff Sunshine Village. Photo: Luke Sudermann/SkiBig3
April 8, 2017: 27cm powder day at Banff Sunshine Village. Photo: Luke Sudermann/SkiBig3

Here you’ll find an abundance of terrain suitable for all experience levels. Mt Standish and Lookout Mountain offer great runs for beginners. For adrenaline-junkies, the legendary Delirium Dive free ride zone requires avalanche gear and a ski partner, and are guaranteed to challenge even the most adventurous experts.

At Sunshine you’ll find a number of popular on-mountain eateries. Stand-outs include Mad Trapper’s Saloon (don’t miss the deep-fried pickles) and Chimney Corner, or Java Lift for a great coffee.

Build your skills rapidly and get the inside scoop from our expert Club Ski instructors. Photo: Devaan Ingraham at Sunshine Village.
Build your skills rapidly and get the inside scoop from our expert Club Ski instructors. Photo: Devaan Ingraham at Sunshine Village.

For a memorable dinner in downtown Banff, try Chuck Steakhouse for an Alberta beef experience or Bear Street Tavern’s famous pizzas and dipping oils. Insider tip: call in advance to confirm upcoming specials. Bear Street Tavern’s popular $7.50 cocktail and $10 calzone nights are not to be missed.

End your evening with a relaxing soak at the Banff Upper Hot Springs—complimentary access is included as part of your multi-day tri-area lift ticket.

Enjoy a relaxing soak with great mountain views at Banff Upper Hot Springs. Photo: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism/Noel Hendrickson
Enjoy a relaxing soak with great mountain views at Banff Upper Hot Springs. Photo: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism/Noel Hendrickson

DAY 4: BANFF SUNSHINE

Start your day with breakfast at Tooloulou’s in downtown Banff, a popular spot known for its impressively long 5-page breakfast menu (including a dedicated gluten-free menu).

Tooloulou's Breakfast poutine is the stuff of cheesy breakfast dreams. Photo by @laladoubleyou on Instagram.
Tooloulou's Breakfast poutine is the stuff of cheesy breakfast dreams. Photo by @laladoubleyou on Instagram.

For your second Banff Sunshine ski day, take your adventure to new heights and explore all-new terrain from your previous day. Head to Goat’s Eye Mountain for some of the highest elevation at the resort. Or take the Divide Chair to ski on the border between the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. For cozy ride, jump on board TeePee Town LX, North America’s first heated chairlift.

For lunch, re-fuel with a hearty burger, soup or salad for lunch at Chimney Corner. At the end of your day, don’t forget to take the scenic ski-out (instead of the gondola) to enjoy a different view as you descend.

April 8, 2017: 27cm powder day at Goat's Eye Mountain, Banff Sunshine Village. Photo: Mike Hall
April 8, 2017: 27cm powder day at Goat's Eye Mountain, Banff Sunshine Village. Photo: Mike Hall

For a memorable evening, head to the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity for excellent dining and cultural experiences. Enjoy fine dining at Three Ravens, or casual fare at Maclab Bistro. After your meal, head to one of the many performances or exhibitions—there’s plenty to see and do, year-round.

Head to Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for dinner and a show. Photo via @gregnorton17 on Twitter.
Head to Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for dinner and a show. Photo via @gregnorton17 on Twitter.

DAY 5: ICE WALK at JOHNSTON CANYON

Fuel up with a tasty breakfast-on-the-go at Wild Flour Artisan Bakery Cafe, known for its selection of decadent baked treats, soups, sandwiches and specialty coffees.

Wild Flour is known for its delicious coffees and treats. Photo via @wildflourbanff on Instagram
Wild Flour is known for its delicious coffees and treats. Photo via @wildflourbanff on Instagram

Take a day for shopping and sightseeing, before making your way from Banff to Lake Louise. Sift through treasures on a souvenir-hunt through downtown Banff, check out the vibrant local art galleries and museums, or head over to the Banff Gondola for a scenic ride with spectacular views across the Bow Valley.

For an unmissable adventure on your way to Lake Louise, head to one of Banff National Park’s most popular attractions: Johnston Canyon. Here, take a breathtaking ice walk alongside stunning frozen waterfalls – you won’t want to forget your camera!

