Lake Louise Ski Resort: Everything You need to know

Lake Louise Ski Resort: Everything You Need to Know

From the optimal timing for your visit and strategies for making the most of your time on the slopes, our dedicated team is here to assist you every step of the way. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the unparalleled experience that awaits at the breathtaking Lake Louise Ski Resort.

by: Kaitlin Dewar
Phil Forsey 2 web1

Lake Louise Ski Resort is a legend among mountains, with world-class amenities, plenty of diverse terrain, and views that stop you in your tracks—no matter how many times you visit. Though it’s one of the largest resorts in North America, Lake Louise retains the feel of a local hill, never feeling crowded or impersonal.

From the optimal timing for your visit and strategies for making the most of your time on the slopes, our dedicated team is here to assist you every step of the way. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the unparalleled experience that awaits at the breathtaking Lake Louise Ski Resort.

Table of Contents

Lake Louise Ski Resort: An overview

The Lake Louise Ski Resort is the Canadian Rockies’ largest ski area, spanning 4,200 acres of skiable terrain from sunny groomers to some of the top freestyle runs in the world. Known as the “friendly giant” it’s an approachable mountain, perfect for families, absolute beginners, advanced skiers, and everyone in between. Lake Louise is also known for its absolutely breathtaking views, which you’ll enjoy at every turn.

This incredible resort is also home to four terrain parks, the Men’s World Cup downhill run, a dedicated learning area, and a tube park. With excellent amenities and myriad dining options, there’s a reason Lake Louise attracts visitors from all over the globe.

Your Guide to Lake Louise Ski Resort

As the Canadian Rockies’ biggest resort, Lake Louise has something to offer every type of skier. To help you choose the most appropriate skiing for your skill level and preferences, the mountain is neatly categorized into four distinct zones: Front Side, West Bowl, Back Bowls, and Larch.

With expansive groomed runs flanked by picturesque trees, the Front Side and Larch are most approachable for beginners, warming up, and anyone looking for easy cruising. The West Bowl and Back Bowls attract more experienced thrill seekers with their off-piste feel, exhilarating descents down steep chutes, dramatic cliff bands, and tight tree-lined paths.

Despite the resort offering quite a few more challenging runs, beginners shouldn’t limit themselves to the Front Side and Larch. Both Ptarmigan and Paradise have at least one green run, so you’re free to explore the entire mountain.

Insider tip: Unsure where to start? Our staff know Lake Louise Ski Resort better than anyone and they’re always pleased to share their top runs or recommendations for a fantastic day on the slopes. Some of our team members even love to ski with visitors and will personally show you all their favourite spots.


At the very start of the ski season, the hill is slowly opening, offering an escape from the peak winter crowds. This is the perfect opportunity to hone your skills while the slopes are quiet.


By December, nearly all of Lake Louise’s skiable terrain is open. Plus, the resort and nearby village of Lake Louise proudly show off their holiday spirit. Enjoy fresh snow, seasonal events, the warm glow of Christmas lights, and the magic of winter holidays in the mountains.


January offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and the most consistent snowfall of the year. Most natural features and freeride zones have been filled in for ideal ski conditions.


In February, fantastic conditions continue while the resort builds up its base. This is also an ideal month to admire the Northern Lights. The skies in Banff National Park are especially dark, increasing your chances of seeing this natural wonder.


Peak powder season has arrived! March is historically the month in which Lake Louise Ski Resort gets the most snow, guaranteeing you multiple days with fresh, flawless champagne powder.


With April comes more sunshine and glorious spring skiing. You get winter conditions at the peak and mild temperatures at the base, for some of the most comfortable skiing of the year.


While snowfall isn’t as heavy in May, you can still enjoy perfectly cut corduroy in the mornings and easy, soft turns in the afternoon as the slopes warm up. Lake Louise Ski Resort hosts their pond-skimming Slush Cup event the first weekend of May which signifies the end of the ski season. This is not to be missed!

Buying ski passes

The Lake Louise Ski Resort has tickets, passes, and packages to suit every kind of skier. Purchase your lift tickets online or visit guest services when you get to the hill.

