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 like to spend a day at the Lake Louise Ski Resort over Spring Break and my son's highlights usually include the terrain parks spread around the lower mountain on the front side (we have figured out how to hit all of them in one run down, and spend 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 love 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, 2022 

  • Spring Skiing for only $1099.00 + GST per family ($549.00 +GST per adult.)  (Ski as much as you want until May 8th when the hill closes)

  • Cardboard Box Downhill Derby at Lake Louise - Visit lake Louise for this fun event on May 8th, closing day. Prizes will be given for the top three fastest sleds! Prizes will also be given out for the most creative designs (themed outfits encouraged.) Get your team of 1-4 people together to see if you can out-design, out-wit and out-sled the others. All ages welcome in this FREE event!
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 trail report for Lake Louise is sometimes a bit misleading. It may say that many trails are in fair to poor shape for cross-country skiing. We usually find that the trails are in fantastic shape for spring - well through early April.

Skiing across Lake Louise to the back of the lake

Trails we like to ski in spring:

Lake Louise Loop - Ski across the lake which is usually skier tracked and very easy going. As you reach the end of the lake, you can return on the trail through the trees (climb up towards the waterfall and you'll see it.)

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

Bow River Loop - This is a nice easy flat loop that follows along the Bow River and crosses several scenic bridges. It's great for families and is usually groomed and trackset.

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 is fun when it has a lot of fresh snow. Last time we skied it, it 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 is regularly groomed and it's relatively flat. The Tramline Trail is also groomed often and it's a fun downhill run at a rail grade. Kids always love going down this one. 

Approaching the Great Divide on the Upper Telemark Trail

Peyto Loop with Drummond and Merlin - The Pipestone Trails are fantastic when they've been freshly groomed/trackset. They often last well into April.

No shortage of good snow on the Pipestone Trails

We also love the Fairview Loop and often ski the full Tramline Trail down to the Village.

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

And you can read about our previous spring ski adventures at Lake Louise 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 is sometimes hard to actually get him to the skating rink because he just wants to play in the snow. 

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

We have also discovered that there's an amazing sliding hill right beside the Chateau. Who knew?!

Sledding hill at Lake Louise

My son has also discovered that it is 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 don't usually do any snowshoeing or hiking at Lake Louise itself but we do like hiking on the Icefields Parkway (especially when we're staying at the Mosquito Creek Wilderness Hostel.)

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

There is so much magical snow in the Mosquito Creek area and at Bow Summit that you can snowshoe here well through April.

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

Where we Stay at Lake Louise 

We like to stay at the HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre in a private room that sleeps 5 people. The rooms have a shared bathroom right outside your door, and have 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

For more spring inspiration, check out the following story: The BEST of Spring in the Canadian Rockies

Easter at Lake Louise

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

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