An Elevated Guide to Skiing at Lake Louise | Post Hotel

An Elevated Guide to Skiing at Lake Louise

Planning a visit to the incomparable Canadian Rockies? Lake Louise is a mecca for winter adventure, just steps from incredible skiing, hiking, and awe-inspiring alpine scenery—with après options and old-world charm that rivals Europe.

by: Kaitlin Dewar
Jeff Bartlet web

Our elevated guide has everything you need to know from the best private drivers, the most sophisticated drinking and dining, luxurious ski packages, the top accommodations, and little-known tips from our renowned team. You’ll make the most of every spectacular moment here, even if it’s your first time in the Rocky Mountains.

Table of Contents

Lake Louise ski and Banff ski areas: An overview

Nestled in the majestic Canadian Rockies in the heart of Banff National Park, the ski towns of Lake Louise and Banff provide the perfect homebase for an unforgettable mountain retreat. This unique part of the world offers skiers 7,748 acres of terrain, two gondolas, 27 chairlifts, and pristine rocky-mountain powder all season long.

How far apart are Banff town and Lake Louise village?

Banff Sunshine Village and the Lake Louise Ski Resort are just 45 minutes apart on the Trans-Canada Highway, so it’s simple to visit the sights in both areas. If you’re not arriving with a car, coaches from Brewster Transit travel the route between Banff town and Lake Louise village. The trip takes about an hour.

Elevate your experience

Have our concierge arrange a taxi or private transfer from Lake Louise to Banff, or wherever you want to go in the area. If this is your first visit, our team can recommend a custom route so you don’t miss a thing.

Lake Louise ski resorts and Banff ski resorts

With so much terrain in such close proximity, there’s nothing quite like skiing in Banff National Park. Our mountains are steep and outstanding, blanketed with the signature champagne powder that makes Rocky Mountain skiing so sublime. Let's explore these world-class resorts, so you can plan the perfect winter escape.

Lake Louise Ski Resort

The Lake Louise Ski Resort is the largest ski area in Banff National Park, spanning 4,200 acres of skiable terrain, and it’s one of the top freestyle and alpine racing resorts in the world. Known as the “friendly giant” it’s a great destination for families, thrill seekers, and everyone in between—and yes, beginners can ski at Lake Louise. With plenty of gentle slopes and a green run at the top of every chairlift, beginners can explore the whole mountain. There’s a reason Lake Louise is a favourite and the stunning views only add to the magic.

When can you ski at Lake Louise?

Ski season at the Lake Louise Ski Resort starts in November and runs to April/May, depending on conditions. With an average snowfall of 202” per year and a solid base depth, Lake Louise lives up to its reputation for pristine conditions. You’ll have a spectacular alpine experience no matter when you visit.

March is generally the best month to ski at Lake Louise. With longer days, deeper snow, and the best powder of the season, March attracts skiers from all over the world. It’s also the beginning of the sunny spring ski season, so be sure to pack a good-quality SPF.

Lake Louise Ski Resort amenities

Ten Peaks Lodge, the main base lodge, houses all the resort’s primary services including a ski shop, rentals, guest services, gift shop, and lockers. When you’re hungry between runs there are several dining options including Powder Keg Lounge and Northface Bistro. For on-piste refreshment without heading to the base, stop by Temple Day lodge.

Elevate your experience

Whitehorn Bistro

An upscale on-hill dining option, Whitehorn Bistro offers a sumptuous breakfast buffet and a thoughtful menu full of fine local and seasonal ingredients. Indulge in a classic ski tradition and try their delectable fondue for two.

Kuma Yama

For something unexpected, head to the upper level of the lodge of Ten Peaks and discover Yuma Kama’s expertly prepared sushi and soul-soothing ramen. While the whole experience is a treat, take it to the next level with a glass of sake and a fireside seat where you can take in the awe-inspiring views.

Plan the perfect Lake Louise ski trip

Now that you have the lay of the land, let’s put together a truly remarkable visit to Lake Louise—whether you’re planning it yourself or prefer to let our team take the lead.

Should I stay in Banff or Lake Louise for skiing?

Staying in Lake Louise gives you more ski and sightseeing options and the purest of mountain experiences compared to Banff. Enjoy majestic wilderness without the crowds, special opportunities to connect with nature, and truly luxurious accommodations that make you feel miles away from everything.

While there are fewer hotels and restaurants than Banff, the options in Lake Louise are unparalleled. Post Hotel & Spa is the perfect homebase for a indulgent alpine escape where your every whim is catered to. With world-renowned hospitality, dining, and service in the most breathtaking setting, nothing else in the area compares.