Insider tip: We recommend skipping the ticket lines entirely and heading straight for 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. If you’re adding an extra ski day or decide to extend your stay, you can purchase lift tickets at any point during your trip.

Exploring Lake Louise Ski Resort

Most people agree that the best way to ski Lake Louise is to move around the mountain in a circular fashion. Intermediate skiers are encouraged to try every zone, even the more challenging Back bowls, because there’s a blue or green run off nearly every lift at the resort.

Start by hopping on the Lake Louise Gondola and then warm up with a groomed run on the Front Side of the mountain. We recommend Wiwaxy or Cameron Way. Once you find your legs, head over to Larch for some fun runs through the trees, or even Rock Garden (our sommelier’s favourite). Finally advance to Paradise Bowl or West Bowl for steeper chutes, more trees, and runs that will interest even the most advanced skiers.

Maximize your day on the mountain

When one of the world’s best resorts is just 5 minutes from work, you take every possible opportunity to ski. Our Marketing Specialist, Kaitlin Dewar, who is an intermediate to advanced skiier shares her best-ever day at Lake Louise and how to make the most of every moment.

Kaitlin’s ideal day

Start with the Front Side:

Begin your day with a few warm-up runs on the front side, take Glacier Express from the base to the mid-mountain and enjoy some cruisy turns on freshly groomed trails on Wiwaxy (Green) or Juniper (Blue).

Afterwards, take Glacier Express all the way up to Top of the World and make your way down the front side towards Grizzly Gully (Blue). Go directly down the middle or challenge your legs on the side runs where you’ll find plenty of variable, black terrain.

Move to the Back Bowls:

Opt for a leisurely run down Saddleback (Green) cat track or get your thrills along the sides for the ultimate "choose your own adventure" experience. Some of my black and double black favourites include Rodney’s Ridge, Wounded Knee, as well as Hour Glass. Your journey will lead you to Pika (Green), where you can savour wide open turns on an easy groomer before heading towards the Larch Express.

Explore Larch:

This is one of the best places to enjoy sun-soaked groomed runs or exhilarating tree-skiing. Take the cruisy way down Larch (Blue), either staying on the groomed slope or cutting into the powder-filled trees on either side. If you’re looking for an adventure off the beaten path, head to Rock Garden (Blue), which is filled with boulders and variable terrain to test your skills and precision.

After you’ve finished your Larch laps, take the Ptarmigan chair up to the Ssummit.

Traverse the Front Side:

Cut into the trees of Upper Grouse (Black) for some excellent tree skiing, or cruise down Deer Run (Green) towards Lower Flight to find yourself at the Top of the World Chair. Take the chair up to the Ssummit and ski over to the Summit Chair, located on the left.

Back to the Back Bowls:

Depending on how you’re feeling, there are differing levels of difficulty in the Back Bowls. If you want to enjoy the powder and the views, stick to the zone’s only blue run, Boomerang. For something more challenging, traverse Upper Boomerang (Black) towards black or double black runs like Shoulder Roll and Brown Cow. You can also head all the way over to Wild Gully, a great spot for some air time, with excellent small cliffs to choose from.

Once again, you’ll be funneled onto Pika and to the Paradise Chair, which will take you back up to the summit. Ride the summit chair one more time and keep left for some front side powder turns.

Finish your day in the West Bowl:

This large, quieter, undisturbed bowl is an excellent place to enjoy some fresh powder turns. Choose from West Bowl (Black), Temple (Black), Ten Peaks (Black), or traverse into Instructor’s Bowl (Black). When you’ve reached your limit, follow any of these runs towards their respective gullies, through the trees, and all the way to the bottom of the mountain.

Stop for well-deserved refreshments at Banded Peak Base Camp before catching the shuttle back to Post Hotel & Spa. After a soothing hot tub, sit fireside at the Sir Norman Lounge for some truly wonderful après.

Visiting Lake Louise Ski Resort

Lake Louise Ski Resort is located in the heart of Banff National Park, approximately two hours from Calgary International airport, 40 minutes from theTown of Banff, and less than 10 minutes from the charming village of Lake Louise. Standing amidst some of the most majestic peaks on earth, you’ll be awestruck everywhere you look.

