Banff and Lake Louise is one of the world’s great holiday destinations. Spectacular scenery, three world-class ski resorts, light and fluffy snow, friendly locals, lots to do off the slopes, excellent dining, shopping and après-ski, and it is even great value.
There are few, if any, other ski resorts in the world that manage to tick every box for a successful ski holiday, and even fewer where it’s almost impossible to find anyone who has stayed there and doesn’t want to return the next opportunity they get.
One of the great things about Banff and Lake Louise is that you have a choice of three ski resorts all on one lift ticket, so you can choose each morning which one to head to, or even ski two in the same day if the mood takes you. Altogether the three areas offer 334 runs set across a combined skiable terrain of almost 8,000 acres.
After landing in Calgary it’s a 90-minute drive almost due west on a wide, easy highway. As you leave Calgary, a wide, flat plain spreads out in front of you, and then the iconic Canadian Rocky Mountains tower up high into the sky. It’s one of the most spectacular sights on earth.
There are few truly authentic ski towns around the world, especially those with a choice of top ski resorts on their doorstep. The town of Banff is a spirited place, alive with adventure and wonder. In all directions you’re surrounded by strikingly beautiful and rugged mountains that seem to burst straight out of the ground. You might see a herd of deer wandering down the main street during your early morning jog. The lively streets of downtown are lined with top-class restaurants, bars and shops, as well as a vibrant range of art galleries and museums. The locals are warm, open and genuinely connected to the inspiring environment in which they live.
Banff’s ski areas are three of the world’s best, including Banff Sunshine and Lake Louise Ski Resort – two of the biggest and best ski areas in Canada and indeed the whole world, as well as Banff’s locals’ ski hill, Mt Norquay, which has decades of history and a fan list that has included many famous names, even Marilyn Monroe, over the years.
Along with that unparalleled mountain scenery in the heart of the magnificent Canadian Rockies, with wide open slopes, all three resorts share a record for reliable powder snow cover that allows them to be amongst the first in the world to open in the world each season in early November each year. Lake Louise then stages some of the first World Cup races here by the end of November. All three areas stay open to mid-spring, with sunshine closing after nearly seven months in late May – one of the world’s longest ski seasons.
The village of Lake Louise, a 45-minute drive away from Banff and located five minutes from Lake Louise Ski Resort and linked to it by a free bus shuttle service, is a more intimate base with a dozen or so hotels, each with their own restaurants, bars and other facilities, largely open to the public.
A Tri-Area lift ticket includes free daily transportation to and from all three ski resorts. Modern shuttle buses will pick you up at your hotel and take you right to the resorts.
Banff and Lake Louise have a plethora of winter activities to see and do. We have put together a list of our absolute must-do’s and must-see’s for you to check out below.