One Week Ski & Stay Itinerary: Experience oth 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 and 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 shoreline of Lake Louise’s frozen waters.  Overnight, Lake Louise
  • Day 7: Embrace your final day in the Rockies in Lake Louise Ski Resort’s powder-filled backside bowls. Overnight, Lake Louise
Nighttime shot of Banff townsite and Mount Rundle, Banff National Park.
Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

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 you 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.

banff airporter
banff airporter

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).

Interior shot of double queen and bunk beds loft suite at CanAlta Lodge, in Banff, Alberta.
Photo courtesy of CanAlta Lodge.

Ski & snowboard rentals

Collect your rental gear (skis, snowboards, boots and more) from the SkiBig3 Adventure 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.

Shop technician fits ski boots to a pair of rental skis at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub in Banff National Park.
Photo by @zoomzoomcreativeco (IG)

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, hand-crafted cocktails at Park Distillery, or go bowling with your travel buddies at High Rollers, specializing in pins, pints and pizzas.

Photo by @zyj0904 (IG).

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. If you’d rather have your breakfast burrito on the chairlift, grab a hot cup of java from any of Banff and Lake Louise’s top coffee shops.

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

Wild Flour Coffee Shop
Photo courtesy of Travel Alberta.

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 several 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.

Skier at Mt. Norquay ski resort, Mt. Rundle in the background.
Photo by Reuben Krabbe.

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.

Skier takes photo from the Cliffhouse Bistro look out point at Mt. Norquay, town of Banff, Tunnel Mountain, and Mt. Rundle below.
Photo by Reuben Krabbe.

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.

Skier descending Delirium Dive at Banff Sunshine Village, encircled by a sundog. Banff National Park.
Photo by Will Lambert.

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.

Photo by Travis Rousseau.

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.

End your evening with a relaxing soak at the Banff Upper Hot Springs – complimentary access is included as part of your SkiBig3 lift ticket.

Woman enjoys the natural thermal waters at the Banff Upper Hot Springs, Banff National Park, Canada.
Enjoying the natural thermal waters at the Banff Upper Hot Springs. Photo by Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Noel Hendrickson.

DAY 4: BANFF SUNSHINE

Start your day with breakfast at the Juniper Bistro, a popular spot known for its Canadian-inspired breakfast menu and locally-sourced ingredients.

Photo by the Juniper Bistro.

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.

SkiBig3 Guided Adventures
Photo by Jillian Tester.

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.

Interior shot of The Station Restaurant East Room dining area, located in the village of Lake Louise, Banff National Park.
Photo by Orange Girl.

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.

Chocolate croissant and coffee from Laggan's Mountain Bakery, village of Lake Louise, Banff National Park.
Photo courtesy of Laggan's Mountain Bakery, @laggansbakery (IG).

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.

Bowl of ramen from Kuma Yama restaurant at Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Photo courtesy of Lake Louise Ski Resort.

When your ski day is done, relax with a casual dinner in the heart of Lake Louise. Enjoy a teriyaki chicken burger at Bill Peyto’s Cafe. Located at the Lake Louise HI-Hostel, keep an eye out for tasty lunch or dinner specials such as jalapeño cheddar beer soup. Or, head to Lake Louise Inn for a hot pizza pie from the Timberwolf Pizza + Pasta Cafe.

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 wrap at Trailhead Cafe, one of the most budget-friendly eateries in Lake Louise. Perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast to munch on the chairlift, and maximize your ski time.

Skier on an overcast day at Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff National Park.
Photo by Reuben Krabbe.

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 SkiBig3 Adventure Hub rentals to the Lake Louise Ski Resort on-mountain rental shop. The team here will ensure your rental equipment is returned to the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub fully accounted for.

Cole Richardson skiing Lipalian Chutes at Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff National Park.
Cole Richardson skiing Lipalian Chutes at Lake Louise Ski Resort. Photo by Travis Rousseau.

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 1-844-754-2443: our based-in-Banff Reservations Team are here to help!

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Showing 6 comments
  • Audrey Ho
    Reply

    Hi, like this itinerary, is Feb 2019 still a good time to visit?

    • Chris Lamothe
      Reply

      Audrey, February is a great time to visit, not as busy as holiday periods and the temperatures are usually very agreeable, while the snow conditions are often some of the best.

  • jose
    Reply

    i am going feb 2019 need help

    • Chris Lamothe
      Reply

      Hi Jose, I’ll pass your request along to an agent but you can always phone us at 1-844-754-2443 (1-844-SKI-BIG3).

  • Ana
    Reply

    Hi. Can I have a price quote for the package of one week everything included for two persons for next January. I know you are not taking bookings now, but an estimate?

    • Sarah Pearson
      Reply

      Hi Ana – we will have our reservations team contact you. You are also welcome to call 1-844-754-2443 – our team can help you plan your trip for the 2019/20 season.

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