How to get to Lake Louise Ski Resort

Getting to Lake Louise is as simple as following the highway into the heart of the Rockies. As far as mountain driving goes, it’s an easy trip without any daunting curves or passes. Whatever transportation you choose, the scenery is unmatched—including a front-row seat to the famed Three Sisters.

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, it’s simple to pick up your car and get on the road right away. We recommend booking ahead of time, especially in peak ski season.

Don’t forget: 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 for the duration of your trip.

The Brewster Express

This plush 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 destinations in Lake Louise. Don’t worry—there’s plenty of room for everyone’s baggage and ski gear.

Private transfers

A number of reputable companies will take you directly from the airport to your hotel in Lake Louise. Our staff are more than happy to arrange appropriate transportation for you. It’s a treat to sit back and enjoy the mountainscapes while your driver handles the roads. Whether you require a town car, limousine, or you’re traveling with a large group, our preferred transportation partners can accommodate your needs:

Western Limo

Discover Banff Tours

Banff Airporter

Fairview limousine

Driving times from other cities

One of the best things about Lake Louise is its accessibility from multiple locations. Our beautiful mountain village is a reasonable drive from many major cities:

Jasper: 4 hours

Edmonton: 5 hours

Saskatoon: 8 hours

Vancouver: 10 hours

Where to stay near Lake Louise Resort: Our top choice

With its bright red roof and traditional European chalet style, Post Hotel & Spa is a Lake Louise landmark with a reputation as a luxurious retreat with exceptional service, unmatched amenities, and unparalleled culinary delights. Just five minutes from Lake Louise Ski Resort, surrounded by proud pines and majestic peaks, Post Hotel & Spa is the best possible homebase for an unforgettable winter getaway.

Imbued with the spirit of its adventurous founder, Sir Norman Watson, Post Hotel & Spa is an alpine haven with rustic charm and refined touches throughout. Guests can choose from a range of elegant rooms designed for maximum comfort, with indulgent amenities such as whirlpool bathtubs, private balconies, and wood-burning fireplaces. The sun-drenched lobby, cozy après lounge, and wood-beamed dining room invite you to relax and take in the impeccable rocky mountain scenery.

Savour the exquisite talents of European-trained Chef Hans Saulter and his international culinary team, whether in the fine Dining Room, at Fondue Stübli, the Outpost Pub, or the Sir Norman Lounge. The hotel also boasts an impressive wine cellar with over 22,000 bottles and more than 3,600 selections of the finest vintages. It’s only one of four restaurants in Canada to have earned the prestigious "Grand Award'' from Wine Spectator. The incredible team of sommeliers are happy to discuss the extensive wine menu with you.

The luxurious facilities and services cater to a discerning clientele. Visit Temple Mountain Spa for a blissful escape or restorative treatment after a day on the mountain, or enjoy a dip in the peaceful salt-water pool and hottub, modeled after traditional Roman baths. The hotel also features a fully appointed fitness center, meeting spaces, and other amenities.

With the warmest, most accommodating service you’ve ever experienced, your stay at Post Hotel & Spa is sure to be remarkable. Skiers and families from all over the world return year after year to this beautiful place.

Tips for skiing at Lake Louise Resort

Wear lots of layers - In the Canadian Rockies, the weather can vary wildly in a week. It may also be vastly different at the base than at the top of the Summit Chair. Choose a good quality base layer, a breathable mid layer, and a flexible outer layer that can be adjusted depending on the temperature. We also recommend a ski pack to store extra gear and carry anything you might remove on a warmer day.

Consider a ski shuttle - While you’re always guaranteed parking at Lake Louise, it may not be close to the lodge. In peak season, the equipment-laden trek from the car can be extra long. Post Hotel & Spa’s complimentary ski shuttle offers convenient door-to-door service and assistance with your gear.

The shuttle departs from the main doors of the hotel at 8:30am, 9:00am, 9:30am, 10:00am, 10:30am, and 11:30am daily. Later in the day, the shuttle offers return runs to the hotel at 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, and 4:30pm daily.

Insider tip: If you ask, Post Hotel & Spa’s extremely accommodating drivers will pick up and drop off outside of the regular shuttle times.

