The Lake Louise Ski Area has a unique setting in Banff National Park and we want to make sure our visitors have every opportunity to explore and understand the area’s natural, historic and cultural wonders.
The Ski Area Management Guidelines (2006) encourage the development of winter educational opportunities that complement Canadian National Park and World Heritage Site values. The Lake Louise Ski Area Site Guidelines for Development and Use (2015) direct us to engage about nature and culture, year-round, more meaningfully.
This aligns well with our vision. In addition to being a world-class, national park ski area, we aim to be a global model for multi-season sustainable tourism, environmental and heritage interpretation and education. We are committed to preserving and celebrating Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, to inspire, educate, and cultivate conservation champions in this and future generations, to engaging responsible partners in stewardship and to initiatives in support of Truth and Reconciliation.
Emphasis will be given to:
· Enhancing winter-season Interpretation Exhibits and Programs;
· Improving the summer experience by establishing enhanced exhibits at the arrival area, and by relocating the summer program to the proposed new Eagle Ridge Day Lodge and Interpretation Centre; and
· Introducing a new Interpretive and sightseeing trail network along Eagle Ridge.
The Long-Range Plan incorporates a Heritage Tourism, Interpretation and Education Strategy that will be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis, and as required to support Canada’s broader goals for public education and awareness.
We know people want to learn more about the area’s history, landscape, wildlife and culture, including Indigenous history and culture. We provide some of that opportunity with our summer interpretation programs which are currently based out of the Whitehorn Lodge at mid-mountain, but these will be enhanced with more interpretive space. The mid-mountain area is important habitat in the summer months for grizzly bears and other wildlife species. So, by developing a new mountain-top day lodge at Eagle Ridge and moving our summer interpretation programs to the new lodge, we can help reduce human activity in high-quality wildlife habitat. We would return the Whitehorn Lodge to winter-season use only.
Developing the new Day Lodge on Eagle Ridge also helps improve the experience for our summer visitors by providing them with a true mountain-top experience with more interpretive exhibits and panoramic ridge-top trails. This new day lodge, blending into the ridgeline to reduce potential visual impacts, would give visitors a 360-degree view of the Rocky Mountains. This new lodge will provide a dedicated facility for summer season interpretation programs, so we can continue to enhance our role in educating visitors about the area’s nature and conservation values. Currently, the Interpretive Programs are not accessible to all, and solving accessibility levels for mobility-impaired guests is another associated benefit.
The new Lodge will be the start and end point for a series of self-guided interpretative hiking trails and snowshoe tours on the upper mountain above treeline. These closed-loop trails will create a network of hiking opportunities with interpretive and interactive signs and viewing platforms and would be made up of various lengths and difficulties. We’re proposing three loops – ranging from 500 metres to 1,300 metres – to provide a variety of convenient hiking opportunities.
A map of the proposed trails is available to download here.