The frozen waterfalls at Johnston Canyon are a bucket-list-worthy attraction. Photo: @aladyinlondon on Instagram
The frozen waterfalls at Johnston Canyon are a bucket-list-worthy attraction. Photo: @aladyinlondon on Instagram

Once you’ve arrived in Lake Louise, check in to your hotel and explore the breathtaking surrounds of this snowglobe-perfect village. For a unique winter wonderland dinner experience, head to the Station Restaurant, for contemporary cuisine inside a cozy former railway station.

Head to Station Restaurant, a former train station, serving contemporary cuisine in Lake Louise. Photo: TripAdvisor.com
Head to Station Restaurant, a former train station, serving contemporary cuisine in Lake Louise. Photo: TripAdvisor.com

DAY 6: LAKE LOUISE SKI RESORT

Today, tick off the third of Canada’s SkiBig3: The Lake Louise Ski Resort. Start your first Lake Louise ski day with tasty snacks-on-the-go from Laggan’s Mountain Bakery & Delicatessen.

Laggan's cinnamon buns and coffees are sure to impress. Photo via @kelzflower on Instagram
Laggan's cinnamon buns and coffees are sure to impress. Photo via @kelzflower on Instagram

Located just minutes from the local hotels via ski shuttle, spectacular scenery and versatile terrain make The Lake Louise Ski Resort a powder-seeker’s paradise. With over 4,200 acres spread across four mountain faces, it’s known as one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Here you’ll find a variety of runs for all ability levels, from scenic groomers to challenging leg-burners.

A big ski day makes for a big appetite. When lunch time arrives, enjoy a hearty bowl of ramen or a big plate of fresh sushi at Kuma Yama, or warm up with a mug of the resort’s best coffee and some tasty treats at Temple Lodge Café.

The Lake Louise Ski Resort
The base of The Lake Louise Ski Resort

When your ski day is done, relax with a casual dinner in the heart of Lake Louise. Enjoy a Teriyaki Hamburger at Lake Louise Village Grill & Bar, or a Mountain Burger or fresh salad at Mountain Restaurant.

For a unforgettable winter wonderland experience, layer-up and take a magical moonlight sleigh ride or snowshoe tour.

A sleigh ride is a magical way to experience Lake Louise. Photo: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism/Paul Zizka
A sleigh ride is a magical way to experience Lake Louise. Photo: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism/Paul Zizka

DAY 7: LAKE LOUISE SKI RESORT

Fuel up for your final day with a hearty breakfast at at Bill Peyto’s Cafe, one of the most budget-friendly eateries in Lake Louise. Located at the Lake Louise HI-Hostel, keep an eye out for tasty lunch or dinner specials such as jalapeño cheddar beer soup.

The Lake Louise Ski Resort
The Lake Louise Ski Resort is known for spectacular scenery and excellent terrain.

For your second Lake Louise ski day, explore different terrain, such as the famously powder-filled back bowls. Or, for another on-mountain adventure, fly down the hill in a donut (snow tube) at the Sunny Tube Park.

For a special lunch, treat yourself to memorable fine dining and fabulous views at Whitehorn Bistro.

Once you’re ready to finish your ski day, return your Banff Ski Hub rentals to the Lake Louise Ski Resort on-mountain rental shop. The team here will ensure your rental equipment is returned to the Banff Ski Hub fully accounted for.

March 16, 2017: 30cm powder day at Lake Louise Ski Resort. Photo: Chris Moseley
March 16, 2017: 30cm powder day at Lake Louise Ski Resort. Photo: Chris Moseley

Once your final ski day is done, there’s still more to discover.

If you’re visiting Lake Louise in January, head to the bucket-list-worthy Ice Magic Festival to marvel at incredible ice sculptures, before skating on the frozen lake itself. Or, take in the otherworldly winter beauty of Lake Louise via a snowshoe tour.

Then end your night in style with an luxurious dinner at the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Stand-out eateries include Walliser Stube, renowned for authentic Swiss fondue, and Alpine Social, the perfect place for exquisite cuisine and après-ski cocktails.

Skate on frozen Lake Louise and marvel at magnificent ice sculptures during the famous Ice Magic Festival. Photo: Travel Alberta
Skate on frozen Lake Louise and marvel at magnificent ice sculptures during the famous Ice Magic Festival. Photo: Travel Alberta

Ready to book an unforgettable ski vacation?

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 vacation packages or call us on 1-844-762-7190: our based-in-Banff Reservations Team are here to help!

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