Most of us would love to spend Spring Break on a tropical beach somewhere, but Lake Louise has its own magic and appeal that draws visitors from around the world. Play ‘tourist’ for a few days and see why this destination is bucket-list worthy for so many people.
1. Enjoy skating on one of the world’s most beautiful ice rinks. Did you know that you can still go ice skating on a real mountain lake even into early April? Lake Louise will still be very frozen over Spring Break and the rink in front of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise gets cleared of snow regularly. You can also rent skates in the hotel, should you need.
2. Spend a day at the Lake Louise Ski Resort. It’s nice planning a Spring ski weekend, knowing it’s not going to be -30 on the ski hill and that you’ll be able to 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.
3. Go cross-country skiing on the trails around Lake Louise. Lake Louise has plenty of snow this time of year, and you’ll still find some grooming and track setting for cross-country skiing on many trails through early April. My family likes skiing across the lake to see the frozen icefalls, and we enjoy the easy Bow River Loop with its scenic bridges. Skis can be rented as well in the Village, if you need.
4. Play in gigantic mountains of snow around the lake. As stated before, Lake Louise still has epic amounts of snow this time of year, and your kids will love playing in the big snow piles at the lake. There’s also a fun sledding hill beside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and the hill is usually in fabulous condition through April without a trace of dirt (bring your own sleds).
5. Take the kids on a winter hike or try snowshoeing. You can rent snowshoes in the Village and then there are several easy trails you can try as a family. I recommend hiking across the lake to see the icefalls or you can try the Louise Creek Trail, which connects the lake with the Village below.
For more of an adventure, take a drive up the Icefields Parkway and hike (or ski) to the Peyto Lake Viewpoint at Bow Summit. It’s only a 30-minute drive to reach the trailhead, and you’ll be hiking up a closed summer road most of the way.
Where to find affordable accommodations at Lake Louise
Last year, my family spent two nights at the HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre over Spring Break. We booked a private room that slept five people, and we had a shared bathroom right outside our door with 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 were 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 five-minute jaunt! 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 kinds of private rooms at the hostel along with small dorm rooms that a family of four or five would be quite comfortable in. Some of the larger family rooms also have private bathrooms. For more information, visit the Alpine Centre’s website, hihostels.ca/en/destinations/alberta/hi-lake-louise.
Tanya is a freelance writer and mom to a spunky boy. She loves hiking, camping, skiing, and all things mountain-related. She is the author of the blog, Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies, rockiesfamilyadventures.com.
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