Friday, April 06, 2018

5 Reasons to Visit Lake Louise this Spring

Did you know that you can still go ice skating on a real mountain lake - in April? How about skiing in prime winter conditions (no slush here,) or even sledding (without a trace of dirt!) Lake Louise still has epic amounts of snow for all winter sports.

Since spring is taking its sweet time arriving this year, you might as well go away for a weekend to continue enjoying some fun snowy adventures while waiting patiently to bring the bikes out.

The snow is still fabulous at the Lake Louise Ski Resort

5 Reasons to Visit Lake Louise this Spring 

1. Awesome Skiing at the Lake Louise Ski Resort

Spring at Lake Louise
Usually by April we're looking at ice in the mornings, slushy snow in the afternoons, and ski days that are more about the sun than they are about the actual conditions. Let's be realistic, we go skiing in spring because it's warm and not because we expect to have fresh dumps of powder (daily!)

This might be one of those magical springs though where you can have it ALL. Fresh powder multiple times a week, little ice, no slush, fantastic conditions that rival those of February ski days, and it's still warm on the slopes (at least by noon anyway.)

It's nice planning a spring ski weekend, knowing it's not going to be -30 on the ski hill. (something we honestly did worry about in February.) You can ski multiple runs back to back without having to go inside and warm up. 

For many families, spring is the only comfortable time to go skiing (and some don't even start skiing for the season until mid March.) 

My son LOVES the terrain parks at Lake Louise

We just spent a day at the Lake Louise Ski Resort over Spring Break and my son's highlights included the terrain parks spread around the lower mountain on the front side (we figured out how to hit all of them in one run down, and spent much of the afternoon just doing laps off the Glacier Chair.)

Took a couple tries but he mastered this terrain park  feature quickly

We also loved playing in Jerry's Jungle (an easy groomed glade run on the front side with tons of little paths through the trees for kids to play in)

Playing around in Jerry's Jungle 

Special Events and Promotions for Spring at Lake Louise

  • Spring Music Series - Free live music on the hill every weekend in April (all afternoon long)

  • Shake the Lake, Saturday April 28th - Free apres ski party, Kokanee Kup pond skimming experience, and other events (including an after party for adults, with admission cost.)

  • Spring Skiing for only $389 (ski as much as you want until May 6th when the hill closes)
Mom and son ski day at Lake Louise

Read more about our previous experiences here: Family Guide to the Lake Louise Ski Resort.

Lake Louise is PRIME right now!

2. The cross-country ski trails are in fantastic shape!

The current trail report for Lake Louise is a bit misleading. It says that many trails are in fair to poor shape for cross-country skiing. We just skied here last weekend though and I can assure you the trails are in fantastic shape for spring!!

Skiing across Lake Louise to the back of the lake

Trails we skied last week:

Lake Louise Loop - We skied across the lake which was skier tracked and very easy going. As we reached the end of the lake, the groomer was heading our way, so we just missed him. We returned on the trail through the trees (climb up towards the waterfall and you'll see it,) and broke trail. It was tough going but doable.

These views! This is why you ski the Lake Louise Loop

Bow River Loop - We broke trail half way around until we met up with another group who had finished the loop, giving us tracks to follow through the campgrounds. The loop is in fantastic shape with tons of fresh snow (and no ice!!)

Tons of fresh powder on the Bow River Loop

Upper Telemark Trail to the Great Divide and down to the Moraine Lake Road on the Tramline Trail - The Upper Telemark Trail had so much fresh powder, it was actually hard to climb the initial hill from the lake. Once we reached the downhill section though, we realized Parks had at least come through with a snowmobile to pack the trail down (thank goodness because the descent is steep!) 

The Great Divide had been freshly groomed and track set. The Tramline Trail was skier tracked but in great condition.

Approaching the Great Divide on the Upper Telemark Trail

Peyto Loop with Drummond and Merlin - This area had been freshly track set and was amazing. It's currently closed for tree removal but will hopefully open again soon. 

No shortage of good snow on the Pipestone Trails

Over the past two weeks we've also skied the Fairview Loop and the full Tramline Trail down to the Village. Both were in great shape.

Information on all ski trails at Lake Louise can be found here. 

And you can read about our previous ski adventures at Lake Louise this spring here: Family Spring Ski Touring Weekend in Banff. 

Snowy bridge crossing on the Bow River Loop

3. You can still go ice skating on a mountain lake

I don't know too many mountain lakes that you can still skate on right now. Either they haven't been cleared  for skating and are way too snow covered, or they are melting out. Lake Louise is still very frozen and gets cleared regularly. 

For more information on skating here, visit the Chateau Lake Louise website. 

Spring Ice skating at Lake Louise 

4. There are gigantic mountains of snow for playing in around the lake

My son loves playing in big snow piles and it was hard to actually get him to the skating rink last week because he just wanted to play in the snow. He had so much fun I couldn't even convince him to go to Laggan's Bakery with me! He wanted to stay at the lake and play with his friends while I went to get a coffee by myself.

Plan to spend hours here while the kids play in the snow!

We brought his sled up to the lake also one day after discovering that there's an amazing sliding hill right beside the Chateau. Who knew?!

Sledding hill at Lake Louise

My son also discovered that it was fun to try sledding down the snow piles too. Endless hours of fun.

No happier kid on the planet

5. Conditions are prime for snowshoeing and Winter Hiking 

We didn't do any snowshoeing or hiking at Lake Louise itself over spring break, but we did go hiking on the Icefields Parkway while staying at the Mosquito Creek Hostel a few days earlier.

Read about our adventures on the Icefields Parkway here: Spring Adventure on the Icefields Parkway

There was so much magical snow in the Mosquito Creek area and at Bow Summit. We plan on continuing our snowy adventures later this month out that way.

Winter hiking at Mosquito Creek on the Icefields Parkway (20 minutes from Lake Louise)

Where we Stayed at Lake Louise 

We spent two nights at the HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre in a private room that slept 5 people. We had a shared bathroom right outside our door, and had access to a communal kitchen, on site restaurant, and a beautiful fireside room with a pool table.

We like staying here because it gives us ski in/ski out accommodations for cross-country skiing (ski out the door and right onto the Bow River Loop.)

We're also a very short drive away from the lake, the ski resort, and nearby trails. You can even walk to the Village for coffee in a short 5 minute trip.

HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre 

The hostel is a shared partnership between the Alpine Club of Canada and Hostelling International, so members of either group receive discounts.

There are many different kinds of private rooms along with small dorm rooms that a family of 4 or 5 would be quite comfortable in. Friends of ours recently booked a dorm room for 4 people and ended up with a private room all to themselves.

Read more about our previous experiences staying at this hostel here: Affordable Ski Weekends at the Lake Louise Alpine Centre

We skied out the door of the Alpine Centre onto the Bow River Loop

Fore more spring inspiration, check out the following story: The BEST of Spring in the Canadian Rockies  (Gotta do THIS!) 

Easter at Lake Louise

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary stay at the Lake Louise Alpine Centre and lift tickets for the Lake Louise Ski Resort. As always, all words and opinions are my own. 

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