Traveling from Lake Louise to Banff Sunshine Village takes just 40 minutes (or 25 minutes if you're coming from Banff town), making it convenient to explore both resorts during your stay in Lake Louise. Additionally, Lake Louise Ski Resort is a mere 10-minute drive away, allowing for seamless skiing adventures across both ski resorts.

Craving the nightlife or variety that Banff offers? Lake Louise is a quick drive from Banff town.

How to get to Lake Louise

Getting to Lake Louise is simple—and scenic—however you’re getting here. As far as mountain driving goes, it’s an uncomplicated trip with no challenging passes or winding curves. Watch in awe as the distant mountains grow closer and closer until you find yourself in the heart of ski country.

Calgary Airport to Lake Louise

Calgary International Airport is the closest to Lake Louise and the average drive time to Lake Louise is just two hours along the Trans-Canada Highway. Depending on your needs, there are multiple transportation options from the airport:

Car rental: Calgary Airport has an on-airport rental car centre that operates eight major rental companies. Located directly across from the arrivals roadway, you can pick up your car and start your trip quickly and easily. We recommend booking ahead of time to make sure there’s a vehicle available for you.

It’s important to note that any private vehicle entering Banff National Park requires a park pass. You can purchase your pass ahead of time online or at the park gates on your way to Lake Louise. Your park pass must be printed and displayed on the dash of your vehicle while you’re traveling around and staying in the national park.

The Brewster Express: This comfortable ski coach leaves Calgary Airport every three hours from 9:30am to 6:30pm. Tickets are $122 per person from the airport to Post Hotel & Spa and other stops in Lake Louise. With ample room for luggage and ski gear, there’s no need to pack light.

Driving times from other cities

If a road trip is part of your Rocky Mountain adventure, Lake Louise is a reasonable drive from many major cities:

Jasper: 4 hours
Edmonton: 5 hours
Saskatoon: 8 hours
Vancouver: 10 hours

Elevate your experience

Let us recommend reputable private transport or arrange the trip for you. We can accommodate any and all needs, whether you require a town car, limousine, or you’re traveling with a large group. You can focus entirely on the incredible mountain scenery and Post hotel & Spa will handle the rest.

Our trusted transportation partners include:

Western Limo
Discover Banff Tours

Banff Airporter

Fairview limousine

Getting around Lake Louise

Once you’re inside Banff National Park, it’s extremely easy to get around even if you’re without a vehicle. The average trip time within Lake Louise is under ten minutes.

Driving and parking

Everything in and around Lake Louise is within close proximity, and simple to get to by car. Most sights in the area have ample parking during the winter, although weekends tend to be busier. Parking at the ski resort is free and conveniently close to the main day lodge. Even on the most popular ski days, you’re guaranteed a spot.

Ski shuttles

All hotels in the community of Lake Louise run free shuttles to and from the ski hill starting at 8:00am, with return service ending around 5:00pm.

Elevate your experience

Post Hotel & Spa’s complimentary ski shuttle to the Lake Louise Ski Resort departs from the main doors of the hotel at 8:30am, 9:00am, 9:30am, 10:00am, 10:30am, and 11:30am daily. At the end of the day, the shuttle collects you from the ski hill and returns you to the hotel at 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, and 4:30pm daily. It’s just five minutes from the hotel to the ski resort.

With door-to-door service, there’s no need to trek across the parking lot or fuss with your equipment. Simply ask and our drivers will take your gear from the shuttle to the equipment room for you.

If you need transportation to or from the ski resort outside of the main shuttle schedule, our wonderful drivers will accommodate. Ask for their contact information and call for a pick up any time.

Lake Louise ski tickets and passes

The Lake Louise Ski Resort has tickets, passes, and packages for any and every skier. You can purchase lift tickets online or visit guest services when you get to the hill.

Elevate your experience

Skip the ticket lines entirely and inquire at our front desk. The Post Hotel & Spa sells ski tickets at a preferred rate for guests and can have them ready and waiting upon your arrival. You may also purchase lift tickets at any point during your stay.

Making the most of Lake Louise trail maps

Paper trail maps can be found almost anywhere in Lake Louise. Get one at your hotel, at guest services, when you get your lift pass, or from most retailers at the mountain base. Digital trail maps are also available on the Lake Louise Ski Resort’s website. You can fully explore the resort in 2D and 3D, sort runs by ability levels, trail status, grooming status, and more, or find answers to important questions like what’s the longest ski run in Banff National Park?

Elevate your experience

Most of our team members are avid skiers and know the local mountains like the back of their hand. Ask anyone for their top runs or for their recommendations based on your preferences and skill level. Some of our staff love to ski with visitors and will show you all their favourite spots. You’ll get a highly personal, curated experience beyond what any trail map can offer.

Post Hotel & Spa staff favourites include:


“My favourite run is Brownshirt. For a short hike, you get incredible rewards—Brownshirt is as close to Heli skiing in-bounds as you will get. On its best day, Brownshirt is untouched lines of wind-swept deep pow. On its worst, it's still the best run you will find at Lake Louise. A bit of hard work goes a long way with Brownshirt.” - Julian Simard-Gillis, Wine Director

Rock Garden

“I did my first pass down Rock Garden with Julian on a sunny morning and it was a stunning experience. To end my day, my favourite run is Pine Cone Way. It’s a green run, but narrow and tree filled, and is a truly enjoyable way to finish up.” - Will Burke, Sommelier.

Anywhere between the trees on a pow day

“Lake Louise Ski Resort is so big that you can find hidden pockets days after the snow comes. My favourite areas to explore are in Crow Bowl via Paradise Chair or East Bowl Trees via Ptarmigan Chair. If you’re looking for fresh groomers you can never go wrong with a cruisy run down Wiwaxy on the front side via the Gondola.” - Alexander Jackson, Front Office Manager

Ski equipment rentals in Lake Louise

Renting ski equipment and even winter clothing is easy at Lake Louise. Renting is a great option if you don’t have your own gear, you don’t want the hassle of traveling with huge bags, or you feel like switching things up over the course of your trip.

Conveniently located slopeside, Lake Louise has a wide selection of skis, snowboards, boots, clothing, and safety equipment like helmets. A rental expert will match you with the best equipment for your ability, style, terrain preference, and the current snow conditions.

Elevate your experience

Arrange your rentals at Wilson Mountain Sports, just one minute from the hotel. They offer more options than the on-hill rental shops and have a fantastic try before you buy policy if you want to test out the latest gear. Post Hotel & Spa will return your gear after your ski holiday if you run out of time. You are welcome to send Post Hotel & Spa your equipment ahead of your stay, and we'll ensure it's ready and waiting in your room upon your arrival. Furthermore, for guests who are moving on to their next destination and won't be needing their ski gear, we're pleased to offer the convenience of shipping it back to your house on your behalf.

Ski lessons in Lake Louise

Build your confidence, learn new skills, or take a break from the bunny hill and your children. The Lake Louise Ski School has private or group options, and specialty programs for every kind of skier. Book your lessons online or stop by the Snow School desk on the lower level of Whiskey Jack Lodge. Our concierge can also arrange your lessons for you, ask us any time.

Before you choose a lesson, you need to determine your ability level. Ski lessons are based on your skills and goals, ranging from level one to six:

Determine your ability level

1 - This is you first time skiing

2 - You’ve skied a few times but only on the easiest green runs

3 - You’re comfortable turning in th beginner area and want to progress to green runs

4 - You can turn comfortably on green runs and want to progress to blue runs

5 - You ski parallel on Blue runs and would like to ski Black runs with style

6 - You’re comfortable all over the mountain but want to improve performance

Adult ski lessons (13+)

Adult ski lessons in Lake Louise are offered in both private and group settings. Up to four friends or family members are welcome to join private sessions.

Kids ski lessons (5+)

Kids ski lessons at Lake Louise are also offered as private sessions or with a group, depending on how your kid prefers to learn. Private lessons for the littlest skiers (age 3-4) are available in 1-hour blocks for just $99. Kids are also eligible for a discount if you purchase lessons, rentals, and a lift ticket together.

Multi-week ski lessons and programs

For skiers who really want to hone their skills, the Lake Louise Ski Resort offers multi-week lessons and special programs. Try the Ladies’ Day program, which runs for six or nine weeks, or the kids’ Bow Valley program. Interested in trying snowboarding, too? Consider the Freeride program or a four-week introduction to the terrain park.

The best après ski spots in Lake Louise

Whether you’re rewarding your hard work on the hill or après is an all-day affair for you, there are plenty of wonderful spots to dine, drink, and enjoy alpine life.

Banded Peak Base Camp

Located right at the base of the Glacier Chair, Banded Peak Base Camp serves authentic smokehouse BBQ, beer, wine, hot beverages, and more in a European-style setting. Relax and recharge on the patio for a 360-degree view of the Rockies—don’t worry, it’s heated in the winter.

Powder Keg

Head straight from the lift to the oversized chairs at Powder Keg. Also located at the bottom of the Glacier Chair, you can get comfortable and dine on modern pub food. The bar offers a range of domestic and imported beers, a selection of wine, and warm and cold cocktails.

Elevate your experience

Outpost Pub

Just 5 minutes driving from the ski resort, the Outpost Pub at the Post Hotel & Spa is a family-friendly gathering spot with an English-pub atmosphere. Refuel with classic pub fare, kids bites, and a curated selection of craft brews while you relive the day’s adventures.