Choose the right lift ticket - Lake Louise offers a myriad of different tickets and passes, so consider when and how often you’ll ski while you’re here. Are you going to spend the whole day in the learning area? Choose a learning-area-only pass. If you prefer a long breakfast and a later start, consider a half-day pass.

Don’t limit yourself to the learning area - At Lake Louise, there’a a green run (along with a wonderful selection of blues and blacks) off most lifts with the exception of Summit Chair and Top of the World, so even beginners can explore a majority of the mountain. This feature is also fantastic for groups and families because there’s no need for skiers of different abilities to split up.

Try a private lesson with your family - Did you know? Private lessons don’t have to be for one person. Up to four friends or family members can join your private session for a unique way to build skills and enjoy a day on the hill.

Find powder in Paradise Bowl - Pika’s tree glades hold onto powder, even when there isn’t fresh snow. Craving our signature champagne powder? Simply head to Paradise Bowl and indulge in Pika’s bounty.

Test your pro potential - Tired of trees, terrain, or chutes off the summit? Try the World Cup downhill course. Located just off Upper Wiwaxy, on the Glacier Express, this run offers advanced skiers a unique challenge. Try and beat the current speed record (under two minutes) or race a fellow thrillseeker. Even if you take it slow, the downhill course is sure to please.

Pick the perfect hotel - Post Hotel & Spa’s location and amenities make for an ideal mountain escape. You’re just minutes from Lake Louise Ski Resort, in the heart of the village, and surrounded by tranquil nature. Get to and from the hill quickly, maximizing your skiing while leaving plenty of time to enjoy the delights of a luxury alpine lodge. Cozy up by the fire, savour exceptional wine and culinary creations, relax in the outstanding Temple Spa, and let our team take care of you completely.

Skiing into bliss

Your snow-covered odyssey at Lake Louise Ski Resort awaits. Book your stay at the extraordinary Post Hotel & Spa today.


Where is Lake Louise Ski Resort?

Lake Louise Ski Resort is located in Banff National Park, approximately 2 hours (184 KM or 115 miles) west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and 40 minutes (60 KM or 36 miles) west of the town of Banff. If you’re staying in the village of Lake Louise, the resort is just 5 minutes away.

What are some fun facts about Lake Louise Ski Resort?

Some fun facts about Lake Louise Ski Resort include:

  • Lake Louise Ski Resort has one of the world’s highest ratios of grizzly bears to humans

  • Lake Louise Ski Resort features 45 sunny days on average per season, making it one of the sunniest resorts in Canada

  • ER3, a chute off Eagle Ridge, was named the hardest run at Lake Louise Resort

  • The longest run at Lake Louise Ski Resort is 8 kms long

  • On average, the Lake Louise Ski Resort lifts carry 14,000+ skiers per hour

Is Lake Louise Ski Resort beginner-friendly?

Yes, Lake Louise Ski Resort is beginner-friendly. There are plenty of gentle slopes designed for anyone who’s just starting out and there's a green run at the top of nearly every chairlift with the exception of Summit Chair and Top of the World, so beginners can explore a majority of the mountain.

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 many days is enough in Lake Louise?

We recommend staying 7 days in Lake Louise. A week is just the right amount of time to explore everything the ski resort has to offer, take days off as needed, and visit some of the world-famous sites in the area.

Is it safe to drive to Lake Louise in winter?

Yes, even in snowy weather, it’s safe to drive to Lake Louise in the winter. The Trans Canada highway is well maintained, and as far as mountain driving goes, the trip to Lake Louise is uncomplicated. There are no challenging passes or winding curves.

Can we get out rentals when we arrive at the resort?

Yes, you can. The rental shop at Lake Louise is conveniently located slopeside and has a wide selection of skis, snowboards, boots, clothing, and safety equipment like helmets. Simply choose your equipment and head straight to the lifts.

You can also rent equipment in Lake Louise village at Wilson Mountain Sports. 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. This rental shop is just one minute from Post Hotel & Spa and is a highly convenient option for our guests.

What level of rental equipment should I get?

The rental shop at Lake Louise Ski Resort offers a range of equipment from basic to high performance. A rental expert will match you with the best equipment for your ability, style, terrain preference, and the current snow conditions.

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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.