This winter, we’re all about micro-vacations from the comfort of our own backyard. These short-stay getaways to the SkiBig3 resorts can be enjoyed over two or three days. Plus, they pack high value in thrilling and unique winter experiences to share with your cohort.
With stunning Rockies vistas and resort terrain, mouth-watering Canadian cuisine, and authentic off-day adventures, these mini-getaways are packed with unforgettable moments. They’re the perfect escape to reinvigorate the spirit and create new mountain memories.
Conveniently located along the four-lane Trans-Canada Highway, the village of Lake Louise can be found 45 minutes East of Banff and is only a two-hour straight line drive from Calgary and 4 hours from Edmonton.
Grab all of your ski and snowboard essentials at our one-stop-shop winter adventure shop – the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub, conveniently located right on Banff Avenue. Pick up gear to suit any style and ability, and grab any extra essentials you may have forgotten.
Purchase your SkiBig3 lift tickets in advance for discounts and pre-arrival access to Lake Louise reservations. Your tickets can be picked up at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub and are direct-to-lift, so you don’t need to worry about any lift ticket window waits at the resort.
When to Go
Consider making a midweek visit to the destination! Visiting between Monday and Thursday ensures wide open spaces and shorter lift waits, often bordering on a private resort experience.
With ever-evolving Covid-19 restrictions in place, it’s important to know before you go and stay informed on the current operational protocols at the SkiBig3 resorts. Read up on our Health & Safety Protocols page before arrival, and check out our tips for how to SkiBig3 during Covid-19.
Day 1 – Discover Lake Louise Ski Resort
Known as the “friendly giant” of SkiBig3, Lake Louise Ski Resort is home to 4,200 acres of versatile terrain, paired with breathtaking views no matter where you look. You can even take in the classic view of Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier across the valley. Whether you’re just starting out on the planks or are a more seasoned shredder, Lake Louise Ski Resort has a run for you, with four different mountain faces to explore.
Lake Louise Ski Resort has several great outdoor dining options. Kick back on the deck of Banded Peak Base Camp (previously Kokanee Kabin). Or, ski on over to the mid-mountain Whitehorn Bistro patio, serving up delectable bites like Confit Duck Wings and Braised Lamb Poutine. They also have several great grab-and-go options to enjoy for a tailgate lunch in the parking lot. Dine-in service is also now available! Take your pick from favourites like Powder Keg, Kuma Yama and Whitehorn Bistro. And you can find more great dine-in options at Lodge of Ten Peaks, Whiskey Jack and Temple lodges.
Insider Tip: Advanced skiers and snowboarders won’t want to miss West Bowl! This brand new terrain is newly added to Lake Louise Ski Resort boundaries as of the 20/21 season.
Overnight – Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
After a day on the slopes at Lake Louise Ski Resort, rest and relaxation are only moments away at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Your stress will immediately melt away as you journey up the forested road to this beautiful resort perfectly perched on the shores of Lake Louise, and step into the comforts of your luxury hotel room.
This historic hotel holds strong significance in the founding of Canada’s first national park. In 1882, Lake Louise was first shown to Canadian Pacific Railway employee Thomas Wilson by two Stoney First Nations men, who called it the “lake of little fishes”. In 1890, the first simple log cabin was constructed by the CPR. As interest in the Canadian Rockies grew so too did the Chateau. With the Canadian mountaineering industry taking off, accommodation was needed for the influx of worldwide visitors seeking clout and adventure with the help of Swiss guides in the surrounding mountains. Some of these same guides also introduced skiing to Banff and Lake Louise, with the first Banff Ski Club formed in the early 1900s.
Today, guests come to enjoy the same stunning scenery and mountain adventure just minutes away from the Chateau. Try out wilderness skating in the most Canadian ice rink you’ve ever experienced right on the surface of Lake Louise. Take time to learn more about the story of this hotel by perusing the historic photos that line the walls of their wings.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is home to a plethora of unique Canadian Rockies dining experiences, and they’re all worth a visit in themselves! With five dining locales featuring a variety of seasonally-inspired cuisine, their menus are sure to satisfy every craving. In-dining is currently available, reservations are required.
For the perfect post-ski pick-me-up, stop in to Fairview Restaurant and Bar after your day on the slopes to indulge in Afternoon Tea. Enjoy both sweet and savoury samplings, with tea sandwiches and exquisite pastries sure to delight with every bite. Take in picturesque views of Lake Louise from the best seat in the house, with table-to-ceiling windows to take it all in.
Or, perhaps a floor-to-ceiling wine bar is more your style! Immerse in a European alpine dining experience at the Walliser Stube restaurant and wine bar. Their classic Swiss Fondue is the ultimate apres ski dining experience and an homage to the first Swiss guides for guests who frequented the Chateau in the early days of Canadian mountaineering.
Once you’ve wrapped up with dinner, top it off with a night cap at Alpine Social, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise’s newest addition.*Or, treat yourself with dessert to go with in-room dining! Enjoy delectable desserts from the ultimate comfort of your own room. There’s nothing quite like dessert in bed!
Insider Tip: Grab a hot chocolate from the Guide’s Pantry and go for a winter wonderland walk on a frozen Lake Louise at dusk. It’s the perfect time to watch the mountains transform their colours right before your eyes.
*currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions – check back soon!
Day 2 – Dog Sledding on the Great Divide Trail
For day two, it’s time to rest those ski legs and let a dog sled team whisk you away on a classic Canadian mountain adventure.
Locally operating since 1982, Kingmik Dog Sled Tours offers adventures near Lake Louise, Field, Leanchoil, Castle Junction, Calgary, and Banff National Park. One of their most popular adventures is right down the road from the Chateau on the Great Divide Trail. This trail was formerly the old 1A Highway before the Trans-Canada highway realigned in the 90s. You can still see remnants of its past, including road signs and the Great Divide Trail arch on the Alberta – British Columbia border. It’s also popular with cross-country skiers! You’ll likely catch a friendly wave or two from other outdoor enthusiasts.
Dog sled transportation has been part of Canada for centuries and used locally as early as the 1920s by famous packer Ike Mills. He frequently used teams to haul freight and passengers over mountain passes into Skoki Lodge, 11 kilometres away from Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Before and after the journey, the mushers will invite you to get to know the dogs with their guidance. Just like humans, they each have their own unique personalities, preferences, and athletic abilities.
After being cozily tucked into a sled under a down blanket, a team of Alaskan Huskies will eagerly pull you and your guide down the magical winter trail. These dogs are genetically wired to love running and pulling and are just as excited as you are for the adventure to begin. Remember to bring your own warm layers for ultimate comfort!
Looking for other off-day activities to complete your Lake Louise getaway? Any of these adventures will do nicely!
To cap off an amazing short stay getaway to Lake Louise, head into the village to enjoy any of the local cafes, bakeries or restaurants. Laggan’s bakery and Trailhead cafe have fantastic grab-and-go options for the drive home. Or settle in and stay awhile at Bill Peyto’s Cafe.
Stay local and explore your own backyard this winter. During these uncertain times, we’re here to help you book a quick get-away to ski your choice of Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise & Mt Norquay. Or, consider booking a SkiBig3 Flex-Pack, providing the ultimate in Ski & Stay convenience for a local escape at a great price. Skiing in Banff National Park rolls until early May, so there is plenty of season available to plan for a quick road trip within your Albertan backyard.