After seeing the photos of the gorgeous blue waters of Lake Louise, I knew I needed to visit the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Canada but I did not realize my first visit would be to see snow in May! I traveled by Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Banff National Park and stayed at the historic and stunning Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. I skied, hiked and relaxed in this UNESCO World Heritage Area. Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park established in 1885 and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site in 1984.
This area has had many names. First called Ho-run-num-nay by The Stoney meaning “lake of the little fishes,” in 1882 a Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) workman, Tom Wilson, named it Emerald Lake, but in 1884 the name became Lake Louise in honor of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. The area was a station for the railway called Laggan when they were building the train through Kicking Horse Pass.
I loved traveling to this area by train and it was my first time in Alberta, my first time on Rocky Mountaineer and my first time skiing outside of the United States.
I spent a day at Lake Louise Resort and Gondola skiing with top instructor and guide, Serge Metikosh. He has been an instructor for over 43 years and has spent two decades skiing here. I fell in love with the long runs, stunning views and being able to ski in Banff National Park. If you want to disconnect from your busy life and connect with nature, this is one of the last wild places and has snow from November to May. Skiing Summit and Paradise Bowl was tremendously great skiing.
My ski gear including my clothes was rented from SkiBig3. You can travel here knowing that they have top quality equipment including the Blizzard Black Pearl’s that I loved using all over this mountain. I literally skied in every season as it briefly snowed on us, we had sunshine as well as spring skiing conditions.
After one of my favorite ski days ever, I stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise which was developed by the Canadian Pacific Railway along with Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Château Frontenac. My well appointed room had a stunning view of the frozen lake and inspired me to get outside and explore.
I borrowed snow cleats from the concierge and walked to the frozen waterfall around the lake. In the afternoon, I joined a guided hike led by Mike Vincent, who was a park ranger for 10 years and walked with a group up to Fairview Lookout. I used snow cleats and my ski pools and was rewarded with a spectacular view of the Lake and the Fairmont hotel.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is family and pet friendly and ready to assist you in enjoying this beautiful national park. There are mindfulness walks, yoga and seven different dining options including Fairview, Lakeview Lounge, The Wallister Stube, The Chateau Deli, Poppy Brasserie, the Alpine Social (formerly the Glacier Saloon), and the seasonal Italian cuisine kitchen Lago. Do you want to have a ski experience, a family vacation a girls’ powder retreat?
Remember, Will and Kate honeymooned in the backcountry of The Lake Louise Resort and Gondola at Skoki. Don’t feel FOMA (the Fear of Missing Out), decide to come and visit! The Royals did it and the Men’s downhill world cup happens in Lake Louise too.
Enjoy my other 2018 Canada Adventures: