Experience the thrills of Lake Louise in winter
Located in the Canadian Rockies of Banff National Park, Lake Louise is a stunning destination that surrounds a turquoise glacial lake. The lake, mountains, and wilderness provide adventure for all seasons, but the area takes on a magical look when the snow falls in winter and the lake ices over. From dog sledding to skiing to marvelling at ice sculptures, you’ll find a wide variety of unique experiences in Lake Louise in winter. Find out all the things you can see and do in Lake Louise in winter and plan your seasonal vacation with friends, family, or on your own.
Try dog sledding with the family
One of the most unique winter experiences you can have in Lake Louise is taking a dog-sledding tour of the wilderness. Dog sledding has a rich heritage in Canada as a means of transport, but it’s now a fun recreational activity to give you a novel tour of the Canadian Rockies behind a team of huskies and malamutes. If you choose, you can opt to mush your own team of dogs with the help of a guide and experience the thrill for yourself. You also have the option of curling up in a blanket and letting an experienced musher guide the way.
Enjoy ice skating on the frozen lake
In winter, the turquoise waters of Lake Louise transform into a sparkling sheet of ice for ice skating fun in the outdoors. While you skate, you can take in the views of the Chateau Lake Louise, the Victoria Glacier, and Mount Fairview. The lake is usually frozen throughout the season, so you can plan ice skating around whatever other winter activities you wish.
Go sleigh riding in the mountains
With the wilderness covered in snow and ice, there’s something so magical about taking a sleigh ride through the mountain. Pulled by horses with sleigh bells, you can tuck under a warm blanket and enjoy the scenery of frozen waterfalls and glistening streams on a relaxing tour of the landscape. Several tour operators offer sleigh rides in Lake Louise.
Explore cross-country skiing in the backcountry for the family
Lake Louise is filled with backcountry trails for all experience levels. You’ll find beginner cross-country ski trails at Tramline and Bow River Loop or more challenging rolling trails at Pipestone. The best part about cross-country skiing is that it’s laid-back and you set the pace, so it’s appropriate for most fitness levels and ages. Bring the whole family, or set out on your own for a magical experience. If it’s your first time and you don’t want to miss the best spots, you can book a guided tour.
Attend the Ice Magic Festival in town
The Ice Magic Festival is a must-see festival during your stay in Lake Louise. Celebrating all things winter, the festival surrounds a dramatic ice castle on the lake and features numerous ice sculptures and ice carving competitions. You can see all the sculptures during the week, or come on the weekend to see the carving in action and experience all the festivities.
Hit the slopes at the resort with your kids for friends
Lake Louise’s namesake ski resort is one of the best in the Canadian Rockies, offering everything from consistent powder, sightseeing chair lifts, mountain views, varied runs, and a snow-tubing park for the whole family. You could enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing at the resort, or you can get a pass for the Big 3, the set of the top ski resorts in the Banff/Lake Louise region.
Take an alpine hike with the kids
The mountains around Lake Louise are popular hiking spots in warm months, but you can enjoy gorgeous scenery and few crowds by embarking on a winter hike. While some trails may be too hazardous with ice and snow, you can hike to many popular natural landmarks, such as the Johnston Canyon, with spiked hiking boots or ice cleats.