The hotel’s full wine list is also available at the Outpost. If you want to unwind with a spectacular bottle or find the perfect pairing for your burger, simply ask the staff.

Sir Norman Lounge

Unwind and warm up by a cracking fire at Post Hotel & Spa’s Sir Norman Lounge. One of the coziest après experiences in Lake Louise, Sir Norman Lounge offers a light menu, specialty cocktails, an unmatched wine selection. After a weekend ski, evening piano entertainment is a delight.

On bluebird days, take your drinks outside and enjoy the Rocky Mountain sunshine on the fur-lined chairs overlooking the private Ice Rink.

Temple Mountain Spa

The Temple Mountain Spa at Post Hotel offers après ski rejuvenation on a whole new level. Sink into a soft leather chair next to the fire and sip freshly infused water, then soothe aching muscles with a massage, and a trip to the steam room or whirlpool. Other blissful spa treatments include facials, mud therapy, manicures and pedicures. Be sure to book ahead, appointments fill up quickly.

Room Service at Post Hotel & Spa

The perfect après spot may just be the enormous soaker tub in your room. Wrap yourself in the plushest robe, run yourself a luxurious bath, and have post-ski treats brought right to your door.

Elevate your experience

Let our staff know everything you want to see or do. They’ll create the perfect itinerary, and arrange transportation and tickets if need be. Enjoy a private car ride to surrounding sites and towns, or a moonlit sleigh ride for two—whatever you need to make your escape absolutely extraordinary.

We can’t wait for you to join us in beautiful Lake Louise. Please reach out to our reservations team at (403) 522-3989 or with questions, requests, or help planning your visit.

Lake Louise skiing FAQS

Can beginners ski at Lake Louise?

Yes, beginners can ski at Lake Louise. There are plenty of gentle slopes designed for anyone who’s just starting out and there's a green run at the top of every chairlift, so beginners can explore the whole mountain.

Our favourite beginner run is Pika. A relaxed, cruising run, Pika gently twists and turns through the picturesque valley between Whitehorn Mountain and Mt. Richardson. The descent is smooth with just the right amount of decline to slow down safely.

Is Lake Louise good for intermediate skiers?

Yes, Lake Louise is great for intermediate skiers. 55% of Lake Louise’s runs are intermediate, so you’ll never run out of options. Our favourite intermediate trail is Grizzly Gully. A moderate challenge, accessible from the Top of the World chairlift, Grizzly Gully gracefully descends down the middle of two slopes. This offers the opportunity to explore more advanced terrain on the sides while providing a safe exit at the base.

When can you ski at Lake Louise?

You can ski at Lake Louise from early winter to late spring. Ski season runs from November to April, sometimes into May depending on the conditions. The lifts are open every day from 9:00am to 4:00pm unless there’s extreme weather.

What is the best month to ski at Lake Louise?

Every month has something different to offer, but March is the best month to ski at Lake Louise. March is the start of powder season and the beginning of warmer spring skiing, so you’re guaranteed plenty of spectacular ski days.

How long is the ski season at Lake Louise?

The ski season at Lake Louise runs from November to April, sometimes into May depending on the conditions.

Do I need a park pass to ski at Lake Louise?

If you’re driving into the park, you’ll need a park pass to ski at Lake Louise. Park passes must be displayed on the dashboard of your vehicle for the entire time you’re in Banff National Park.

What is the longest ski run in Banff?

The longest ski run in Banff Sunshine Village is from the Lookout Mountain Gondola base to the mountain base. It’s 8kms long with an elevation difference of 1070m.

Should I stay in Banff or Lake Louise for skiing?

We recommend staying in Lake Louise for skiing because you get more ski options with less travel time. It’s just 40 minutes from Lake Louise to Banff Sunshine Village, but 60 minutes from Banff town to Lake Louise Ski Resort. It’s easier to ski both mountains if you’re staying in Lake Louise.

How far apart are Banff and Lake Louise?

Banff town and Lake Louise are 57 kms apart, which is about 40 minutes driving. Banff Sunshine Village and the Lake Louise Ski Resort are about the same distance and driving time.

Are ski shuttles free in Banff?

Yes, there’s a free ski shuttle that runs between the Town of Banff, Lake Louise Village, and the Lake Louise Ski Resort. There’s also a free shuttle that runs between Banff town and Banff Sunshine Village.

How much snow does Lake Louise get a year?

On average, Lake Louise gets 203 inches of snowfall each year. The average snow depth at Lake Louise is 47 inches.

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It is time for us to tuck away for our spring slumber. We are currently closed and will reopen on Friday, April 26th. We can't wait to welcome you back to enjoy the beauty of spring and the warmth of summer with us.

If you require any assistance or have inquiries, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at 403-522-3989. Our dedicated team is here to help you from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.